06/09/2017, 12.31
PHILIPPINES
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Mindanao, Islamic leaders condemn vandalism of Marawi cathedral

The ulama: "Insult to and lack of respect for Islam". Governor Mujiv Hataman: "The terrorists are hypocrites who undermine the true essence of Islam." Regional Darul Ifta: "Attempt to provoke hatred between Muslims and Christians". The army asks social media to remove the video of the attack in order not to feed religious hatred.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews / Cbcp) - Muslim leaders have branded as “un-Islamic” the desecration and burning of St. Mary’s Catholic cathedral by a Islamic State-linked group in Marawi City. The National Ulama Conference of the Philippines said the destruction of religious icons and items used in Mass by the Maute terrorist group, which took place on May 23 last, were acts that deserve the strongest condemnation.

“Let it be known to all that Islam commands all Muslims even in war time to ‘protect places of worship’,” the Ulama said. The Muslim clerics said that the incident was a “blatant disrespect and disregard” of the teachings of Islam. “They do not represent Islam but enemy of Islam,” they said.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) also criticized the local terror group that brought violence to the country’s only Islamic city. In a strong statement, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the actions of the Maute group were “inhumane and unacceptable”. “These terrorists are nothing but hypocrites who undermine the true essence of Islam,” he said. “They are the worst of the creation.”

The Regional Darul Ifta, the region’s highest Islamic authority, also deplored the incident and called it “evil”. “The Regional Darul Ifta strongly condemns the killing of Christians, the burning, destroying and desecrating of the church in Marawi City,” it said. According to them, the incident was perpetrated “to arouse hatred between good Muslims and Christians in the region.”

The same opinion was expressed by the Filipino military summits, which on June 7 asked social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to remove the video of the Maute attack in an attempt to turn the conflict into a war of religion. Gen. Restituto Padilla, a military spokesman, also urged citizens not to share the video, which shows that militants snatch a picture of Pope Francis, break down a crucifix, trample and set fire to some religious statues.

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