The Islamic spirit of standing in awe of the supreme God, upholding peace and justice, helping the weak and the poor, promoting social stability, being content with what one is and working hard is what Taiwan needs most at present, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.
Chen urged Muslims in Taiwan to introduce the doctrine and spirit of Islam to their compatriots to enhance exchanges between the Islamic community and various other sectors of society.
The president made the remarks during a meeting with a Taiwanese Muslim delegation which recently concluded an annual pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Chen said that this is the fourth consecutive year that he has met the returning Muslim pilgrims and said that through the meeting, he hopes to express the government's concern for the development of Islam to promote religious harmony.
Chen said that the government always pays great attention to religious development and encourages all religions in Taiwan to communicate with one another to promote mutual tolerance and respect and to serve as a driving force for stability, peace and prosperity.
Although there are only 50,000 to 60,000 Muslims in Taiwan, the minority religion is respected and enjoys full protection under the country's laws, he said.
With more than 2.5 million Muslims from over 170 countries making the pilgrimage to Mecca this year, and after hundreds of people were killed in a tragic stampede, it is fortunate that all the pilgrims from Taiwan returned home safe and sound, he said.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
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A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking