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Samoa Republic to Ban Muslims on Its Territory despite Pope Francis’ Appeal for Compassion

( [email protected] ) May 26, 2016 12:16 PM EDT
An influential Christian church leader in the South Pacific island republic of Samoa is urging the government to enact a law that bans the entry of Muslims into the country, labelling them as a security threat.
Pope Francis greets Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at the Vatican. The two differ in stand on Muslim refugees. Photo: Reuters

An influential Christian church leader in the South Pacific island republic of Samoa is urging the government to enact a law that bans the entry of Muslims into the country, labelling them as a security threat.

Ma'auga Motu, the secretary general of the Samoa Council of Churches, said he doesn't want to sound rude to Islam, but there is nothing wrong with being security conscious as bad elements might exploit the refugee crisis and infiltrate and disturb the peace of other countries.

His pessimism is shared by a group of anti-immigrant in Germany which argued that Islam is not compatible with the German constitution. Their wits subjugated the compassion Pope Francis is asking from the international community for the refugees from war-torn countries of Middle East.

The call for a ban is infructuous to the relationship between Christian and Muslims, and is discriminatory, a Muslim leader of Samoa said.

Mohammed Bin Yahya, chief Imam of the Republic, said Christians should learn not to discriminate, and that a ban could severely damage trade relations.

Muslims counts only .03 percent of the 200,000 population of the country, which used to be a colony of New Zealand until it gained independence in 1962.

Motu said he doesn't care if he is to be compared with US presidential candidate Donald Trump, who suggested last year of a ban on Muslims entering the Unites States, as long as his country is safe from bad influence and threat.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had earlier called for a review of the provisions of religious freedom, saying he wanted the Constitution explicitly pro-Christian.

But Motu said an amendment to the provisions on religious freedom is not enough.

"What is needed is a total ban, not just an amendment to the constitution," he pointed out.