N.C.C. calls for a ban on Islam

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The National Council of Churches (N.C.C) has welcomed Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi’s call to review the religious freedom provisions of the Constitution, Radio New Zealand has reported.

Tuilaepa had indicated last week that the country's supreme law could be changed to recognise Christian principles and teachings, not just in the preamble.

But the Secretary General of the Samoa Council of Churches, Reverend Ma'auga Motu, said he would go a step further and ban the religion of Islam, saying it poses a threat to the country.

"We are not going too far, no," Reverend Motu is quoted as saying. 

"We are still wanting our own people to be prevented from this kind of influence, even though there are so many people who are good people but still there are some dangerous people among them who might come and threaten our peace."

The Constitution protects the right to practice any religion but doesn't rule out the establishment of an official state religion.

There is a small muslim population in Samoa that gathers at a mosque and there is the Samoa Muslim League based near Apia.

Yesterday, the Pacific Conference of Churches (P.C.C) says dialoguing with other religions was a key resolution at its most recent assembly

General Secretary of the P.C.C, the region's grouping of Christian denominations, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, argued that the focus needs to be on dialogue.

"To create first that space where everybody can come in and discuss and dialogue," he said. "But they have the right to do the decision but before that we have to first look at what our faith, as Christians, is telling us."

Francois Pihaatae said where he lived in Fiji, there were many Muslims who were peaceful contributors to the country.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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