May 25, 2017
The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy strongly condemns the violent attacks perpetrated by lawless elements in the Islamic city of Marawi and Lanao del Sur, made more heinous as it occurred as the Muslim faithful are preparing for the holy month of Ramadhan. Any act inciting to terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the destruction of places of worship and properties, the murder of innocent men, women, and children irrespective of one’s faith are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam. Sowing terror through force and violence has always been an invalid means of attaining societal changes, and cannot be justified through faith or religion. The Qur’an says: “If any one slays a person- unless it be as punishment for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew all people. And if any one saves a life, it would be as if he saved the lives of all people.” (Surah 5, verse 32).
We urge the Philippine Government to ensure that the declaration of Martial Law will not, in any way, compromise the lives of our people and the principles of democracy that we hold dear. PCID believes that the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict Marawi is needed, through tempered and calibrated responses that will prevent further casualties and damage to property and livelihoods.
We ask fellow Filipinos to stay informed based on facts, especially with the prevalence of unverified information and unsupported theories regarding the crisis. We also ask the media to take extra precautions in their reporting, and to prevent framing the crisis as a binary conflict between Muslims and Christians. We should focus on uniting and working together for just peace and human rights, instead of holding unfair and preemptory judgments that can only lead to a perilous cycle of fear, ignorance, and worse, more violence.
More than ever, preventing violent extremism is needed, so we are urging all sectors to immediately address the worsening issue at its roots. First and foremost, our government officials, particularly the elected leaders, should be accountable for good governance and rule of law as well as the deterioration of the peace and order condition in conflict affected communities of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. Without good governance and the rule of law, government cannot be effective in improving the socio-economic and political conditions of our people, and the delivery of basic services long denied in the Bangsamoro.
As the Muslim ummah enters Ramadhan, we can only pray for wisdom, peace, and understanding.
Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy
Telephone Nos: 426.5886 | 426.9972 Telefax
Office Mobile No. : 0917.5826367
Email Address: [email protected]
NCPAG Annex Building
Raul P. De Guzman St.
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City