Discriminatory Implementation of ID System in Muslim Communities Denounced

Oct. 14, 2006

MANILA Muslim leaders denounced the government on Saturday for the exclusive implementation of an identification system in Muslim communities in Manila, calling it discriminatory and a violation of human rights.

The exclusive implementation of the national ID system in Muslim communities in Metro Manila is clearly an anti-Muslim policy that aims to typecast Muslims as a community of terrorists, said Nasser Marohomsalic, head convener of the Union of Muslims for Morality and Truth (UMMAT), an alliance of Muslim professionals in Metro Manila.

Marohomsalic, a former human rights commissioner, said the ID system is a violation of the Moro peoples rights.

It is a violation of the right to privacy safety and security, he added. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslim transients coming from provinces in Luzon and Mindanao to buy goods for trade or to visit relatives. So that is a stupid idea that will not bring any purpose in connection with the campaign on terrorism.

Marohomsalic said the same policy was adopted in Germany in Adolf Hitlers time.

Remember what happened in Germany during Hitlers time. A civil registry was adopted where Jews were identified by their racial origin. When the time came for their persecution, it was then easy for the Gestapo to pick up the Jews and have them killed, he pointed out.

Indeed the points of comparison between the fascist Hitler and the Arroyo government surfaces even more clearly at this very critical time of her presidency when she needs to impose more repressive policies to subjugate the resistance against her rule.

Meanwhile, Ren Jalaluddin Ropeta, vice-chairperson of the Moro-Christian Peoples Alliance (MCPA), warned the Moro people of the dangers of the national ID system.

The Muslim people must not fall into the terror snare that the Arroyo and Bush tandem is perpetrating. This is Islamophobia in its blatant form and we are calling on all advocates of peace and human rights to stand up against this prejudice against the Muslims, Ropeta said.

Ropeta said the national ID system is a mere precursor to the series of human rights violations that will come with the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Bill that is being railroaded in the Senate. (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus