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Acting PM’s profound message on IS is for all of us

Every decent and right-thinking person will support Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s profound statement on the terrorist group, Islamic State, yesterday. He was speaking at the memorial service for the
24 Nov 2015 07:58
Acting PM’s profound message on IS is for all of us

Every decent and right-thinking person will support Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s profound statement on the terrorist group, Islamic State, yesterday.

He was speaking at the memorial service for the victims of the Paris attacks at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Suva.

The statement was clear and powerful.

He said the Paris attacks which killed 130 people and injured 350 was an abomination to people of all faiths including Muslims everywhere.

He said: “There is no excuse whatsoever for these acts of terror and especially in the name of God. Because this is not God’s way.

“No killing of any individual in this manner can be justified. People the world over have the right to live their lives free from the threat of terror; to go about their daily lives in the absence of fear.

“The great religions of the world are at one on the sanctity of human life. And today, we collectively stand up for that principle. And stand up to those who perversely twist the word of God to justify their crimes on earth.

“Our common humanity demands that we respect whatever path of faith we choose to take as individuals. No creed and no member of the human family have a monopoly on righteousness. We are one before God and will face God’s judgment and his alone when the time comes.

“It is thereby incumbent upon all of us to stand up and speak against prejudice, fundamentalism or fanaticism – even if it’s someone from your own faith. Infact you should do it even more so.”

These are profound words of wisdom and strike at the very heart of humanity’s soul. They are even more significant coming from a devout Muslim.

We can be passionate about our faith as long as we do not infringe on the rights to freedom of worship of people of their religion and of other faiths.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is speaking about religious tolerance and he is an example of what our Constitution stands for.

We all need to stand up and be counted if we are to continue building a peaceful Fiji where people face no threat or intimidation in practising their own religion. The acting PM has led the charge.

Pure religion and undefiled before God is to save lives and build people, help the poor, the needy, the widows and orphans. It is predicated on the principle of unconditional love that was exemplified by the Lord Jesus Christ when he sacrificed his life for humankind. The following is the antithesis of this love: hatred, destruction of innocent lives, revenge, selfishness and intolerance.

IS is a minority group and it is outnumbered by the majority of law-abiding Muslims around the world. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is among this majority. He has spoken out and has done so eloquently. There is no pretence or ambiguity in his statement. It is straight from the heart.

His statement should be used as a case study for some of our so-called community and national leaders who still harbour religious and racial prejudicies when the country is gradually moving away from them.

Those prejudices, if not contained, could potentially develop into extremism or fanaticism. We saw their manifestations in some of the ugly violence that happened during the height of the political upheaval in 1987 and 2000.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has laid out the right formula to avoid it. His IS message is very much a message for all of us here in Fiji.

 

nemani delaibatiki

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 



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