Akbar condemns Padarath’s outburst against student
February 26, 2021 6:57 am
The Ministry of Education has condemned Suva resident Ben Padarath’s outburst against a student on the basis of his religion.
Padarath, the son of former Fiji Labour Party President Lavenia Padarath has singled out the head boy of a Muslim school asking why he has been allowed to grow a beard.
The Ministry has filed a report with the Fiji Police Force and the Cyber Crime Unit for investigation.
Education Minister Rosy Akbar says Padarath’s outburst is bigoted, insensitive, and an affront to the right of freedom of religion.
She adds Padarath’s assertions are incorrect says the Ministry’s policy allows schools to cater for students religious, and cultural practices.
Akbar says the student in question deserves an unconditional apology for having his religious preferences dragged into the national spotlight by an individual with zero knowledge of the ministry’s policy and no regard for the values of tolerance and respect.
She says there is a vicious strain of religious prejudice in the country.
Akbar adds the ministry will always defend constitutional rights against anyone seeking to use ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or any of the differences that exist among Fijians as tools for division.
She is calling on community leaders, members of civil society, and parliamentarians, including those tagged in the hateful Facebook post, condemn Padarath’s comments.