Lobregat cites common Muslim-Christian values PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 17:24

Mayor Celso Lobregat on Saturday stressed on solidarity among Muslims and Christians in Zamboanga, as he cited common values and practices of the two faiths.
“Muslims and Christians share some similarities in the exercise of faith”, the Mayor said as he shared his message of friendship and respect to the Muslim community during the celebration of Iftar or the breaking of the fast  hosted by the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace in a local hotel over the weekend. 

Regardless of faith, the mayor said everybody believes in one Supreme Being. “We all believe in one Supreme Being whether He is God or Allah. We all believe in prayers. It is just that you pray more than we do. You celebrate Eid’l Adha or Feast of Sacrifice which is attributed to the story of father Abraham when he offered his son as sacrifice and Abraham is recognized as a significant figure in our Bible.”

He stressed that believers of Islam give zakat or alms the way that the Christians also give offerings for the poor during Mass Celebrations. “You have the Holy Month of Ramadan while we have our Holy Week. You have your pilgrimage to Mecca while have ours in Israel and other sacred places like the Lourdes and Fatima.”

As Zamboangueños,  all residents of the city, regardless of faith, beliefs or ideology  should stress on similarities and not on practices that divide region, he said. He lamented that there are certain groups that are sowing divisiveness between the Christians and Muslims on account of religious differences.

“For years, Muslims and Christians here in Zamboanga had been living in harmony with one another. We do not only tolerate but we respect and understand each other’s faith, beliefs and traditions,” Lobregat pointed out.

Saturday’s Iftar was an annual event organized by the Interreligious Solidarity Movement during the holy month of Ramadan.
The city government, since 2004 when Mayor Lobregat assumed office, has also been initiating Pagbukah for the Muslim community in the city. This year will be the 8th year for the local government to host the Pagbukah.

The Interreligious Solidarity Movement is jointly headed by the following Fr. Angel Calvo as lead convenor, Hji. Abdurahim Kenoh associate convenor, Atty. Paul Ersando- evangelical convenor, Nulhamdo Cegales-IP convenor, Prof. Ali Yacub-founder of the Golden Crescent and Aldrin Abdurahim, executive coordinator. 

Present during the Iftar were Councilor Mel Sadain, Fr. Angel Calvo, Prof. Yacub, DILG City Director Atty. Arakama, Fr. Chito Araneta, protestant pastors, Duyog Mindanao bikers and many others. — Richard Aliangan/City Hall PIO