Opinion

EDITORIAL:As Responsible Citizens, We Must Respect All Religions

How would you feel if your religion was being ridiculed or your churches, temples or mosques were desecrated? You would not feel good at all. Fiji is a country of
22 Dec 2017 12:35
EDITORIAL:As Responsible  Citizens, We Must Respect  All Religions

How would you feel if your religion was being ridiculed or your churches, temples or mosques were desecrated?

You would not feel good at all.

Fiji is a country of different religions, different beliefs and cultures. It is now a country known to welcome people of all races and faiths.

The attack on a temple in Votualevu, Nadi, paints a shocking image.

Those who worship at the Tirath Dam Mandir in Nadi, did not imagine that the sacrilege at the temple and the desecration of religious deities and idols would occur.

The Holy Bible states as God’s word: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

Where is the respect, love and humility that we as Fijians have always been known for?

Not everyone is involved in this religious attack, but there is no harm in reminding our families, our children and our brothers and sisters the importance of respecting other people’s religious beliefs.

You may view others’ religion as inferior to yours, but that does not give anyone the right to discriminate against another religion.

The Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho says religious intolerance will not be tolerated.

He said Police officers were in the area for something else when people alerted them about the attack on not only the building but the deities and other things that were inside.

“This is religious intolerance and it will not be condoned. As responsible citizens we must respect each other’s religion and the Police will do a thorough investigation and we will apprehend the perpetrators. They will be brought to justice,” he said.

The temple members have been associated with the temple since their childhood. They were sad to see their temple desecrated.

The Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji has condemned the act of sacrilege at the temple and they are deeply concerned about the matter.

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this attack is unacceptable and sad.

He has reiterated the warning as stated by the Commissioner of Police that this must be stopped.

Those who commit such acts must be taken to task.

“This will not be condoned because every Fijian should have the ability to practise their faith without any hindrance and they should feel free to do so particularly in a place of worship.”

The Government has always highlighted that under our Constitution every Fijian has the right to practise their religion or faith.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has always said inciting hatred against someone because of their ethnicity or their religion is a crime under Fijian law and the laws of many other countries.

He once said that Fiji is a nation that free of the racial and religious violence that plagues certain countries and we are determined to keep it that way.

“And that means coming down hard on those who incite the kind of hatred that can easily lead to violence if it is not contained – a breakdown of law and order that we have seen in Fiji before but will never tolerate again.”

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper