08/12/2019, 14.39
PHILIPPINES
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As Filipino Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, Silsilah sees it as an occasion for peace

The Islamic-Christian dialogue movement released a message of good wishes, inspired by the Document on Human Brotherhood signed by the Pope and the Great Imam of Al-Azhar. The “Abrahamic faith shared by Jewish people, Christians and Muslims can help us and people of other faiths to reaffirm the priority of God, accepting the differences of religions.”

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – Almost 5.1 million Muslims (about 6 per cent of the Filipino population) today celebrated the Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s most important holy days. The Silsilah[i] movement for dialogue released a message addressed to them.

In recent years, Islamic fundamentalism has found fertile ground in the Philippines trying to expand its influence. However, many initiatives of solidarity have been undertaken in the country. For example, members of the Islamic community in Baguio, northern Luzon Island, spent yesterday protecting the Cathedral of Our Lady of Atonement (picture 2) following rumours about terrorist plans to attack local Catholic churches and pilgrimage sites.

For Imam Samsodin Monib, Muslims in Baguio will be the first to respond "if extremists attack your church and our church". If an attack were to succeed, between 8,000 and 10,000 Muslims would “bleed like Christians," he added.

In the world, religions "can contribute to peace and the feast of Eid al-Adha is a great occasion for the Muslim Umma to find the way to move towards peace,” this according to the message of good wishes the Movement for Dialogue Silsilah addressed this year to Filipino Muslims on the "Feast of the Sacrifice".

Also known as Greater Bayram, the celebration refers to the test of faith Abraham overcame when he showed willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to respect God’s will.

According to Islamic tradition, unblemished animals are sacrificed in commemoration of the ram that God use to replace Abraham’s son. Usually, the family keeps one-third of the share, whilst the rest is given to the poor and needy.

"Guided by this message, we are invited in this occasion to remember the many poor of our society. [. . .] There are many forms of poverty today and we are called to face them together as people who belong to the same Human Family,” read the statement.

Citing the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Joint Living", signed on 4 February in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the great imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, and inspired by this milestone in Christian-Islamic dialogue, Silsilah intends to "tell all, including Muslims who [. . .] experience divisions among themselves."

“[A]ccumulated negative feelings of hatred [. . .] can be considered a great form of poverty of our society. We can also identify similar situations around the world and in the Philippines where fear and hatred are spread even on the level of some religious groups.”

Noting the "awakening religious conscience” that Pope Francis and the great imam offer as an antidote to extremism, Silsilah’s statement goes on to say: "It is important on the occasion of the EId al Adha to reaffirm that the Abrahamic faith shared by Jewish people, Christians and Muslims can help us and people of other faiths to reaffirm the priority of God, accepting the differences of religions.”

Last but not least, "we hope that the culture of dialogue as mentioned in the Document on Human Fraternity will become the path, mutual cooperation the code of conduct, reciprocal understanding the method and standard."


[i]Arabic for chain, bond.

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