ARMM employees for peace in Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:33

Employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao performed their obligatory Friday prayers in an open field under the blistering noontime sun as a show of sympathy for Palestinians in Gaza.

The ARMM’s rank-and-file personnel, led by the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, prayed for an end to the continuing deadly Israeli offensives in Gaza, targeting Hamas militants, but causing heavy collateral damages as well.

Hataman on Tuesday urged the Israeli government to exercise restraint in its continuing bombardment of populated areas in Gaza to prevent civilian casualties, particularly children.

Clerics who led the Friday prayer at the mini plaza of the ARMM’s 32-hectare government compound in Cotabato City told worshipers to pray for the safety of Palestinians.

The preachers also called on ARMM employees and their superiors to look up to the hardships and sacrifices of the Palestinians as something similar with the struggle of Mindanao’s Bangsamoro communities for self-rule under the international right-to-self-determination (RSD) doctrine.

“What is so sad is that this continuing bloodshed in Gaza is happening while the Islamic world is observing the Ramadhan fasting season,” Hataman told Daiy Zamboanga Times after the open-field Jumaah (Friday) prayer.

More than 80 percent of the ARMM’s about five million residents are Muslims.

Hataman said their open-field congregational worship rite was a form of sacrifice for the safety of all Palestinians that are trapped in the conflict between the Israeli Defense Forces and the militant Hamas.

Thousands of ethnic Maranaws had earlier staged a protest rally in Marawi City to show solidarity with Palestinians.

The rally was organized by Maranaw religious leaders in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur led by Agakhan Sharief, chairman of the Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development.