07/18/2009, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Muslims condemn attacks in Mindanao and pray for the victims

A Group of Muslim Organizations calls for transparent government investigations into the attacks of early July that hit the island. The aim is to avoid speculation that could undermine dialogue with Christians.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "This is not a conflict between Muslims and Christians. We resolve not to allow these dastardly acts to successfully sow suspicion and animosity”.  The group of Muslim associations Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) has thus commented on the attacks of early July that hit 5 cities in Mindanao causing 12 deaths.

Representatives of CBCS are asking the government to clarify what happened through an inquiry led by an "independent and credible” body.  The risk of speculation is high and could cause a rift in dialogue between Christians and Muslims. They argue that "many of the reports after the attack in Cotabato are ambiguous. They put the bomb inside the cathedral, while the explosion took place near the building”. The Muslim leaders continue, saying that "the people of Mindanao can not allow a return to confrontation between Christians and Muslims that bloodied the island in the 1970’s”.

The members of the Muslim association condemn the attacks and say they are "united in their intent to console and comfort the families of the victims" and their "prayers are to achieve a genuine peace."

In 2008 the CBCS organized a "rally" for peace in the city of Marawi. On that occasion, the association urged the UN and the Conference of Islamic Organizations for immediate action to bring about a peaceful settlement of the conflict. This allowed for the resumption of dialogue between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the government in Manila, a dialogue that is still in ongoing.

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society is a group of organizations that includes 168 Muslim NGOs and associations. For years it has been active in the peace process between MILF and the Filipino army.

 
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