Muslim leaders release guidelines to ensure maximum security in mosques in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 Feb) – Moro religious leaders here have prohibited backpacks, big bags, boxes, and bulky plastic bags inside all mosques in Davao City starting Friday, February 1.

Muslims pray inside a mosque in Davao City. MindaNews file photo

The religious leaders released the guidelines following the January 27 twin explosions at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu that left 21 people dead and 111 others wounded and the Zamboanga mosque blast early Wednesday that killed two persons and injured four others.

In a letter to Mayor Sara Duterte dated January 31, Aleem Jamal S. Munib, executive director of the Madrasah Comprehensive Development and Promotions Program, and Aleem Muhmaad Y. Pasigan, the Grand Mufti or the highest Muslim cleric in the Davao Region, said they released a set of guidelines to ensure maximum security inside mosques.

The guidelines stated that only small bags for money, keys, and mobile phones are allowed inside the mosques in compliance with the new security protocol implemented by local security forces.

The guidelines were created during the meeting of the religious leaders at the Madrasah Office in the city on Thursday, or two days after Mayor Duterte announced the prohibition of backpacks, big bags, boxes, and bulky plastic bags inside places of worship in the city.

Female security personnel will subject the “Niqabi” (Muslim woman) wearing niqab (face veil) to a body check. Vehicles will also be checked before entering the premises of the mosque.

The religious leaders are required to get authorities to secure mass, worship, and any religious celebration. Sleeping inside the mosque is no longer allowed.

The “Tablig” or Islamic preachers will not be accommodated in Muslim communities until further notice while any suspicious or new individuals in the community will be profiled.

The Imam and other Muslim leaders in the city must have hotlines of the police and military as well as contact numbers of the Muslim deputies, Madrasah director and Mufti of Davao Region.

The religious leaders assured that the “Muslim community in the city will not only be active stakeholders in bringing peace in our city but will also engage in all activities that will uphold unity and productive co-existence.”

They added that they will continue to pray for “our leaders as we all strive for peace and justice for the victims of terror and oppression all over the Philippines.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)