World Bulletin / News Desk
"In this time of renewal, may our courage be renewed as we face a world that constantly challenges our faith," Mujiv Hataman said in a statement marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
"May we stand together with the rest of humanity, united in action against terror and fear.”
He condemned recent terror attacks across the world, expressing sadness that they were neither the first nor the last to be committed by extremists who claim to represent Islam.
"As Muslims, a heavy burden rests on our shoulders as we grieve and seek justice for the deaths of our brethren," Hataman said.
"The weight we carry is made heavier by the need to amplify Islam's message of compassion and mercy over those whose message contain nothing but violence and pain," he underlined.
Stressing that “true Muslims” should not be silenced by such “barbaric acts”, he said, “we condemn these crimes to the highest degree and with utmost conviction, as we continue to struggle and strive to live up to the ideals of Islam."
Hataman acknowledged that one of the armed groups operating in southern Mindanao island, the ISIL-linked Abu Sayyaf, remains a threat to security in the Philippines.
Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf -- armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles -- has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortions in a self-determined fight for an independent province in the Philippines.
It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.