My fellow Fijians, today we join hundreds of millions around the world in celebrating the birth and life of one of the world's most influential spiritual leaders - the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. For Muslims everywhere, the Prophet Mohammed's life and message are the very core of Islam, and guide their faith. But as a people and a nation of many faiths, we Fijians understand that the teachings of our many religions are interconnected; that they cherish and uphold many of the same values and virtues. In this way, we see religion as a bridge, not a barrier.
So today, I ask each of us to join with our Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating the Prophet Mohammed's teachings of love, understanding, social justice and equality amongst all people.
The celebration of his birth therefore is not only a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the universality of these principles, but it is also a time to consider the special role that faith plays in each of our lives and in the lives of our neighbours.
Above all, it is an opportunity for us to appreciate the responsibility we hold to each other.
We are reminded to reflect on the values and principles that we all share and on our common goal of advancing peace and prosperity for all Fijians.
I wish each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday.