ARMM Gov Hataman to Eat Bulaga: apologize to Muslim community

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 October) — The government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has asked GMA 7’s Eat Bulaga to apologize to the Muslim community following the outrage triggered by comedians and Eat Bulaga hosts Senator Tito Sotto and Joey de Leon who came to the noontime show’s Halloween Special dressed up as Muslims.

In a statement issued Saturday night, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the ARMM government “takes offense at and is appalled by the stunt pulled on national TV by noontime show Eat Bulaga on Saturday, October 31 — where hosts Joey de Leon and Sen. Tito Sotto came out dressed as Muslims for their Halloween Special.”

“On behalf of the Filipino Moro people, we demand that producers and hosts of the noontime show issue a public apology,” the governor of the country’s five Moro-dominated provinces, said.

31titosotto11“Disgusting. Disrespectful. Shameful. Racist. Insenstive” are just some of the comments posted by netizens over Sotto’s and De Leon’s wearing a thobe, that ankle-length white long-sleeved garment worn by men, and a keffiyeh or kufiya around their head, at the noontime show’s Halloween party on Saturday.

In the Philippines, Muslims use the thobe during congregation prayers on special occasions like Eid’l Fitr.

“This display betrays an insensitivity by these hosts, as they equated the Muslim garb as a costume to be feared, in the way that zombies and ghouls are to be feared,” Hataman said.

“We remind the hosts and the producers of the show of how Muslims are quite often discriminated against in our society, often stereotyped as troublemakers and terrorists.

What Eat Bulaga did in its Halloween Special was a mockery of and an affront to the image of the Muslim, apparently in the name of entertainment,” Hataman added.

He recalled how they also raised their voices in indignation recently when the National Bureau of Investigation described the suspect in a bombing in Zamboanga as “Muslim-type.”

Reacting to the Eat Bulaga’s Facebook posting of Sotto wearing a thobe with the hashtag “HalloweenPaMore,” Jan Di of Quezon City, the fist to react, wrote: “Anong klaseng senador to (including Joey de leon)??? Fan din ako ng AlDub, but this costume? For Halloween?? Astagfirullah! We, Muslims are not celebrating Halloween and yet, he used this traditional dress (also as prayer dress) as Halloween costume?? So disrespectful!! Senador ka pa man din!”

Nurse Entrep, an Overseas Filipino Worker based in Saudi Arabia asked in Filipino: “First of all, there is no Halloween in Saudi. And since when has a Thobe become a Halloween costume? Our senator should be sensitive in using the thobe.”

Ensyang Marie of General Santos City asked” “Paano naging pang Halloween eto na costume? Nakakatakot po ba eto? (How did this become a Halloween costume? Is this scary?) This one is being used in praying and sinusuot sa special occasion sa Arab countries.”

Ashraf Hasheimi Mastura Muhammad asked: “Kung magsuot kaya ang Senador na kasuotan ng Papa sa isang Halloween party, di ba magtatanong din kayo kung bakit yan ang suot ng Senador? (What if the Senator wears the Pope’s costume during a Halloween party, wouldn’t you ask why the Senator is wearing it?).

“Muslims in the Philippines have long been oppressed. And this one proves that discrimination is still around. Let us be sensitive What may be funny to some could be insulting or hurting to the other. Peace to all,” Muhammad said in Filipino.

Kuwen Naga, an OFW in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, described Sotto as a “racist.”

“You are a public figure that people look up to, and yet you’re implying in the minds of the same innocent people that Muslims are scary.. This is for sure: our community will not vote for you!” he wrote.

GMA-7 or Eat Bulaga has yet to reply to Hataman’s demand for apology. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

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  1. Issue regarding sa suot ni TTo Sen. Re-post from:

    Bismillah Al Rahman Al Rahim.

    “Im a Muslim but I try to see things in a much lighter perspective. The thobe is a full-length garment commonly worn by men throughout the Arabian Peninsula. They normally wear this not only when attending to salah (prayer) but also when going to events such as weddings, engagement parties, funerals, corporate events, FOR THE RECORD, IT IS NOWHERE WRITTEN IN THE QUR’AN THAT THE THOBE IS A SACRED DRESS FOR MUSLIM MEN TO WEAR ONLY DURING SALAH (PRAYER) NOR IT’S STATED IN THE QUR’AN THAT ONLY MUSLIM MEN CAN WEAR IT. In one of Dr. Zaker Naik’s lectures, he said that the dress code for men written in the Qur’an is mentioned in Surah Al Nur Chapter 24 Verse 30: “Say to the beleiving men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty .


    The thobe depicts decency and modesty as well that’s why most Muslim men Wear this as an everyday garment outside. The senator and Mr. Joey de Leon, while wearing the thobe even if its just for a Costume party, did not make any gestures that Will be viewed in opposite of these. Did you see them dance a sexy song with a girl while wearing this during the show? Did they utter a sitele word of insult directly towards Muslims or Islam? Why dOnt search on youtube and see some Muslim men wearing thobe happily harassing and touching Muslim who are fully covered? WELL, THAT IS

    Some were ranting online saying that thobe was used in a halloween event so it already depicts Arabs are scary. Please reminded of the history of Halloween “is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costuems to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhan.” ctto

    With all due respect to my Muslim brothers and sisters, in my own honest opinion as a Muslim, the thobe is just a dress not the entirety of Islam ALLAHLU ALAM (Allah knows best) so who are you to judge someone based on what you just saw without knowing his or her intentions? Who are you to assume and accuse that they are our disrespecting our religön in first place? it’s (the thobe) not even written in Qur’an? You demand an apology from them for just wearing something that the Qur’an did not even acknowledge literally as holy? how many Muslim ‘men around the world wear the thobe but DOES NOT ACT LIKE A TRUE MUSLIM? Mufti Menk said in one of his lectures, aside from dressing up modestly, lowering your gaze is part of a Muslim man’s dress code.

    ISLAM IS NOT JUST BEING DEFINED BASED ON WHAT MUSLIMS WEAR. YOU DONT DEFINE YOURSELF AS A MUSLM JUST BECAUSE you ARE WEARING A THOBE. ISLAM IS A WAY OF LIFE — THE FULL SUBMISSION OF ONE’S SELF TO ALLAH. It’s your intentions and actiöns that you will be held accountable for on the Day of Judgment and not for who wears or not the thobe. I do not see any Significant reason to make this issue a very big deal and not afraid to bashed by my fellow muslims because Of my stance on this. Why not focus and pray instead for the Ummah Of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that we may all be continuously guided to the right way towards Jannah (paradise)? As a Muslim, the only thing that I regard as the most sacred Islam is the QUR’AN. “

    • Hi Mahou! You should be sensitive and be careful enough in posting your very long comment. Do you really see yourself as a TRUE MUSLIM? If so, how come that you don’t even know that there’s no such Halloween event or occassion in Islam? Though you have some point with your comment but using thobe for this occasion does not really fits the situation. How about wearing scary outfits on a Wedding day, A big LOL! . Of all the costumes that they want to portray why it should be like this? Where else they can wear a priest or pope garments instead.


      • Muslim here too.

        I think, if there’s anyone who should be offended, it should be Middle Eastern men, not necessarily Muslims or Moros, because many of them, regardless of religion, wear keffiyeh and thobe.

        Middle Eastern men are often (unfairly) stereotyped as money-grubbing Arab oil sheikhs. So no, it shouldn’t be offensive to Filipino Muslims because the outfit has very little to do with Islam. If any apologies are to be made, they should be directed to Middle Eastern men.

        P.S. Many people were Catholic nun and priest costumes. I don’t know why you brought those up as examples.

    • The DOGMA of Ignorance and the religion of tribal dance, music, food, clothing, shelter,
      education and medicine…IMAGINE if there is such as Muslim tribal dance, Muslim tribal music, Muslim tribal food, Muslim tribal clothing, Muslim tribal shelter, Muslim tribal education and Muslim tribal medicine.

  2. There were several photo studios in Riyadh owned by Saudi Nationals that rents Thobe to non muslim people for photoshoots. In non Catholic countries, habits and clerical clothings are always included in their Halloween costumes selections. So, what’s the big deal? It’s not the costumes, icons, statues, rituals, and others….IMHO, it is our faith that God or Allah will judge on each and every one of us.

  3. Talagang nakakatakot ang costume nila Tito Sen at Joey. Dito pa lang sa Europe at USA, iniiwasan ng mga tao ang mga ganitong damit o sa nagsusuot nito dahil na-associate nila ang damit ng mga terrorista. Tapos ito rin ang suot ng mga Muslim sa Middle East na nanghahalay ng babae, nambugbog ng babae, namumugot ng ulo o pumapatay at ang mga kasuotan ng mga terorrista at suicide bombers habang nakasinturon ng bomba. Panoorin ninyo sa youtube marami kayong makikita. Nagtataka lang ako kung bakit react pa yung iba na itong “Banal na damit” daw nila na sa totoo lang ay naabuso na noon pa man sa kapwa nila Muslim. Di kaya hindi relihiyon ang pinaglalaban nila tungkol dito, kundi naala-ala lang nila ang kademonyohan na ginagawa sa kapwa nila Muslim?


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