Conference tackles peace unity issues PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 January 2015 17:17

More than a hundred ulama and civil society organization (CSO) leaders coming from as far as Manila and Palawan, the Ulama from Zamboanga City, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, convened last December 22, at the Marcian Garden Hotel for the cause of peace and unity of all the Muslims in the region and “those of other faiths”.

The conference opened with a message of welcome from His Eminence Ustadz Abdulbaki Abukar, Grand Mufti of Region 9 and Palawan. It was followed by a special message from Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar urging the ulama and the rest of the leaders present to help the city government build back a better Zamboanga after the September 92013 siege by some factions of the MNLF.

For the Grand Mufti, “Zamboanga City, is a unique city where people come from diverse culture living in this city, where there is no other place in the whole country which hosts a diverse culture, only this city could offer.”

Grand Mufti Abubakar cited the imperatives of unity of the Ummah of Islam in solidarity with the other inhabitants of Zamboanga; Muslims, Christians and the Indigenous Peoples.

Commissioner Mehol Sadain of the Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) informed those present that the NCMF is working at this time on a formula, hoping to organize the Sharia Advisory Council which looks into the many legal aspects of the Philippine Laws where a Shariah complaint can be worked out in coordination with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Prof. Moh. Taha Arakama, DILG City Director said,the ulama being the “light of the Ummah” should look at the “positive and negative peace to ensure that it will be realized”.

Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj, one of the Civil Society Organization (CSO) leaders invited to speak in that conference, asked the ulama to look at the “Khutbah” delivered by the different “Khatibs” in the various mosques in the city as not only a “liturgical compulsory ritual” but as a vehicle of education and information to the Muslim Ummah.

He urged the ulama to go an extra mile, to research on the history of Islam and Islam’s contributions to the body of knowledge such as: Sciences, Mathematics and Technology, and disseminate this as a part of the content of the Khutbath on Friday.

At the end of the conference, a document was prepared, a copy of which the GCCPBA-Media Group was able to get containing some relevant portions:

*The current differences and misunderstanding among the Muslims and those of other faiths in the area are real causes of the problems in the region

* Inspired by the messages the need to strengthen Muslim unity and peaceful co-existence with the rest of the population of different faiths and ethnicities in this area

*Urges the Muslim breathren to firmly hold on to the Qur’an and Sunnah as basis of unity and proper guidance in resolving differences among themselves.

* Condemns any design or action that leads to the division and animosity among Muslims and those of other faiths

* Reminds the political leaders and the ulama that it is incumbent upon them to work together for justice, welfare, prosperity and progress of their respective constituents (RAAYAT), and finally,

* Resolves, that the organizers will monitor, spearhead and bring progress of the outcome into the next conference. — GCCPBA- Media Group