Cebu’s Muslims ask public not to discriminate them
CEBU’s Muslim community appealed to the public not to discriminate them in light of the violence inflicted by the Maute Group in Marawi City last Tuesday.
Jamil Faisal Saro Adiong, the ethnicity-based sector representative of the Cebu City Anti-Discrimination Commission, asked the public to sympathize with Muslims in the city who are also grieving for their loved ones in Marawi City.
“We are asking people to end any form of discrimination, be it stigma or prejudicing and any form of hatred. All these terror attacks and radicalism are rising because of hatred. Let’s stop and end it,” he said in yesterday’s press conference at City Hall.
“The only way to counter the terror attacks in Mindanao is to spread peace in the form of understanding the situation and increased tolerance on our differences,” he said.
Adiong, a native of Marawi City, said previous terror attacks like the bombings in Davao and Quiapo in Manila and the infiltration of Abu Sayyaf members in Bohol have led people to believe and associate these with Islam and the Muslims.
He also asked the public to avoid spreading unverified information especially in social media.
Based on his talks with relatives and friends from Marawi City, Adiong said a lot of people are already fleeing the city and going to nearby areas like Iligan City.
Even so, people in exodus are unsure if there are designated evacuation centers and shelters set up by the government outside of Marawi City.
There are also reports that pension houses and hotels outside Marawi are already fully booked.
“We are also asking the attention of our national government to help in evacuating these people. We are receiving reports that a lot of people are going to Iligan City,” said Adiong, a former president of the Federation of Muslim Students Associations in Cebu.
Even with the violence, Adiong said they also learned that there are still a lot of people staying within Marawi City. He said Cebu’s Muslim community is asking the military to refrain from conducting air strikes in the city.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak said the city’s Muslim community were “hurt” over what is happening in Marawi City, a hometown for some of them.
“This Saturday is supposed to be the start of Ramadan. Some of the Muslims who are here in Cebu are from Marawi City. And in observance of Ramadan, they did these terror attacks. It is disrespectful to their religion,” said Tumulak, the deputy mayor on police matters.
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