Luzon-based Rep wants oldest mosque in country declared a national shrine

House Bill 99, filed by Rep. Juan Edgardo M. Angara of the lone district of Aurora in Luzon, “to give due recognition to the contribution of Islam in the development of culture and civilization in the country,” received the support of committee members and representatives from different government agencies, a December 29 press release from the House of Representatives Public Relations and Information Department, said.

"This bill would also be a sign to our brother Muslims in Mindanao that they are being accorded due and equal recognition by the national government," Angara said.

“The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque has already been entitled to a special non-working holiday by virtue of a regional law within the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through a legislative assembly.

It is also included in their centennial celebration as one of the Islamic events,” the press release said.

The mosque was constructed by an Arabian missionary in the 1380s. Sometime in 1965, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos “went to the site to install a historic marker, giving it recognition as the first oldest existing mosque in the country,” it added.

Rep. Pangalian Balindong (2nd district, Lanao del Sur, chair of the House Committee on Muslim Affairs and Rep. Nur Jaafar (Lone District, Tawi-Tawi) lauded Angara for filing the bill. (MindaNews)