Philippines' Muslim south celebrates Eid

Celebratory gunfire heard across Mindanao island following sighting of crescent marking end of Ramadan month of fasting

Philippines' Muslim south celebrates Eid

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Philippines’ Muslim south welcomed the Eid holiday (Hariraya Puasa) with celebratory gunfire Monday, while local authorities stressed the importance of the ongoing peace process in their congratulatory messages.

Thousands of worshippers performed the Eid al-Fitr prayer Monday morning in open fields across Mindanao island, including in Zamboanga City -  a majority Christian city in the predominantly Muslim south. At some mosques, soldiers and police provided tight security in case of any sabotage attempts.

As early as Sunday, the muzzles of policemen’s firearms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) - led by the area's indigenous Muslim community - had been sealed with tape to prevent them from joining the revelry following the sighting of the crescent moon marking the end of Ramadan - the holy month of fasting - Sunday night.

In their Eid messages, most public officials from surrounding provinces stressed the need for continuing Muslim-Christian solidarity to hasten the securing of lasting peace in the country’s south.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman urged residents of the autonomous region to continue helping push forward the peace overture between the government and the one-time rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who signed a peace agreement this year.

“Our sacrifices and prayers during the just-concluded Ramadan should inspire us to continue struggling, with vigor, for the attainment of cultural, religious and political unity among all sectors in the autonomous region,” Hataman said in an emailed statement. "As Bangsamoro, we continue to face the challenge of building a society that will nurture our collective dreams and aspirations."

He added: "We do so as we join in thoughts and prayers the people of Gaza and the people from all corners of the world who continue to endure tremendous suffering. May world leaders and all humanity unite to uplift their condition."

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, held an Eid banquet for Muslim military personnel and their families at the division’s mosques in ARMM provinces.

Guerrero called on the region’s Muslim, Christian and indigenous non-Moro communities to continue supporting the peace panels of the government and the MILF.

“The Western Mindanao Command wants lasting peace in Mindanao and calls on the local communities to sustain the gains of the peace process by helping foster political stability and reconciliation among all people,” Guerrero said in an emailed Eid statement.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu had told reporters via text message Sunday night that Ramadan had been relatively peaceful in all of the 36 towns under his jurisdiction, with the exception of isolated hostilities between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters - a breakaway MILF faction fighting for the independence of the Bangsamoro.

“After Ramadan comes the challenge for us to live up to the ideals of fraternalism, religious solidarity, piety and compassion for all people regardless of whether they are Muslims, or non-Muslims, as preached by Prophet Mohammad,” Mangudadatu said, thanking the province’s religious communities, the ARMM police and the regional army division for working together.

“In Islam there is no extremism, no compulsion in religion either,” he added, referring to a Quranic verse. “It is all about respect for life, love for neighbors, respect for other religions and respect for religious figureheads and their worship sites, and most importantly, co-existence.”

“In Islam there is no extremism, no compulsion in religion either,” he added, referring to a Quranic verse. “It is all about respect for life, love for neighbors, respect for other religions and respect for religious figureheads and their worship sites, and most importantly, co-existence.”

About 90 percent of the ARMM’s more than five million residents are Muslims belonging to different tribes, while Maguindanao is host to more than 40 government-recognized MILF enclaves, including headquarters Camp Darapanan.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2014, 15:07

Muhammed Öylek

YORUM EKLE