Opinion

Let’s Join PM In Condemning Violence And Terrorism This Easter

On November 24 last year Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made some profound statements about terrorism at the African, Caribbean and Pacific House in Brussels, Belgium. He told the 102nd ACP
25 Mar 2016 09:14
Let’s Join PM In Condemning Violence And Terrorism This Easter
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

On November 24 last year Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made some profound statements about terrorism at the African, Caribbean and Pacific House in Brussels, Belgium.

He told the 102nd ACP Council of Ministers, meeting in Brussels, that they stood in solidarity with the people of France, who were mourning the 130 people who were killed in terrorist attacks eleven days before the ACP meeting.

Mr Bainimarama said then: “We also express solidarity with Belgium, as its people also face down the terrorist threat. Our message to Islamic State is simple. We may flinch but we will never yield. You have united all of us from all faiths in horror but you have also united us in steely determination.”

Those threats that Mr Bainimarama referred to became a reality. Who would have thought that this week the terrorists would strike in the heart of Brussels. Thirty people have so far been confirmed dead and many injured in attacks at Melbeek metro station and at  the international airport on Tuesday.

Mr Bainimarama’s strong condemnation of terrorism is timeless and relevant in the context of the terror attacks in Brussels.

We may be far away from Brussels and other world trouble spots but what happens there have serious implications for us. We should all be concerned by terrorism because it is driven by extremist and fanatical ideologies.

Mr Bainimarama rightly condemns these atrocities in the strongest possible terms. He said: “We will do everything we can to contribute to the global opposition to terrorism.

“There is no excuse for these acts of terror and especially in the name of God; because this is not God’s way. The major religions of the world – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism – are at one on the sanctity of human life. And we must stand up to those who perversely twist the word of God to justify their crimes on earth.

“The destructive nature of Islamic State – its manipulation of religion to justify its murderous rampages, its suppression and exploitation of the people under its control and its celebration of death – is in stark contrast to the nobility of our own organisation.”

On ACP, he said: “We have formed the largest trading bloc in the world to empower the estimated one billion people within our borders; to bring them the benefits of development; to give them the means to improve their lives and those of their families; to replace poverty with prosperity; to give them a better future; and to give them hope.

“We enhance lives while Islamic State and other terrorist groups take them. We create opportunity while they destroy it. We bring people of different backgrounds together to celebrate our common humanity while they advocate division and hatred. In our patient collaboration lies the answer to the world’s challenges while they are a death cult that revels in misery and mass murder.”

“We have survived as an organisation for 40 years and are planning even greater co-operation in the years ahead – more trade, more development and more opportunity. Their days are numbered because they offer nothing but the blood of the innocents and blaspheme – the word of God twisted to justify the unjustifiable.”

Tomorrow, the Christian world commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Today, on the eve of his death for the sins of mankind, we also remember those who died, maimed and emotionally scarred in the Brussel and Paris attacks.

Those who use violence and force to subjugate others to their beliefs, whether religious and political, have no place in our society.

In the true spirit of Easter and in support of our PM, let’s defend peace and our freedom to choose for ourselves and condemn extremism, fanaticism and violence.

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