Wednesday, 26 September 2012

GS Discussion - Week 4: Freedom of Expression vs Respect for the Other - and How to Solve this Dilemma

Questions for Discussion from Aik Wisanu Krutngoen for Week 4 

Dear all fellow FDU Global Scholars,

    Good morning! I hope everyone has a wonderful rest over the weekend. It is my utmost pleasure to be part of the Global Scholars discussion group, and I truly enjoyed the open discussion we had in the previous meetings. As I am honoured to pick the topic for discussion in this upcoming Friday, I would like to ask everyone to please prepare for the discussion topic of the immediate current global affairs-the reaction(s) over the American short film relative to Islamic beliefs and the consequences on a global level.  

   While it is easy for us to discuss over how this current wildspread reaction has taken the world as it is, I would rather ask all of us to prepare for analysis of the situation as if you are one of the UN special envoy taskforce specialists from your COUNTRY to combat this very specific global issue. This taskforce is aim to (1) actively battle current waves of anger/misunderstanding/retaliation, (2) create the mutual understanding of the current global movements of fundamentalism and the development in place. Please kindly be suggested that you are in this special taskforce to ensure the right direction is to establish, and the suggested solutions are to follow on a global stage as well as in your country.

   Please also be mindful that this analysis involves the intangible issue of religions as well as the human rights for freedom of expressions, therefore, as future global leaders, you will have to balance your own personal beliefs-first witin yourself, then with your fellow countrymen, and further with the other nations with measurable and meaningful solutions.  I would suggest everyone to mention/discuss this topic to your classmates (any class) over the week for initial probing of their reactions, prior to a focus on your decision on what to do next-this way you will know how people react with different feelings/thoughts and you will be able to come up with affirmative solutions, based on your understanding of others (and other’s understanding of you).     

  There will neither be a ‘Right” nor “Wrong” solution at the end of this global affairs discussion. So, thank you very much, and please make sure you enjoy being the “expert” to analyse and explore this very real current global affair, and I look forward to enjoy the discussion in this coming Friday!


Wisanu (Aik) Krutngoen, PhD.
Associate Director, Admissions-Vancouver

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Vancouver
842 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B2P6

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting topic this is my response:
    As a UN specialist a way I would chose to battle these waves of anger and misunderstanding is by caring out some conversations, hoping that the offended understand that Sam Bacile is of course wrong for what he did, but that there is no need to go and react as inhuman as his film. I would tell them that If they strongly believe that their faith deserves value and respect, they should go and fix the problem directly. And actually it has been done: Sam Bacile was in fact arrested on September 27, 2012. I would tell them that embassies don’t have any fault on this. The solution is to struggle towards integration, and they had started this struggle already by establishing international relationships with the west. Integration could be also compared with religion, if we study the ethimology of the word; “religion” basically means to create strong bonds (with the creator), so in the same way religion encourages people to create strong bonds with God, man should also create strong bonds with the rest of the people, and is not until you become the example of respect that you should be able to receive example from others. And just like you have the freedom to believe what you believe, the rest have also freedom to believe in other religion different than yours. "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction” as Kant said. This also applies to freedom of speech, every right has its limitations and these limitations fall under the “harm principle” or “the offense principle” so with good reason this man, was sent to jail. Don’t destroy life, don’t brake bond, support and create life and make of the world a place where all man can show its amazing potential of great good by coexisting.