Monday, March 22, 2010

Moros condemn religious discrimination in Switzerland

A mosque stands in the background of a market place in the southern Philippine city of Cotabato. Muslims in the Philippines have condemned the Swiss ban of the construction of minarets in mosques in Switzerland. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Thousands of Muslim believers converged Sunday morning at a public square in Cotabato City in the southern Philipines to condemn a recent move in Switzerland to ban the construction of minarets in mosques.

Muslim religious leaders in Mindanao headed by Sheikh Jaapar Ali spearheaded the rally which was participated by various Islamic schools and other non-governmental organizations and civilians.

Several sectors in attendance have delivered speeches to denounce the Swiss law which for them discriminate the Muslims in Switzerland.

Sheikh Ali read the manifesto of the group. He called on all ulama or religious and political leaders, individuals, and the Organization of Islamic Conference to appeal to the Swiss government to uphold the universal principles for the freedom of religion and the rights of minorities in Switzerland and in other parts of the world.

Ustadz Norden Hussain who represented the group of Imams in the city also called on all Muslims in the world to stand united in condemning the Swiss government.

He emphasized that Muslims in the world are brothers and sisters even how far a distance they may be situated. He also challenged the Muslim leaders in the Philippines, especially those seeking elective position in the government for the May polls, to show their sincerity to be a true Muslim.
“Most of our leaders are so prompt to attend a rally if it’s for politics (campaigns) but they do not if it’s for fighting the rights of the Bangsamoro, most of all, for Islam. This is the time for you to express concern with our brothers in other country” Hussain emotionally uttered

Lawyer James Dalumimbang, who brought out the voice of the Muslim professionals, described the fate of the minorities in the Southern Philippines. He told the huge crowd the disadvantaged status of the Bangsamoro in its native place and narrated a few footnotes of the past where Muslims in the Philippines were abused and mercilessly killed.

For the women sector, Ustadza Anisa Taha challenged the Muslim ummah to condemn in the strongest possible term the law banning the making of minaret in the Mosques in Switzerland.

She also issued a strong opposition to the law in France prohibiting women to wear hijab. “I call on the united kingdom and the western world in general to propagate peace without discriminating other religion (Islam). Otherwise, world hatred will exist among religions in the world” Ustadza Anisa said.

The rally ended after the groups in attendance have signed the manifesto.(Nash Acan)

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