Muslim group condemns violent extremism, terrorism

MANILA In compliance with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's directive to establish unity among Filipinos in the country, a group of Muslims from the National Capital Region (NCR) has come together to promote the true meaning and practice of Islam which involves peaceful way of living.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), NCR Mufti Aleem Naquib Taher said that he, together with other Muslim scholars and sector leaders, condemns violent extremism and terrorism which are practiced by other Muslims.

"Ang nangyari sa Marawi ay di gawa ng mga totoong Muslim iyan kung hindi ng mga third party para sirain ang mapayapang pamumuhay ng mga Muslim sa isang community (What happened in Marawi was not done by true Muslims but by a third party to destroy the peaceful living of Muslims in a community)," Taher said.

"Maraming Muslims sa Mindanao ang nag-declare ng ganyan pero dito kami sa (There are many Muslims in Mindanao who have declared the same condemnations but here in) Metro Manila, this is the first time we declared the condemnation against acts of terrorism in the Philippines. Although there are some Muslims who are doing this, it doesn't mean that they represent the millions of Muslims," he added.

Bagong Muslim Balik Islam sector head, Ustadz Ahmad Barcelon, said that "new Muslim converts are the usual victims of terrorist recruiters in the Philippines."

"Ang mga bagong Muslim ang nagiging biktima ng mga extremist group madalas na-re-recruit para sumama sa terorrism activities kasi sila ang may determinasyon sa pagyakap ng Islam kaya nagpapakalat kami ng tunay na aral ng Islam na ang Islam ay tungkol sa kapayapaan at tunay na pag-ibig sa kapwa (The new Muslim converts are the victims of extremist groups to join terorrism activities as they have the determination to embrace Islam so we are spreading the true teachings of Islam about peace and love for others)," Barcelon said.

He said that their group is working on having a spiritual figure head and a grand Mufti who will provide genuine Islam teachings to be observed by Muslims in Luzon and Visayas.

Unity among Muslims and Christians

Presidential Adviser on Muslim and Overseas Filipino Workers Affairs, Dr. Mamasaranao Cabusaran, said that some 150 Muslim religious leaders convened on May 10 "to uphold their condemnation against terrorism and encourage everyone to their share to building harmonious relationships."

In a three-page statement, the group declared that Filipino Muslims cannot use the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, Daullah Islamiyah, Maute Group, Abu-Sayyaf Group and other similar-minded groups.

The group urged Muslim educational institutions and authorities to prevent the use of any curricula that instigate aggression and extremism - leading to war, chaos and destruction of shared communities.

They also called on the leaders of other religions, civil society organizations and media to unite against prejudice, intolerance, and all forms religious bigotry.

Referring to their statement, Grand Mufti Al-Sheikh Abdel Jabbar Macarimbor said that unity among the Muslims and other people belonging to other religions is a commandment in Islam.

"Iyan ang kautusan ng Maykapal, ang magkaisa ang mga Muslim, para makamit namin ang biyaya ni Allah. Kung magkaka-isa ang mga Muslim, mga Kristiyano at mga indegenous people mababawasan ang mga problema sa Pilipinas, kung mayroong pagkakaiba kailangan unawain ang bawat isa (That is the Almighty's commandment, the Muslims must unite, to receibe the blessings of Allah. If the Muslims, Christians and indegenous people unite problems in the Philippines will decrease, each must be understood if there are differences)," Macarimbor said.

Meanwhile, Commission on Elections' Chief of Judicial Records Division, Dr. Saga Mabaning, said that "the Christians and Muslims must be united in order to have a Filipino united nation."

"Thank you to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for facilitating and expediting the religious activities of our Muslim brothers to unite the humanities especially our Muslim brothers in the Middle East and the entire world. Because of him, there is now a tangible evidence that Muslims and Christians are united, we are now combatting illegal drugs and the eradication of criminalities, including graft and corruption and the institutionalization of reform in the various bureaucracies in the government," Mabanig said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency