Caption: Maulana Fazal-Ullah Tariq, Chief Justice of Fiji Anthony Gates and The Ministry of Education Permenant secretary Brij Lal at the Prophet Muhammad Day celebration.
By JOSEPHINE NAVULA
If many were to follow those facets of Holy Prophet’s life the misunderstandings and carelessness that breed dissent and distrust would not give rise to conflict.
Those were the words of Chief Justice of Fiji Anthony Gates who was Chief Guest at the Holy Prophet Muhammed Day, organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama at the Fazal E Umar Mosque in Samabula, Suva.
“Our lives must always be directed by that trio of tolerance, understanding and respect,” he said.
Perpetrators are committing a sin against their own religions, church leaders must speak with one voice against such acts.
Gates said the penalties are also awarded for such crimes.
“In crimes Decree in Fiji the penalties for such crimes have been increased. One feels sympathy for the victims of such crimes be they the Buddhists of Afghanistan or the Muslims of Timbuktu in Mali,” he said.
Gates mentioned that in 1990’s, Fiji had a series of incidents in which temples and mosques were desecrated and fortunately it is no longer happening.
“Some were cases of theft more than anything. Others appeared to be religio-political and were instigated by nationalist extremist. Sacrilege is a particularly painful offence to instigate but nationalist extremists,” he said.
Gates also said the inclusiveness in the community whatever one’s religion is very important in a free and civilized state.
According to the Ahmadiyya Muslim report, there are many humble people in all religions. Their voices are suppressed by other people. It is their responsibility to take their suppressed voices and raise them to be heard by others.
Through these gatherings, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama at Fiji will give those people who are noble and are ready for harmony, the courage they need so that when they come forward, they can make a remarkable change in religions and among nations.