Sunvoice

Breaking Down Prejudices Will Build Tolerance

Religious freedom and diversity were again on show in Ba at the weekend. Members of  the Ulama-e-Ahle Sunnat Fiji  yesterday celebrated  the anniversary of  Prophet Muhamad’s birthday following a march
21 Dec 2015 10:13
Breaking Down Prejudices Will Build Tolerance

Religious freedom and diversity were again on show in Ba at the weekend.

Members of  the Ulama-e-Ahle Sunnat Fiji  yesterday celebrated  the anniversary of  Prophet Muhamad’s birthday following a march in Ba town on Saturday.

At about the same time church services from other religions were happening.

That is the beauty of our Constitution which guarantees our  rights to worship alongside those necessarily not of our faith in a stable and peaceful environment.

The freedom and diversity enrich our lives because they increase our knowledge and broaden our understanding of other religions. They break down prejudices that often lead to the road to religious bigotry and fanaticism or extremism.

In Fiji we are fortunate we do not have the same ugly violence motivated by bigots who use the name of religions to achieve their radical political and religious objectives.

We are also blessed that we have an abundance of tolerance and goodwill that act as a buffer against negative foreign ideas and influence.

But it does not mean that we rest on our laurels and become complacent. The power of money can change thinking. It’s manipulative influence can smash our moral defences.

That is why Minister for  Defence, National Security and Immigration Timoci Natuva’s address at the Ba celebrations was reassuring.

He said let nothing disturb our pristine and tranquil life despite the impact of globalisation.

“We will work together to let nothing disturb our pristine and tranquil life which is seemingly challenged by the impact of globalisation,” he said

“Let us work together to ensure that our perseverance and efforts for tolerance, peace, harmony, stability, personal and national security perpetuate for the good of all.”

Not everything that arrives in this country is necessarily good. Some threaten the simple and peaceful way of life. That is why it is so important to carefully screen new ideas and technology.

 One of our greatest strengths is our ability to bind together and to stand side by side despite our many differences. Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is part of the national calendar and it recognises the importance of Islam in our religious mix.

Mr Natuva said:“It is very assuring to witness today with the presence of so many and the trust, faith and spirit of togetherness that we foster amongst us. Without any doubt, the teachings of Prophet Mohammed that include a quest and desire for peace, tolerance, understanding, harmony and unity, are alive amongst us. The Government on behalf of the people of Fiji acknowledges the unceasing contributions of the Muslim community in Fiji to the development of the nation. The Muslim community has made its mark in various field education, commerce, religion, politics and agriculture.”

We wish  Ulama-e-Ahle Sunnat Fiji all the best in its future endeavours. 



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