By SALOTE QALUBAU
Officiating the celebrations for the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday on Monday, January 5 at Churchill Park in Lautoka, His Excellency Honorable Epeli Nailatikau acknowledged the Fiji Muslim League and its pioneer members for their immense contribution to Fiji’s progress as a nation.
“As we gather today to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammed, I encourage all believers of Islam to stand firm in your faith and in your efforts to be an integral component of a truly united Fiji,” said Mr Nailatikau.
“A Fiji where every Fijian now or in the future can be proud to call their home.”
Members of the Islam community were further encouraged to continue to pursue and cultivate a higher sense of being, and in the process facilitate more understanding and tolerance of each other and of other communities in Fiji as this would be parallel to the idealistic foundational teachings taught by Prophet Mohammed.
Mr Nailatikau highlighted eleven days prior to the days celebration, Christians all over Fiji had celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah and with the Islam community gathering to celebrate the auspicious occasion of the prophet Mohammed’s birthday this has indeed proved to be an embodiment of Fiji’s melting pot of diversity, be it culturally or religiously in terms of understanding and honoring the different beliefs one holds.
“The common thread in all these achievements is undoubtedly the strength and unity of your faith. I, therefore, pay tribute to your forefathers and also to those of you in the current generation.
“I have no doubt that your religious teachings and the principles of good citizenship will be passed on to your children who will also be model citizens of Fiji.”