By EDD K. USMAN
June 7, 2010, 3:28pm
Over 200 Muslims and their leaders from the academic, professional, religious, women and youth sectors have issued a call to the international community, such as the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to continue helping the Mindanao peace processes between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to achieve lasting, just and comprehensive peace in Southern Philippines.
Aleem Naguib Taher, head of the National Capital Region chapter of the Insan Islamic Assembly (IIA), which organized Sunday's "Forum on Islam and Terrorism," told the Manila Bulletin that the participants overwhelmingly passed a resolution to address the issues confronting Islam and Muslims in the Philippines.
"We are thankful to the many speakers and the more than 200 participants from the various communities, tribes and organizations of Muslims in the country," said Taher.
He said the participants appealed to the UN, the OIC and other members of the international community to continue helping achieve peace and economic prosperity in the war-torn areas of Mindanao.
In the resolution, they urged Congress to pass bills that will bring peace, unity and harmony among Filipinos; asked the government to fully implement the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA); appealed to the government to stop using terrorism as an excuse to raid Muslim communities; called on the incoming administration of presidential front-runner Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" C. Aquino III to allow Muslims to participate in nation-building through appointments in the Cabinet and government line agencies and corporations; and sought more interfaith dialogue among Filipinos of various religions, among other appeals.
In the June 6 forum in Greenhills, San Juan City, various speakers rejected the Western world's linking of Islam to terrorism, stressing that Islam means peace and has no place for violence.