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‘Be tolerant of others’ beliefs’ – Hon Myron V. Walwyn

-Happy that non-Muslims & locals supported Muslim peace march
Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn called on Virgin Islanders to be tolerant of each other’s religious beliefs, emphasizing the point that such freedoms to practice religion were something that was denied to the slaves. Photo: VINO
A section of the congregation on Sunday August 3, 2014. Photo: VINO
A section of the congregation on Sunday August 3, 2014. Photo: VINO
A section of the commemorative march on Sunday prior to the start of the service. Photo: VINO
A section of the commemorative march on Sunday prior to the start of the service. Photo: VINO
Non-Muslims and locals also took part in the Muslim peace march on July 29, 2014. Photo: VINO/File
Non-Muslims and locals also took part in the Muslim peace march on July 29, 2014. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn called on Virgin Islanders to be tolerant of each other’s religious beliefs, emphasizing the point that such freedom to practice religion was denied the slaves.

He was speaking at a service at the Sunday Morning Well on Sunday August 3, 2014 which took place following a Christian march to the Well to mark the end of slavery 180 years ago.

In his address Hon Walwyn cited the Muslim peace march held on July 29, 2014 against the atrocities in the Gaza Strip and said that he was pleased to see non-Muslims and locals taking part in that march.

“The advent of Emancipation along with the hard work and determination of our ancestors have allowed us to enjoy several other freedoms in the Virgin Islands today. Freedoms, such as freedom of speech, the freedom to articulate our own point of view, to share in discourse or debate, to challenge the status quo without fear or torment or torture,” he said.

“We have freedom to assemble and to associate, to meet in groups socially, to meet in groups to discuss issues or concerns, to gather in celebration and not to worry that because we are associated with certain persons or groups we will be targeted or victimized,” he said.

“We have political freedom…the ability to exercise our rights to support any political ideology, the capacity and possibility for action and the exercise of social rights without being thrown in jail or worse, being put to death,” said Hon Walwyn.

“We also have religions freedom…as a community or individual…to choose which religion we follow or the freedom to leave or to discontinue that religion without fear of persecution,” he said.

“I take this time to remind all of us that while we enjoy these freedoms our ancestors did not always have, as citizens and good stewards of those freedoms as also have a responsibility to the memory of those freed slaves and a responsibility to this land that we remain so connected to,” he said.

“We have a responsibility to use our free speech to speak out about wrong in our community, not with the intent to be malicious or vindictive but rather ensure the proper development of our country. We have a responsibility to use our free speech to enlighten or educate our fellow men, particularly when we are in positions of influence and authority,” he said.

“That free speech should never be used to speak falsely or misleadingly to cause unnecessary emotional turmoil in the community or to tarnish our fellow men for our own personal gain,” he said.

“Here in the Virgin Islands we see that many persons have come to live among us. While we maintain our culture we should also be tolerant of others and equally find common ground and ways to appreciate other’s culture,” he said.

“That is why I was pleased to see that when the Muslims in our community exercised the right to gather, marching against issues currently affecting Palestine, non-Muslims and locals were also supportive of their human right to do so,” he said.

20 Responses to “‘Be tolerant of others’ beliefs’ – Hon Myron V. Walwyn”

  • jack (07/08/2014, 09:20) Like (8) Dislike (12) Reply
    What a hypocritical fool when he hates press freedom
  • Kingfish (07/08/2014, 09:37) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
    Can’t believe this man after being one of the most divisive politicians in the BVI…but I guess he read something given to him by Glover park of Barnes but he certainly not living this!!! more spin, smoke and mirrors!!!
  • Scary Mary (07/08/2014, 10:33) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    For the first time, I agree with everything the minister of education and culture has to say!

    I am never malicious or vindictive in the comments I make on the blogs. I realize some are, but I usually state my support or opposition to what the government of the day may be doing. If stating an opposing viewpoint, or disagreeing with the minister or his government, that should not be construed as malicious or vindictive. It is what it is - an opposing viewpoint.

    I happen to believe this government is doing the exact opposite to what it SHOULD be doing as the times and the territory's finances dictate. This government is busy building expensive new things upon a foundation that is crumbling - and they are robbing Peter to pay Paul to do it. They are WRONG (in my humble opinion) and that is not in the least bit malicious or vindictive, I am simply stating the facts AS I SEE THEM.

    In my opinion, this is the time to put every red cent we have into rebuilding our infrastructure. Schools, roads, power and water supply, sewerage, fixing and maintaining government owned facilities and cleaning up the place once and for all. This is the time to invest in a future that we can build on without the pilings we build upon crumbling beneath our feet. A shiny new hospital is wonderful, but we can't even afford to furnish or staff it properly. How much sense does that make?

