PASAY CITY, Metro Manila (DWDD) – Muslim scholars of the National Capital Region gathered in Manila on May 15, 2018 to condemn terrorism and reaffirm the principles of the Charter of Medina.
The assembly was organized jointly by the Imam Council of the Philippines, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Filipino-Arab Alliance for Socio-Economic Development, Union of Madaris Teachers Asaditz Federation in the Philippines, Muslim Affairs Consultative Council (Barangay Matandang Balara, QuezoN City) and the Philippine Shari’ah Advocates, all based in the NCR.
They have witnessed that conditions in the various parts of the Muslim world have deteriorated dangerously due to the use of violence and armed struggle as a tool for settling conflicts and imposing one’s point of view. This situation has also weakened the authority of government and enabled criminal groups to issue edicts attributed to Islam, but which, alarmingly distort its fundamental principles and goals in ways that have seriously harmed to population as a whole.
This year marks the 1,402nd anniversary of the Charter of Medina, a constitutional contract between the Prophet Mohammad, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and the people of Medina, which guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of faith.
Noting the gravity of the current situation affecting Muslims as welll as peoples of other faiths in NCR and throughout the Philippines, and after through deliberation and discussion, the convened Muslim scholars:
They declared their firm commitment to the principles articulated in the Charter of Medina provisions that contained number of the principles of constitutional contractual citizenship, such as freedom of movement, property ownership, mutual solidarity and defense, as well as principles of justice and equality before the law, and that,
They also noted that deep reflection upon the various crises affecting Filipino communities brought about by violent extremism and terrorism committed in the name of religious underscores the inevitable and urgent need for cooperation among all religious groups, affirming that such cooperation is based on the “Common Word,” requiring that such cooperation must go beyond mutual tolerance and respect, to provide full protection for the rights and liberties of all religious groups in a civilized manner that exchews coercion, bias and arrogance.
The Imams and Astidz declared that violent extremism and terrorism are not in accordance of Islam and, that Filipino Muslims cannot use the path of the Islamic Stat of iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah, Daullah Islamiyah, Maute Group, Abu Sayyaf Group, and other similar-minded groups.
They called upon fellow Muslim scholars and intellectuals in the NCR and the rest of the Philippines to stand against violent extremism and terrorism as means to settle differences in pursuit of ideological, political or religious objectives, and instead promote peaceful dialogue, observe rule of law, and respect individual differences towards building harmonious relationship among our people with different faiths.
They urged Muslim educational institutions and authorities to prevent use of any educational curricula that instigate aggression and extremism, leading to war and chaos, and resulting to the destruction of our shared communities.
They also call upon political leaders and decision makers to take the political and legal steps necessary to establish a constitutional relationship among citizens, and to support all formulations and initiatives that aim to strengthen understanding and fortify harmonious relations among various religious groups.
They also called upon various religious groups, media and civil society organizations to unite against prejudice, intolerance and all forms of religious bigotry, vilification, and denigration that hamper shared living in our country; restore our shared trust that has been eroded by extremist using acts of terror and aggression; and confront all forms of speeches and literature in print, radio, television, or social media that promote hatred and bigotry.
Finally, they affirmed that it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of other citizens of different beliefs. AES / Photos AM Glen Gultian PAF / MCAG