Friday, July 24, 2009

Christian-Muslim unity urged amid bombings in Mindanao

MANILA, July 17, 2009—A group of Muslims is calling for a halt to speculations about the spate of bombings in Mindanao that could affect the Christian-Muslim relations.

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) said unverified reports must be stopped especially if it could exploit religious differences for political and violent agendas.

“In the face of these bleak incidents,” the group said, more vigilance and strengthened cooperation among various faiths is more needed.

“This is not a Muslim-Christian conflict. Let us clear our minds and fortify our greatest resolve not to allow these dastardly acts to successfully sow suspicion and animosity that could lead to conflict,” it said.

The CBCS said people must not allow the bombings in Mindanao to put any scope for differences and soon create a separation between the two sides.

The group also called on those behind the series of bomb attacks to spare the innocent civilians and the places of worship.

In the latest incidents last July 7, two blasts—once outside a Catholic Church in Jolo, Sulu, another near to a military vehicle in Iligan City, and two others at a transmission tower in Lanao Del Norte.

The incident in Jolo was the deadliest of the four wherein two people were killed and around 46 others wounded in an explosion near the Mount Carmel Church.

Last July 5, there were also attacks outside a cathedral in Cotabato City and in Barangay Buayan in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province last July 4, also resulting deaths and injuries.

“We denounce the bombings in the same manner that we condemn acts by men in uniform who occupied mosques, urinated in them and/or desecrated them,” the group said.

The Muslim civil society group also called on the authorities to create “credible independent body” that would investigate the incidents and “bring the culprits to justice.” (Roy Lagarde)

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