Moderate Muslims, civil society condemn burning of Christian places of worship


By Julmunir I. Jannaral, Correspondent

COTABATO CITY: The Philippine Islamic Council and Center for Moderate Muslims (PICCMM) has condemned the recent burning of Christian places of worship in North Cotabato reportedly by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels that have been locked in fierce combat with the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), while the Maradeka civil society group urged both Muslims and Christians to embrace the path of peace.

Prof. Taha Basman, PICCMM chairperson, Sunday said, “We condemn the burning of churches and the mounting destruction and heavy collateral damage inflicted on innocent civilian sectors of the society—Muslims and Christians alike.”

Basman cited the burning last week of the San Isidro de Labrador Chapel in Midsayap, North Cotabato allegedly by the MILF rebels at the height of the firefighting in North Cotabato.

The burning of the chapel at Barangay Patindegen, Midsayap was confirmed by Carlos Bautista, provincial information chief of the Province of North Cotabato, according to Basman, who is also a Unesco commissioner.

“The Muslims and Christians numbering more than 1.5 billion each worldwide cannot avoid each other everywhere. And we cannot annihilate each other in any way which is a historical fact. So we must love and respect one another, instead. God will love us more for loving, not killing His creatures,” Basman said.

Basman said that while he shared many of the points raised by North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Piñol on the issue of ancestral domain and the occupation of some of the province’s villages by the MILF rebels, he appealed to national and local leaders to stop making inflammatory statements that can reignite war after the situation has normalized.

Basman who is an advocate of moderation among Muslims also urged both Christian and Muslim residents of Mindanao in particular to “rise above the current crisis in this stage of the peace negotiations, and advocate for peace not war.”

Similarly, Nash Pangadapun, secretary-general of Maradeka, which is an alliance of Bangsamoro peace advocates, also urged the Christians and Muslims to embrace the path of peace and refrain from obstructing it if only to give harmonious peace and security to every citizen of Mindanao.

“We have been longing for peace in Mindanao and to finally put an end to the long festering Mindanao conflict but the Supreme Court had acceded to the innuendos of the obstructionists and staunchest enemies of peace in Mindanao like Vice Governor Piñol and his cohorts,” Pangadapun said. (ManilaTimes)

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My Take:

I totally agree.  Both parties can go to war but they should be responsible enough to observe the rights of others, specially the nn-combatants, civilians, and the structures that is not cnnected in any way to the warring group’s concern.

I am calling for a deeper investigatioon too, as to who are the real perpetrators, in order for us not to point accusing fingers to wrong directions.

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One Response to “Moderate Muslims, civil society condemn burning of Christian places of worship”

  1. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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