28th September 2000


Islam under threat in Papua New Guinea

Islam came to PNG in 1980. Since then it has been growing and expanding steadily in the mainly Christian inhabited country. Recently the Home Affairs Minister of PNG, Andrew Kumbakor said that the government is working on changing the law to control the emergence of non-Christian religions. His comments which were reported by the press were both Islamophobic and alarming.

“We don’t want Muslims to come to this country. We already have the Melanesian religion and Christianity. We will come up with an amendment to the constitution or come up with a separate legislation that will set up measures to control the emergence of different religions.”

In a briefing document titled ‘The Incursion of Islam into Papua New Guinea: A Warning’ for the Minister, Islam is virtually blamed for all the misfortunes of the world. The document cited that Muslims have a definite agenda and that is political takeover. Elsewhere the paper tried to put some terror in the hearts of the people by saying that if Islam is allowed to be practised there it would cause a jihad war against the Christians. Even criminal acts are being attributed to Islam in the way that the Koran encourages criminal activities and covert military training as alleged in Afghanistan and southern Philippines. In conclusion the document stated:

‘Islam is a dangerous and a very serious threat to peace and unity of this great nation. The advent of and propagation of the Islamic religion will be a future time-bomb for PNG.’

‘PNG must remain a Christian country for a better future.’ [Emphasis is the author(s)]

Requested Action
Please write to the Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to voice your objection to this recent action by the Home Affairs Minister and tell him not to allow his government to take drastic action in banning Islam. Tell him that it is the right of every people to adhere to his faith and that Islam is a religion of peace and not war as proposed by the briefing document above.

Also write to the foreign secretary of your country and ask the Minister to raise this issue when meeting with his counterpart.

Address to write to:
Sir Kina Bona K.B.E. (High Commisioner in UK)
Papua New Guinea High Commission: 3rd Floor, 14 Waterloo Place, SW1R 4AR.

British Foreign Secretary, Rt. Hon. Robin Cook MP, FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AA [END]