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Stop This

Stop This
March 26
17:24 2018

Attacks on places of worship “must stop’’, says Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho.

And, he has issued a stern warning that those targeting places of worship to incite religious tensions will be caught.

“It’s very unfortunate that we have started to see this happening in Fiji. Our Constitution is very clear on this. We must respect one another. None of our religions teach us intolerance,’’ Commissioner Qiliho said.

“It is also very unfortunate that some people, especially on social media, are inciting and encouraging such behaviour and picking on people of certain religions. This must stop.

“We are working hard and we will continue to work hard to apprehend the culprits involved. Sooner or later we will get him.”

He was reacting to reports of a mosque being attacked in Narere, in Nasinu, last Wednesday.

The Muslim community, which attends the Farooqi Musalla mosque in Narere, are asking that places of worship be respected.

The stoning of this mosque is another example of increasing instances of attacks on places of worship in the country.

The Imaam of the Mosque, Aniz Rasul, said: “We have had stones thrown at the mosque three times in a month.

“All the incidents have taken place at night when the students in the madrassa (learning institution) were asleep.

“This is a new trend that has started recently.

“We have never experienced such incidents.

“The incidents are a concern for us especially for the students at the madrassa as their parents are relying on us to ensure their children are safe whilst they are here and studying.

“We do not know why this is happening but we request members of the public to respect our worship places.’’

He said the mosque officials had lodged complaints with the Police and that patrols in the area had been stepped up.

“Although the Police help us by patrolling the area, the stoning incidents continued,” Mr Rasul said.

With the help of the members of the mosque, Mr Rasul said they had installed new CCTV cameras around the mosque.

On the installation of the cameras, Mr Qiliho said: “I want to thank the community for coming together in installing CCTV cameras.

“We have increased policing in the area.

“We may not catch the person responsible today but sooner or later they will let their guards down and they will be caught.’’

Over the past seven months there have been 14 cases of sacrilege reported to the Police nationwide.

Three of these cases are before the court.

The rest are still being investigated.

The attacks have not only been confined to non-Christian places of worship.

Christian churches which have been the subject of attacks include an Assemblies of God church in Sabeto, Nadi, the Catholic Church in Nadera, Vunisinu Methodist Church, and the LDS Church, in Waila, near Nausori.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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