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Passion Islam I July 2009 SPECIAL FEATURE I 25
Development Bank. Of the two IDB C.A. Shah, and Mohammed Towahir
Establishment of Fiji Muslim League loan/awards for tertiary studies Khan for the Federation Party and
By 1908 there were about 4000 one is given locally for information Abdul Lateef for the Alliance Party.
Muslims in Fiji, a third of them still technology and the other for the The Muslim Political Front was formed
indentured. In 1915 the Anjuman study of medicine in Pakistan. Most of to advance Muslim political rights and
Hidayat-e-Islam was established in the latter in recent times have been in 1966 it joined the newly formed
Nausori and in 1916 the Anjuman allocated for training Muslim female Alliance Party, but voting trends have
Ishait El Islam was established in doctors; some have qualified and are shown that most Muslims have always
Lautoka. Around Suva there were only working in Fiji. voted for the Party representing Indo-
about 70 Muslims, without a school Besides education, the Fiji Muslim Fijian , showing that their political
or a mosque. But as the number of League from its outset has attempted aspirations are not different from the
Muslims in the capital city steadily to assist in satisfying all the social other 84% of the Fiji Indians.
grew, Anjuman-e-Islam was formed needs of Muslims. Currently its
in 1919. The Fiji Muslim League involvement in social welfare is both Muslim Sports
was formed on 31 October 1926, at national and branch levels. In In 1944 the first Muslim soccer
at a meeting at the Jame Masjid in times of natural disasters or turmoil inter-district tournament was
Toorak. the Fiji Muslim League directly helps organised in Sigatoka by the Fiji
Muslims whose homes and lives are Muslim Sports Association. It has
Maunatul Islam Association of Fiji disrupted. Its charity keeps many since been an annual event and in
Maunatul Islam Association of Fiji families clothed, fed and housed, and 2006, three teams from overseas
(MIAF) represents approximately 30% Muslim children sent to school. featured in the inaugural Fiji Muslim
of the Sunni Muslims in Fiji who are Football Association International
mostly followers of Imam Shafi. The Muslims and Politics Muslim Club Championship. The
followers of Imam Shafi in Fiji are the Since 1929 the Fiji Muslim League Fiji Muslim sports association in
descendants of Muslims of Malayalam has sought to obtain separate association with Fiji Muslim FANCA
origin who came to Fiji under the representation for Muslims, in the Sports Federation is hosting its
indenture system from Kerala in South Legislative Council till 1970, and inaugural club championship during
India between 1903 and 1916. The in Parliament (both the House of Easter Weekend 2007 in Lautoka. 4
other Sunni Muslim organisation in Representatives and the Senate) teams from Australia,5 teams from
Fiji, the Fiji Muslim League, represents since 1970. Except for the period New Zealand and 1 team from USA
all other Sunni Muslims in Fiji who are between 1932 and 1937, Muslims and all district team from Fiji will
mostly followers of Imam Hanafi. The have been represented well in Fiji’s particiapte. This will be annual event
organisation originally operated under Parliament. From 1937 to 1963, there to get the Muslim sports if Fiji amongst
the name of Then India Maunatul was always one Muslim nominated the best.
Islam Association of Fiji since it was into the Legislative Council out of a
officially formed in 1942. One of the total of five Fiji Indian representatives. Muslim Youth
most prominent past President and Thus Muslims were represented There is also a very active youth
Speaker of the Association was the by 20% of the Indian members in movement tracing its origins to the
late Hon S.M. Koya. The Association the Legislative Council, when they 1960s, whose executive meets
owns mosques in Lautoka, Ba and formed approximately 15% of the Fiji regularly and organises camps and
Tavua. Indian population. In the expanded other gatherings for young Muslims.
Legislative Council of 1963, a Muslim, It has a national outreach, with
Role of Fiji Muslim League in Mohammad Sidiq Koya was elected members from high schools as well
Education and Welfare for the first time, and Muslims held 2 as tertiary institutions and university
The Fiji Muslim League has made of the 6 (33%) Indian seats. (The other graduates and professionals in the
valuable contribution in the field of Muslim was nominated member, C.A. workforce. Recently it has organized
education in Fiji. The first school, Shah). In the 1966 election 4 of the a wing to facilitate the interests of
Islamic Girls School, was already in 12 (33%) Indo Fijian members were young educated Muslim women.
existence in 1926 and is today known Muslims. These were Sidiq Koya,
as Suva Muslim Primary School.
Today, the Fiji Muslim League owns
and manages seventeen primary
and five secondary schools plus a
tertiary institution (Islamic Institute of
the South Pacific). The Fiji Muslim
League accepts as students and
staff members of all ethnic groups
domiciled in Fiji. In 2000 its student
population was: 4464 in secondary
and 5243 in primary schools. In
the secondary schools 3015 were
Muslims, 994 Fijians/Christians, and
455 others, including Hindus.
The Fiji Muslim League provides
help for tertiary studies for needy
Muslims through loans from its
Education Trust and the Islamic
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