ZAMBOANGA City–Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) yesterday strongly condemned the beheading of another Canadian hostage by the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
Hataman issued the statement after the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) confirmed the execution by beheading of Canadian hostage Robert Hall on Monday in the hinterlands of Sulu.
Hataman said it is appalling that in this holy month, “we set aside for prayer and reflection has already been violated by extremists here and abroad, as they wage violence in the name of our faith.”
Hataman noted that such violent act occurred barely a week after Ramadan began.
“The refuge and shelter we share as Muslims has become strange place for others. Extremists claim to follow the faith while they go against Islam’s message of peace and humanity. Their betrayal of Islam knows no bounds that even in the most holy days of Ramadan, they turn a time meant for prayers and contemplation into days of fear and horror,” Hataman said.
“This is not what Islam stands for, and we refuse to let this turn us against our fellow Filipinos – not at a time when Ramadan teaches us sympathy, compassion, and love,” he added.
He said violence cannot and must not be so easily associated with one people, race, or culture.
He stressed that those who tread the path of violence and claim to do it in the name of Islam are, without question, merely “men of sin who distort a faith that stands for peace.”
“Our response to these attacks against our faith can be found in Islam itself: as Muslims we are taught that to kill one man means to kill all of humanity, and to save one man means to save all of humanity. It is then imperative for us to work together as Muslims in making sure that the criminals behind these acts of violence are made accountable to our people in the courts of law, and to save those who might fall into the hands of these men who do nothing but evil,” he said.
“Let us pray for those who will forever be changed by this day, and let us stand together as we build and rebuild our faith in the midst of those who try to tear us apart,” Hataman said. (pna)