Lawmaker urges fellow Muslims to shun violence over videoBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The outrage of Muslims over an incendiary anti-Islam video making the rounds in cyberspace should not translate to violence, a Muslim lawmaker said Monday.
Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong appealed for sobriety from his fellow Muslims even as he denounced the video which had insulted the Prophet Mohammad and was deemed blasphemous and irreverent to the Islam faith.
“I would like, however, to call upon my Muslim brothers and sisters in the country not to take the laws into their hands and show their anger and hatred through violence and destruction,” Loong said in a statement Monday.
But he also said Muslims cannot help but support Muslims throughout the world in condemning the showing of the controversial film.
At the same time, the Sulu lawmaker called on the Philippine government not to stay silent on this issue and join in condemning the production and showing of the anti-Islam film, which Loong added was “against all forms of moral and social ethics.”
He said that even if the Philippines is predominantly Christian, the government could show its support to its Muslim brethren by speaking up against the deed and even urging the United States to promptly put an end to the boiling issue in order to put a stop to the growing Muslim protests and international crisis.
“Such acts by the Philippine government will be taken well by the Muslim Filipinos as this will show that the government is indeed concerned with their welfare and social being, and this will surely help the government in its campaign for peace, unity, and solidarity in Mindanao,” he said.
The video, titled “The Innocence of Muslims,” was purportedly made by an American producer and reportedly shows the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and child molester.
Malacañang has said that it would not ask YouTube to restrict online access to the video in the country.
Loong also noted that the US government could not be directly condemned for the showing of the “horrendous film” because it had not produced it. But he appealed to the US to bring those involved in the film’s production to justice “to answer for their crime to humanity,” and to halt the showing of the video.
“We would also appeal to the US government to immediately stop the showing of this film to pacify the fuming emotion of the Muslims throughout the world,” he said, pointing out that the film has generated so much anti-American sentiment among Muslims worldwide.
He further said the lament of Muslims that the US has been against them and anti-Islam was “simply almost being justified” by the continued showing of the film. Freedom of expression has its limits, he added.
“While the freedom of expression is one of the democratic rights of the people in the US, it cannot justify the showing of the anti-Islam film that has offended not only the Muslim Americans, but all Muslims throughout the world including those in the Philippines,” he said.