ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson was called out Tuesday, September 12, for reportedly visiting a mosque in Marawi without wearing an appropriate attire.
Jamalodin Basman Mohammad, a registered nurse, said Uson could have worn a hijab when she went inside Jameo Mindanao Al-Islamie, popularly known as the city’s grand mosque.
“We don’t have any problems of her visiting Marawi, but at least show some sensitivity,” Mohammad told Davao Today in a phone interview.
Uson is in hot water for posting her selfie pictures inside the said mosque with her head not covered by a hijab. Women, even if they are not Muslims, are supposed to wear hijab when they enter places of worship for followers of Islam.
“We’re already hurt that our homes have been destroyed, so at least show some respect. It’s as if she’s doing it on purpose,” Mohammad said, noting that this is not the first time Uson has done so.
The government official was with President Duterte yesterday, September 11, when they visited the main battle area in Marawi City as troops continue to fight against the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
She reportedly posted her pictures on her Facebook page, but was taken down after people were calling her out. A Facebook user named Drieza Abato Lininding, however, was able to obtain the said pictures.
Apology, persona non grata
In his Facebook post, Lininding directed his criticism towards President Duterte, who was with Uson at the time they stepped into the mosque without taking their booths off.
He likened the photos to a time ousted president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada visited Camp Abubakar in 2000, when the liberated the site from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
At the time, Estrada was seen in pictures bringing pork and liquor inside the camp.
“The President should apologize for this, if he still care(s) for our feeling,” Lininding said.
Mohammad urged the officials of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City to declare Uson persona non grata in Marawi City and in the whole province of Lanao del Sur.
Adiong: be sensistive
Meanwhile, Zia Adiong, spokesperson of Lanao del Sur Provincial Crisis Management Center, said they are happy of the President’s visit because it only signifies that the war in Marawi is coming to an end.
But he said that “we should avoid actions that may offend our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
In his statement was a picture of Adiong’s 7-year old son and 5-year old nephew during last year’s Eid Fitr congregational prayer inside the Islamic Center.
“You may not find that picture important. That’s my son and my nephew. That’s where Usec. Uson was taking selfie with her boots on. Notice how we teach our kids to leave thier slippers and not to bring them inside the holy ground,” Adiong said. (with reports from Mick Basa / davaotoday.com)Hijab, Marawi Mosque, Mocha Uson