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  • » 07/25/2008, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Muslims of Mindanao against those who threatened the bishop of Basilan



    A statement from Silsilah and other Muslim groups calls "imposters" the self-appointed mujahidin who threatened Bishop Jumoad, demanding that he convert or pay the Islamic tax.

    Manila (AsiaNews) - They are "imposters" who violate true Islam, those who threatened the bishop and the Catholics of Basilan, in the Philippines. This is the strong reaction from Silsilah, a movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue based in Mindanao, and from other Muslim groups, to the message in which it is claimed that by living in Muslim territory, Bishop Martin Jumoad must convert or pay the jizya, the tax established during the Ottoman Empire that guaranteed non-Muslims the right to practice their faith, and assured their protection.

    The letter, which the bishop received open last Friday, and a copy of which was made available to the Filipino press, was signed by Paruji Indama and Nur Hassan J. Kallitut, who claim to be mujahidin. In it, they give the bishop fifteen days to reply, otherwise "we will consider you our enemies". The bishop says it is not the first threat he has received, and demonstrates a dangerous tendency in the area - part of the region of Mindanao, where Muslims are 70% of the inhabitants - where the situation is getting "out of control".

    "It is very sad", reads the statement from Silsilah (the president of which is Fr Sebastiano D'Ambra, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), "that some people, who want to give a wrong impression of Islam, simply select a few words from the Qur'an and distort them and put them in the wrong context, all in order to prove that Islam supports violence and evil motive". "For how long", continues the statement, "shall we endure the pain and the distortion being committed in our midst? The time has come for the Muslim majority who are silent to be vocal and vigilant, to face those impostors and not to allow them anymore to desecrate the holy name of Islam".

    After recalling that Mohammed rejected the use of violence to impose religion, and called for respect for believers, the document calls upon Muslims and the faithful of other religions to "unite to confront the forces of evil that once again threaten our peaceful coexistence".

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    See also

    27/12/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Mindanao Muslims celebrate Christmas too

    Muslim leaders in the region, which has seen violent inter-religious clashes, have urged collaboration and tolerance, the only path to development and peace.



    29/12/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Bishops: optimism over resumption of dialogue between government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front
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    12/04/2010 PHILIPPINES
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    The Muslim majority region has been a theatre of war between the army and Islamic rebels for over 40 years. Fr. Randy Glore Rendora and Sr. Claire Marie R. Sy, both missionaries in the province of Lanao del Sur (Mindanao), tell AsiaNews about their experience of inter-faith dialogue among Muslims.

    27/08/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Cardinal Rosales: "Bishops and ulemas, agents in the peace process in Mindanao"
    The archbishop of Manila, back from a trip to the island, calls upon the joint Christian-Muslim commission to work to restore stability to the area, and to promote an agreement between the MILF and the government. Chemical materials discovered, used by Islamic rebels to make explosives.

    13/10/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Philippines, member of Abu Sayyaf arrested for killing of Fr. Roda
    The missionary, who was the pastor of Tabawan for 20 years, was killed last January 15 during a kidnapping attempt. In the past, he had received threats from fundamentalists, because of his work for the disadvantaged and for the promotion of interreligious dialogue. The arrest was made by a navy unit.



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