Philippines

Philippines: Muslims and Christians run fast 4 peace in Mindanao

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(Hong Kong, December 11, 2009) - The Muslim-Christian Community of Hong Kong (MCC-HK) is once more getting together at Chater Road on Sunday, December 13, 2009, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The MCC-HK grew out of the tensions and conflicts created by the Philippine Government's decision not to sign the agreement to create the Bangsa Moro Juridical Entity (BJE) in Malaysia. The Muslim-Christian Community composed of Christian and Muslim Filipinos from Mindanao and protestant and catholic organizations went out and appealed to the Philippine government and people to find a peaceful, non-violent way of resolving the tensions and conflicts.

Last November 23, 2009, a massacre of unprecedented gravity claimed 57 lives in Maguidanao. As a response, the Filipino Community of Hong Kong held vigils at the St. John's Anglican Church and the St. Joseph's Catholic Church in central. This Sunday, the MCC-HK returns to the streets to invite the thousands of Filipinos all over Hong Kong to join, "RUN FAST 4 PEACE in Mindanao." From one end of Chater Road a group of fifty Filipinos will run and invite those sitting around to join the run and the fast after the run for peace in Mindanao.

Speaking with and for the Muslims in Hong Kong, Wael Ibrahim (a 34 year-old Egyptian studying comparative religions) said, "We were really saddened. We condemn the murder. The victims were betrayed. This condemnation is in the Koran for more than 1,400 years. In the Koran, the prophet Mahammad declared, "Do not kill women, children and the elderly. Do not kill even trees. Do not mix religion and politics. The people who did this are not Muslims. They do not follow Islam. They do not tread the path of the prophet Mohammad."

Madeenah Medina (a Filipina Muslim Overseas Foreign Worker) asks the Philippine Government to act. "Maguindanao cannot be ignored the way that the small toes of either feet are taken for granted. The pain of one part, no matter how small affects the whole. The image of the Philippines has been suffering. The massacre did not help improve that image. Something has to be done by government and people to save the fast deteriorating image of the Philippines."

Abdul Aziz Tuano (from Lanao del Norte) condemned the massacre and pleaded that the government should serve justice to both the victims and perpetrators of this gruesome crime. The government should not politicize the issue. Martial Law should not spread beyond Maguindanao. It should be lifted as soon as possible.

Fr. Roberto P. Reyes of the AHRC said, "We need to "run", to act fast for peace, faster than those who want war. We should not only look outside but most urgently within to see and remove the roots of violence. We need to fast, to purify our bodies, minds and spirits (FAST). We need to learn how to control and discipline our passions (Asceticism). We need to rediscover silence, to pray, discern and follow God's will (Silence). And finally, we need to act consistently, courageously and prophetically (Testimony).

Our young community has to meet more frequently to pray, study and work more and more together. This is the path of peace, as this is the path of friendship and mutual respect."

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Asian Human Rights Commission
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984