Fiji's Muslim League Thanks Fiji, and PM's Address to Da’Wah Council

'We’ve Been Treated Well'
The Fiji Muslim League has applauded the Government for the equal treatment Muslims have enjoyed over many decades.

League national president Hafizud Dean Khan (photo, right)  said Muslims living in Fiji have not suffered the indignities or bigotry many Muslims around the world face.He made the comments at the presidential dinner of the 26th Executive Meeting of Regional Islamic Da’Wah Council of South East Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) held at the Natadola Intercontinental Golf and Spa on Monday night. The Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was the guest of honour.

“You hear about western countries where there are protests about Muslims building a school or a mosque or the Muslim wearing a ‘hijab’ or a veil or whatever. We don’t have that situation in Fiji,” Mr Khan said.

“Muslims feel free and we are only six to seven per cent of the population. Yet we feel this is a Muslim country, although not strictly because it’s a country for everybody.”

“But in no way has there been anything disparaging placed before Muslims, either in the faith they belong to, they go to the mosque, they go to school, or the way they are dressed, or the way they eat. Nobody bothers them. This has been the hallmark of all governments in Fiji regardless of who was in power.

“And with that respect we are grateful to the people of Fiji at large. But particularly the chiefs and the landowners who have given us land for schools and mosques."

PM on Just, Fair Society

The Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has called for greater partnership in the achievement of a just and fair society. Commodore Bainimarama was speaking at the presidential dinner of the 26th Executive Meeting of Regional Islamic Da’Wah Council of South East Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) held at the Natadola Intercontinental Golf and Spa on Monday night. 

He said the Government was focused on building strong state institutions through good governance. “Building such a society requires first of all participation of all its citizens, it requires honesty, candour, and transparency,” the Prime Minister said.

“It requires laws that are equally applicable to all and when applied are justly applied. Having a just and fair society is not only the job of Governments.  It is also the role of all citizens, business houses and organisations such as yours. Individual organisations must function and act in a fair and transparent manner. For example, as I have seen many times nepotism and clientalism become the norm in many NGOs. This must not be allowed to happen.”

Commodore Bainimarama said justice should be also exercised through allowing everyone access to basic needs. He urged RISEAP to help Fiji in allowing this access. 

“Today in the world and I am sure it is the same in your respective countries, the lack of access to basic needs such as food, water and housing are causing not only social problems but it also lends to political unrest and prejudices,” the Prime Minister said. 

“It provides fertile ground for the fundamentalists to recruit the underprivileged.” -- 2010 No: 1722 /MOI


Vinaka said…
This is really fantastic and the best answer we can give to those who preach discord among us.

Yes, ordinary people in Fiji are generally tolerant. The trouble only starts when their leaders try to stir up suspicion and hatred and the privileged get too greedy.

In answer to this praise from the Muslim leadership, most people in Fiji would say vinaka, you're welcome. And thank you in return for your contribution and especially for not bringing Islamic fundamentalism and intolerance to Fiji and trying to impose your ways on us.

We are trying to build a tolerant multiracial Fiji worthy of the sentiments expressed here in which each race and religion is treated with respect. God willing, Inshallah, we will achieve that dream.
Marist dictator said…
Croz, the PM has certainly been active among the faithful in recent days, not just with the Muslims but the Marists who taught him. I had to smile when I saw the following piece on the Government's website tonight:
Commodore Bainimarama noted that the foundations of a strong Fiji was the equal treatment of all people regardless of ethnic, social, or economical differences and this resonated with the Marist spirit.

“The Marist milieu still resonates in us today because the legacy of the Marist Brothers was built on principles and ideals that were enduring and common to us all,” the Prime Minister said.

“Despite our different careers, our different locations, we are here today because of that Marist spirit that has left an indelible mark on us as individuals.

“You don’t have to be a Prime Minister, a minister, a politician, a judge, a lawyer or a CEO to contribute.

“In fact you don’t have to be in Fiji, you simply have to believe in and practise the Marist philosophy.

“By doing so, we will send a strong message to all our fellow Fijians and those who are watching us – Fiji can realise its potential through an inclusive and strong nation state, in which individuals care, have trust, respect state institutions and are patriotic.”

Note the PM's emphasis on "Marist philosphy". In the eighties White House, the script might have gone like this: "Mr President, you need to be aware that the Fijian leader is a Marist". "What, not another Goddam Marxist!" "No sir, Marist". "What the hell is that?"" Well sir, certainly not your usual dictator".

Increasingly desperate said…
You are sounding increasingly desperate? Is everything OK? There will be life sfter bainimarama - he is just another of life's dictators who are remembered for nothing except the mayhem they caused.
Islands in the Stream said…
@ Marist Dictator....and the White House

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her way to the Pacific - the South Pacific Region. Will she contradict the message delivered on Monday to the Muslim minority of Fiji? Or to any other minority group living in Fiji? One rather doubts this. She may well not refer to it at all. However, she could hardly deny the just aspirations of any minority group in any developing country for a parity of esteem and for equitable treatment under the law. All taxpayers in any nation under proper and just governance require and deserve accountability for the use of their money. If it takes a 'dictatorial' stance to achieve this - then so be it. Eventually, it must become second nature - par for the course. If the Marist Dictator posting refers to US President Ronald Reagan, he would have expected no less himself. It is a maxim of monetarist, free market and Friedman economic policy. A Constitution of Liberty as explained by the economist Friederich Hayek would require this. How to get there? That is the Big Question. He was acquainted with life under Hitler and Stalin - but his vision was for an American ideal of Liberty.
Only in Fiji said…
An amusing postscript to Frank's comments at the Marist old boys gathering. This is how the Fiji Sun is reporting it this morning:

"Notwithstanding the desperate individuals and groups that were enrolled at MBHS, the ideological virtues of Christianity intertwined with the philosophical ideals of humanism of the Marist Brothers. This created a school environment that was based on equality, integrity, transparency, respect and fairness.”

Surely the PM said disparate rather than desperate? A reporter's mistake or is that what the PM actually said? Come to think of it, I know a few desperate Marist old boys myself.
Lunatics at half past four said…
They really are mad over at Coup 4.5. Their latest post is marked "Urgent Breaking News- Driti and Mara are back in the fold". This egregious piece of nonsense has it that Driti and Mara have apologised to Frank for plotting against him and have been reinstated. Really? Just like that? So everything we told you before was true but it's all OK now. What a lot of unsubstantiated crap. All this supposedly from "highly reliable sources", the same sources I supposed who told everyone a few weeks ago that Frank was under arrest. Zero credibility.

The second posting is even more laughable, yet another sexual smear, this time against Minfo PS Sharon Smith Johns. She's allegedly threatened to have one of her boyfriends beaten up by the military for two-timing on her. The source for this? Allegedly text messages from Smith Johns's mobile. Yeah sure, fellas.

All this would be a total joke were it not for the seriousness of Coup 4.5's failure to gag the contributions of racial supremacists on its site. It's got to the stage where a casual reader can't tell whether the official postings are true but can certainly see the ugly truth of the blatantly racist slurs in the comments section. A cyber scandal sheet and nothing else.

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