Ulama League decry internet ruse of ‘Muslims are not Filipinos’

Sep. 10, 2008

Davao City-That Muslims living in the country are not Filipinos is a sweeping remark that only widens the cultural gap and will not serve the cause of peace and unity especially in Mindanao where Islam believers are an indigenous part of its culture life and history.

This was the response made by some 12 aleems (bishops) and ustadz (pastors) in a press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency.

Aleem Mahmod Adilao, chairman of the Ulama League of the Philippines for southern Mindanao, took exception to the internet swipe “Muslims are not Filipinos” as he called on fellow Filipinos to give due respect to the Muslim community not only during this month’s observance of Ramadhan.

Adilao said while it is true that not all Filipinos are Muslims, being Muslim is a practice of faith and religion while we profess being Filipino by practice and birth. Islam is our religion and Filipino, our nationality, he said.

Mohamad Akil Ainin, first cousin of a local police hero retired colonel Tadjirol Ainin said he believed the internet ruse used plain trickery of words and only aims to divide Filipinos.

Ainin, a Muslim of Tausug is Ustadz to a 3,000-strong Muslim community at the coastal barangay of Piapi in the heart of the city, leading them to their worship and prayers.

He admitted to being a minority in Barangay 21-C in Quezon boulevard but said they shared a peaceful co-existence with our Christian neighbours, living like brothers and sisters.

The aleems and ustadz held a press conference to call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to seriously consider mayor Rodrigo Duterte to lead in the resurrection of the peace process.

The Ulama League will soon send a letter to Malacaang and inform the Davao City mayor about their position to get people back in the peace negotiating table.(PIA XI)

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