Jersey’s Bailiff has used the opportunity of his first visit to the Island’s Islamic Centre to stress the need for tolerance and understanding.
Addressing the congregation at the centre - a converted Methodist church in Aquila Road – William Bailhache - accompanied by his wife, and the Lieutenant-Governor and his wife – called for the Island’s various communities to come together.
In his address he said: "We do not discriminate against people who wear a cross as a symbol of Jesus Christ their Redeemer, or those who wear the kippah or skull cap to fulfil the requirement in Jewish law that a man cover his head in prayer, or those who wear the hijab, the partial veil regarded by many, although not all Muslims, not only as a symbol of religion but also as a symbol of modesty, of privacy and morality. These principles of non-discrimination we must adopt ourselves, and instil in our children and grandchildren.”
In a world where many commentators report a rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism, the Bailiff added: “The important thing in Jersey is that although we are part of our own different communities, we form a single community together. In order to ensure that there is no discrimination which leads to the differences between us no longer being respected, we need to be integrated and to act together. “
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