    What we want and what we need are two entirely different things. We must concentrate on our NEEDS right now!

    Start with a new and much expanded ferry terminals in both West End and Road Town. Worry about expanding the airport at a later date when airlines will be more likely to provide regularly scheduled flights to the BVI. Get the ferry companies in line and pass legislation governing minimum requirements in regards to their schedules, the level of service offered and the reliability of their equipment. As it stands, it is abominable. They have let us all down badly.

    Every month, some government department or school is complaining about poor working conditions, roofs leaking, air conditioning not working, insufficient computer systems, insufficient staff, insufficient supplies, mould, etc. Yet the government is off building even more things they haven't budgeted sufficient funds to properly maintain.

    What has government done to further the use of solar power and other alternative energy sources - aside from paying the whole concept a bunch of lip service with a little pilot project we have heard very little about?

    The government is busy making sure that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald can strut their stuff down main street and that Mr. Johnson's clients at Oil Nut Bay can fly in on their private jets, instead of looking after our basic infrastructure.

    So this is me, stating my political beliefs and I trust the minister is good with that and that he will be tolerant of my opinion.
    • tretretrete (07/08/2014, 11:54) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      Scary Mary

      You are not making complete sense. In order to invest in roads infrastructure etc. we need revenue generating initiatives. The bank will give money for a pier that is proven to generate money, they will not give money for schools unless they know how they will be paid back. Let's be real here man. We are paying civil servants over $200mil and for what? They pay no pensions and always want raise. How long can we sustain that? Let the Government develop the country so money can come in and then we use that money to rebuild. The roads, water, sewage, schools etc. are all being worked on right now so it's not fair to say that nothing is being done. The Government ordered an asphalt plant, 12 tonne roller and a milling machine. The milling machine takes up the entire old road, crush it and use the material for proper base. That way we don't have asphalt ontop of asphalt watching the sidewalks and man holes disappear. Now we can finally fix the roads. Biwater (as bad is it is) should be pumping water soon, although expensive water. I guess Government will get the blame for that too, when water becomes much more expensive. The BVIEC is about to purchase 2 new engines for Pock Wood Pond from Wartsilla to upgrade power capacity. This is already in motion and should be completed within the next 1-2yrs. The technical school is being completed which will offer many more programs and take some strain off ESHS. Plans are already in motion to split ESHS into Jr. and Sr. High. VG is getting upgraded recreational facilities and their new health facility. Sewage works are ongoing in Road Town and East End. These things can't happen overnight. All these things happening while UK down our throats and we have to put money in reserves. Let's be realistic here. NDP have done a few things wrong, they don't listen sometimes, they have went down some wrong paths. But overall it's not fair to say they are not looking after infrastructure. We have very short memories. Can you remember what this place looked like in 2011? Do you? I hope someone is keeping track and have pictures ready for the naysayers. Rubbish.
  • ... (07/08/2014, 10:35) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    go try Myron
    • can't wait to vote (07/08/2014, 23:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      two faced wickedness and this is why the citizens hate them so!
  • ??? (07/08/2014, 11:01) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Where were the arabs/muslims??? They were not there!!!
  • egg face (07/08/2014, 11:02) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Actions speak lower than words
  • @@@@@@ (07/08/2014, 12:51) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    People suffering people hungry people homeless and these inhuman animals just don't care, yet still they coming just and campaign to we about tolerants
  • just (07/08/2014, 13:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arab. The local Muslim population consist of different race and ethnicity. The president for the Muslims in the bvi is an indigenous local.
    Lots of local Muslims as well.
  • BS (07/08/2014, 18:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does he hate the jews
  • JACK BE STILL (07/08/2014, 20:21) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    Myron talk more crap then a lose mongoose
  • Not sarcastic (08/08/2014, 07:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    once he got in office mvw hs been a longtime opponent of tolerants
  • COME AGAIN (08/08/2014, 20:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This government is subjective, illicit, injudicious and rapacious. Life for them at the trough of the treasury has been so gratifying, they don't ever want to leave. There is no limit as to what they will do to hold on to power and here but tolerant
  • ??????? (09/08/2014, 11:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can we be truly tolerant in our thinking, when myron continue to foster divisions within our society,i.e. politics, skin color, ndo/vip, ‘big/little man, etc.
  • masses (10/08/2014, 01:37) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Can you imagine another four years of Myron or the NDP (God forbid)
  • hoa (10/08/2014, 01:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    That would be refreshingif Myron means what he says. We should practice what we preach in our own House.

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