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Importance of unity

Fred Wesley
Monday, December 04, 2017

TODAY is a special day for Muslims around the country. We celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.

We have an opportunity as a nation to be a part of the celebrations.

Muslims believe the prophet was a perfect example of being upright, merciful, compassionate, truthful, brave, generous, and distant from all evil character.

Let us keep that in mind and together dedicate ourselves to doing good for our country.

We can all work to raise the quality of life for everyone who calls Fiji home.

Surely we can all benefit from Prophet Mohammed's teachings.

There are many challenges for Muslims around the globe.

Prophet Mohammad's teachings are aimed at nurturing peace, harmony and mutual respect for one another.

In fact these are the basic tenets of most religions.

Let us put aside time to learn about, and appreciate other religions.

How can we not realise that we live in a country that is special.

Think about it! Despite the many different religions we follow, and our racial make-up, we share one common factor, and that is our ability to live in peace and harmony with each other. As the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said during last year's celebrations, "Every year, this occasion serves as an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of thought we enjoy in our society.

"The values taught by the Prophet Mohammed formed the foundation of Islam, and carry meaning for all of humanity, irrespective of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

"Our shared identity as Fijians transcends religious boundaries.

"We can all respect the impact the Prophet Mohammed has had on universal values, moralities and ethics. And we can all seek to uplift ourselves and our communities to live out the virtues of unity, understanding, peace, justice and equality."

Surely people of faith have an important role to play in the order and conduct of our society and government, as individuals and congregations.

And as the PM said in 2014, the Government must depend on people of faith as a moral compass.

People of faith, he said, gave voice to principle and ensured ethics and morality were a part of our political dialogue.

This was essential for any society, but especially for a democratic one, he said.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while joining believers at the Maururu mosque in Ba yesterday, said, "Nowhere do we hear him rubbishing other people but what he did do was he set an example by his behaviour. This should be an everyday practice. The outward manifestation of Islam is not enough."

Many Fijians will surely realise that religion could be a unifying force.

We live in a country that is diverse in many things, from religion, to tradition and culture, and racial composition.

We should promote love, understanding and mutual respect for one another. Inter-religious harmony will have a large bearing on peace and tolerance in our country.

That should be part of our contribution to nation-building.

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