DAVAO CITY—Dr. Abu Ameen Bilal Philips, the Islamic preacher who was detained by authorities on Sunday, denied any links to international ‘terrorist’ groups.
“I have never had any links nor have I ever been accused before of having links to any terrorist group,” Philips said, reacting to the statement of Regional Director Chief Superintendent Wendy Rosario who claimed that Philips was a “threat to national security.”
Philips said the accusation was “a series of irresponsible, inflammatory and inaccurate statements,” he said.
“Please allow the due process of law to take its course. The false allegations and misunderstandings circulating in the media will be tackled legally in order to clear my name and lift the ban on any future visits to the Philippines,” Philips appealed.
He clarified that he was giving a public lecture when authorities nabbed him last Sunday.
“I did not lecture in any mosque in Davao. My lecture on ‘Raising Righteous Children’ was a public lecture in the Sunny Point Hotel auditorium attended by Muslims and non-Muslims,” said Philips.
Earlier, it was reported that Philips was also banned in US, Australia, U.K and Germany because of his alleged involvement with Islamic militants in the Middle East.
But in his statement Thursday, Philips said that “because of a narrow policy of the US and inhospitable atmosphere, I prefer not to go to US. Not to mention the actual meaning of American label placed on me as an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 attempted bombing of the World Trade Center.”
Philips said:”In normal language, “un-indicted” simply means “no charges have been filed against me due to lack of evidence”, and “co-conspirator” means “guilty by association”, that someone who the authorities arrested had my name in their telephone book, or they were seen shaking hands with me, or they prayed next to me in a mosque.”
On his three year ban in the United Kingdom, Philips said that the ban was a result of a misquoted statement he gave in a television program.
“My statement was taken out of context from a video program originally made in 1995 and rebroadcast along with my other programs continuously in Sharjah TV, UAE. Since 2003, it has already been successfully demonstrated to Canadian Immigration authorities that I was misquoted.”
Australia and Kenya consequently issued bans following “blindly” to the American and British edicts, Philips said.
“As for the German lifetime ban unilaterally issued by the Mayor of Frankfurt, it was thrown out of court in Germany last year. The Mayor’s appeal was also rejected by the higher courts, he was made to cover all court costs and the ban was lifted,” he said.
He added, “I was not banned or deported from Bangladesh earlier this year as falsely reported. I entered the country and left on my own will.”
Philips was also blacklisted in Zamboanga City which caused strong condemnation from the Moro groups in Mindanao especially in Marawi where he was supposed to give a Da’wah—or Islamic preaching.
“I personally decided not to go to Zamboanga when the Mayor of Zamboanga withdrew her support by cancelling the venue and her provision of government security forces,” Philips explained, this even as organizers assured him of safety.
On the other hand, Zamboanga Mayor Bing Climaco, in her Facebook page, said “it is best to let the people judge the issue for themselves by taking a close look at the facts made available by the police and military.”
“They make it appear that it is only me who is the enemy, so be it, because I will do everything I can to protect the people of Zamboanga,” Climaco said, reacting to the allegations of Moro group in Marawi City that she ordered Philip’s ban in Zamboanga City. (davaotoday.com)