Muslim religious leaders call for unity after Zamboanga City mosque blast
MANILA, Philippines – Muslim religious leaders or ulama in Zamboanga City called for calm and unity among people of all faith after a grenade blast in a mosque in the city killed two and injured 4 others on Wednesday, January 30.
The leaders condemned the attack and reiterated their calls for “vigilance and sobriety amidst these turbulent and volatile times.” The mosque bombing came 3 days after twin blasts hit the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu, leaving at least 21 dead and 111 injured. (READ: What we know so far: Jolo Cathedral bombing)
“We call on everyone, Muslims and Christians alike, to maintain our solidarity and harmony as advocates of peace and to exert our utmost to prevent the situation from escalating into a religious conflict,” the Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula said in a statement on Wednesday night. (LIST: Zamboanga City bombings since 2000)
Haji Ridwan Julpali, an elder of the Jamaah Tableegh whose two members were killed in the mosque grenade attack said Muslims and Christians should remain united against any threats to freely practicing faith.
“We should not hold on to hate. Muslims and Christians should be united and broaden the love among us and increase of worship of God,” Julpali said.
The religious leaders stressed in their statement that any attack on a place of worship “can never be justified by rhyme or reason.”
“Any violent aggression on a place of worship, whether held sacred by Muslims or Christians or otherwise, deserves nothing but the strongest abomination from all people irrespective of religious domination,” said the group.
The religious leaders appealed to the public to avoid “putting the law into our own hands,” and to instead cooperate with authorities to ensure those behind the blast would see the “bar of justice.”
The Ulama council likewise urged Muslims and Christians alike to increase faith and prayers for peace and security. – Rappler.com