COMMENT | Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religion) Mujahid Yusof Rawa has told Parliament that a Religious and Racial Hatred Bill would be tabled soon “...not just to deal with incidents when Islam is insulted but also when non-Muslim faiths are insulted... This is to ensure that our multi-religious and multiracial society is protected from being insulted and belittled."
There are three reasons why such a law is ill-conceived:
(i) It is framed as a “problem” rather than a solution;
(ii) It is another “fluffy” law that can be used against dissidents; and
(iii) It is not “rights” based.
Let's move from the “problem” frame to a “solution” frame. Milton Erickson, the acclaimed practitioner of medical hypnosis, taught us the power of “embedded commands” and how words shape our external experience. Thus, if we want a new society that is equal, just and tolerant, we should avoid naming a law as “Religious and Racial Hatred Act”...