Mindanao Muslim leaders condemn Paris, Beirut attacks
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Muslim leaders in Mindanao condemned on Monday, the Paris and Beirut terror attacks, which killed more than 150 people, but called for sobriety as some sectors have started to engage in Islamophobia.
Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said the attackers should not be viewed as Muslims because they were “evil.”
Muslims are peace-loving and could not possibly stage such wickedness, according to Hataman.
“These cowardly attacks exposed the evils of men, challenging anew our resolve to collectively fight terrorism and demand justice for the victims,” Hataman said in a statement.
He also called on “peace-loving people of the world…not to be weakened by such trials.”
“(We) should remain faithful to the goodness of people working for peace to reign among us all,” Hataman said.
At least 128 people died when gunmen – said to be Islamists – went on a shooting rampage in five locations in Paris on Friday. More than 40 others were reportedly killed when two bombs exploded in Beirut on Thursday.
Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu also called for prudence among journalists, especially in associating extremism with Islam.
He agreed with Hataman that while the attackers were suspected to be Muslims, labeling them as such would run contrary to “the global campaign for peace and interfaith harmony.”
“I believe the media is the most potent force in fostering understanding and harmony among peoples of all faiths across the globe. But at the rate of what has been happening for decades, the western media tended to have played the contrary,” Mangudadatu said.
“Islam forbids killing but we kept on reading and hearing foreign media reports about heinous crimes being blamed on the so-called extremists or jihadists elements of Islam,” he added.
Terrorism has no place in Islam, according to Mangudadatu who quoted verse 5:32 of the Koran, which says: “Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind.”
A local cleric, Ustadz Ishak Katambak, said in the waging of jihad, “it is forbidden for a Muslim to harm innocent people like children, women, the aged, sick and the like.” SFM