Last year to me was a defining shift in the anti-gay movement in Singapore. I am not talking about churches because we know the position that they have always held. I am talking about people who are specifically anti-gay like those in WeAreAgainstPinkDot, who talks about nothing but the destruction of gay folks, spreading misinformation, hatred, fear and encouraging suffering towards LGBT folks. Most of us usually laugh them off as silly, ill-concieved and even stupid logic and generally pay no attention to them. Neither does the authorities in general.
Then #wearwhite movement came into the picture and that to me sent a scary picture of rhetoric turning in action. I agree with my Muslim friends that wearing white by itself is not the problem and indeed if all Muslims who proclaim to support wear white following their sunnah of charity, kindness, peace, compassion and love, this would not be an issue. However, the premise of starting the #wearwhite movement was someone incessed that Pink Dot 2014 happend on the Muslim holy month and of having Muslim representative in their promotional video as sign of inclusiveness and love. I think we all can see the irony of it a movement to as Muslims to be pure at heart is started by someone angry and feeling incessed by insults. This is not different from many gay conversion movements that were started by gay people and who later regretted their involvements.
The problem with this is that this attracts fringe elements within Muslim community who for many other reasons could be angry about their own lives, job or family and have a weak understanding of Islam but redirects it at LGBT folks. The power of fringe group is that they don’t need to be big, just small enough to inject poison, this is how ISIS became a reality despite many Muslim countries rejecting their Islamic views. This is the same way how crazy fringe Buddhist group could amass so many people to hurt and kill Muslims in Myanmar. To me, all a suddenly the landscape changed. Fear arose as to what some of these folks will do. Will they plant pipe bombs during PinkDot? Will they come in a group wielding knives and guns killing everyone they see at PinkDot including children? Will they purposely ram a truck into the crowd with the dot was forming? Or will someone strap themselves with a bomb and detonate in the middle of the dot? The security scare became a reality to me and I am very sure this is what many people thought about, including the authorities. In fact, during the start of PinkDot last year, I was nervously surveying the environment for such elements.
Also suddenly, the pictures of gay men being hanged in Middle East or beheaded or stoned to death often posted by FB users on WeAreAgainstPinkDot, who holds Islamic-like names (I say this because this is what I see, but there is a possibility that those folks may not be Muslim at all and trying to frame them) became a reality in Singapore. Those postings are no more for fun, they are real death threats to gay folks by those FB users.
Some may say that I am Islamphobic, but I beg to defer. I am reminded on the incident when a lady insulted Malay void deck weddings and a Muslim person wrote about her disgust of how some of her Muslim friends were talking about killing the lady and her family. One would be naive to say that this will never happen in Singapore for we don’t know how many crazy fringe people are here even if a majority are generally peaceful and non-discriminatory.
To me the prove of how real a security threat this is, is the announcement by the Muslim and Christian body urging tolerance and peace despite differences towards PinkDot. Mind you, such announcement only occurred last year and I was very relieved and glad that they had made such statements because it tells everybody that even though we have different opinions, we can still co-exist peaceful without resorting to violence and killing each other. Mostly importantly, it reiterated the position of the our Muslim authority as a peaceful body and seeks tolerance.