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Padarath needs to wake up: Raj

February 26, 2021 12:40 pm
Ben Padarath and Director for the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj.

Ben Padarath has been told to wake up and take a hard look at our social space in which children from diverse backgrounds despite their social location, are flourishing in a multicultural country.

Padarath singled out the head boy of a Muslim school asking why he has been allowed to grow a beard.

Director for the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, Ashwin Raj says every Fijian child, irrespective of race, religion, gender or any other marker of difference has the constitutional right to education and to freedom of religion, conscience and belief.

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Raj says it’s saddening to note that Ben Padarath is trying to sow seeds of division based on racial and religious differences.

He also hopes that those politicians that Padarath has so approvingly tagged in the shameful social media post can remind him of this changing reality even if they do not have the temerity to openly speak out against him because it may not be politically convenient.

Raj says our children and education remain the last bastions of hope in combating intolerance and fostering a culture of respect for diversity and difference.

The Commission intervened in this matter knowing full well that today the target is headscarves, tomorrow it will be the crucifixion symbol, then the turbans or any other religious emblem.

He adds that if we remain quiet today because the child that is being targeted and incriminated is not one of us, then someone else will also turn a blind eye when hatred, intolerance and bigotry knocks on your door staking its claim on your child. We are also expected to speak to Ben Padarath today.

Padarath when also asked if he was still a member of the Fiji Larbor Party, he has refused to answer this.

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