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Home Blues

Being physically detatched away from Singapore, it is hard to know what people back home think about the whole Fateha fiasco. The religious repercussions of the 9-11 terrorist attack took a little while to surface, but I had feared it would. Yet while reading <a href="http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/primenews/story/0,1870,99420,00.html?" target = "_blank">this article</a> about how Muslim girls were told to leave National Schools because their parents wanted them to wear the tudung due to religious convictions, I cannot help but wonder why this religious freedom is taken away from them. One of the reasons cited was that other students in other schools would soon follow suit. Is it because of inconvenience that we curb other people's religious beliefs?
Another reason given by the Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was that it was more an issue of integration. That it would be harder for students to "mix and integrate" with each other were these difference in the way. I am not an anti-government citizen, and I appreciate the many things they have done over Singapore's history, but this has got to be one of the weakest reasons I've ever seen for mass-conformity. I can spot an Indian half a mile away, unless he does a Michael Jackson-like transformation. Yet this doesn't in any way hinder me from having an Indian as one of my best friends.
It is this denial that people come in all shapes, sizes and colours that breeds ignorance and discrimination. How many GEPpers live their little lives, never knowing that there are people of the same age who have to work to support their siblings. Our academic elite are not educated in any sense of the word. Show them the multiplicious colour of life, that they might appreciate it, rather than fear it.
I'd appreciate it if you guys back home could give me some feedback on the impact of the issue. It affects me quite deeply.
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