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Cablegate: Successful Eid Dinner in Mauritius

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPL #0675 3111143
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071143Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2744
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0039
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0252

UNCLAS PORT LOUIS 000675

SIPDIS

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SCUL MP KISL KPAO
SUBJECT: SUCCESSFUL EID DINNER IN MAURITIUS

1. Ambassador Cabrera hosted a very successful dinner with Mauritian
Muslim leaders on November 6 to mark Eid al Fitr. Among the record
number of guests were Acting President Raouf Bundhun, most of the
Muslim members of parliament (MP) from all parties, the Deputy
Supreme Court justice, many top government officials and business
leaders, and senior religious personalities. The owner of one of
the country's two Muslim newspapers, Reza Issack, who is also Lord
Mayor of Port Louis and an MP, participated as did the Egyptian and
Pakistani High Commissioners and their deputies. The Embassy's
Muslim staff attended as guests.

2. Ambassador Cabrera welcomed the guests and conveyed some of
President Bush's remarks on the meaning and importance of Ramadan.
President of the World Islamic Research and Advisory Council Idriss
Mahmaud spoke at length about the universality and centrality of the
Koran's emphasis on love and faith. He emphasized how Ramadan
serves to bring observant Muslims closer to Allah. U.S. Navy Senior
Chaplain Captain Ronnie King, drew on his relationships with other
military chaplains and his work for the Combined Joint Task Force -
Horn of Africa, to speak movingly on the need for respectful
dialogue among religious leaders. Captain King's contribution was
one of the highlights of the evening. Acting President Bundhun
closed the by warmly welcoming Ambassador Cabrera to Mauritius.

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3. In conversation with Emboffs, some guests cited their
simultaneous efforts to fight extremism within Islam and
anti-Islamic sentiment around the world. Many guests said they were
pleased with the efforts made by the Embassy to promote
communication and understanding with the Muslim community. There
was no discussion of the Saddam Hussein verdict and little
discussion of U.S. foreign policy in general.

4. This was the Embassy's second successive Eid dinner. Nissar
Ramtoola, President of the Jummah Mosque, suggested in 2005 that a
dinner after Ramadan would provide a longer and more relaxing
environment than an Iftaar during Ramadan which is constrained by
obligations to pray and attend mosque. Acting President Bundhun and
others commented that this Eid dinner was more enjoyable and
appropriate than an Iftaar dinner.

CABRERA

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