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Police investigating offensive NUS Atheist Society post on Facebook: MHA

Police investigating offensive NUS Atheist Society post on Facebook: MHA

Photo illustration of a man using a laptop.

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating after a Facebook post was put up suggesting the Bible and the Quran as alternatives to be used in the event of toilet paper shortages.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday (Mar 20) said that it has received a number of complaints about the post. 

The page, titled NUS Atheist Society, posted a photo of the Bible and Quran side-by-side with the caption: "For use during toilet paper shortages".

Toilet paper is one of the daily essentials that consumers have been buying in bulk and hoarding amid the COVID-19 outbreak.  

MHA said that it has asked Facebook to disable access to the "religously offensive post" and highlighted "the importance of racial and religious harmony in our society". 

Facebook has since disabled access to the post. 

Members of the public should be mindful when participating in online discussions and not post any remarks which are prejudicial to the maintenance of racial and religious harmony in Singapore, said the ministry. 

"Online hate speech on race and religion has no place in Singapore," MHA added. 

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Friday also said that the Facebook post was "very offensive" towards Muslims and Christians. 

Mr Shanmugam in his Facebook post said: "We take a serious view of these type of statements."

In a Facebook post on Friday, the National University of Singapore (NUS) said it has "no relationship" with the NUS Atheist Society and that the Facebook page is not affiliated to the university.

NUS said it had reported the NUS Atheist Society page to Facebook twice - once in 2019, and again on Mar 19, 2020. On both occasions, NUS requested that Facebook look into the legitimacy of the account.

"Facebook has responded to say that the content on the reported site does not appear likely to confuse people as to source, sponsorship or affiliation, and they are unable to act on our report at this time," NUS said.

"The contents posted by the NUS Atheist Society do not represent the views, opinions and position of the university. We will continue pressing Facebook to get the group to drop all references to NUS."

As of Friday at around 4pm, NUS Atheist Society had about 1,000 followers. 

Source: CNA/ad(hm)


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