From the Philippine News Agency (May 8): ARMM seeks help of 'ulamas' vs terrorism
About 300 Muslim religious leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will gather here starting May 12 to discuss measures against terrorism and extremism.
President Rodrigo Duterte was invited to grace the event.
Dubbed as "ARMM Ulama Summit Against Terrorism," the gathering is a brainchild of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman in line with President Duterte's campaign to spare the region from becoming a hotbed of terrorism.
In his recent pronouncements, Duterte said "terrorism is an urgent and critical national security threat and must be contained the soonest."
"The threats of violence and terrorism could further hamper economic growth in the region," Hataman said.
He cited that the recent security-related incidents in some areas of the ARMM, apparently referring to the Abu Sayyaf and Maute terror groups, could dampen business interests in the region.
ARMM's Muslim religious leaders asserted that the threat to violent extremism and terrorism is not only the problem of the country's political leaders but also of religious leaders as well.
Many terrorists misrepresent and misuse the Islamic faith to justify violence and terrorism, which tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims, Ustadz Abdulazis Kadil-Karon, an ulama in Maguindanao, said.
"Islam is peace, it does not promote violence in whatever way," he stressed.