From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2019): Muslims in Cebu assure concord with gov't amid Mindanao attacks
MUSLIMS IN CEBU. Dr. Ijoden Hadji-Azis Mamacol (right), chairperson of Sugbo Ustadz and Imam Organization and secretary of Cebu Islamic Center, poses with other Muslim leaders in one of their civic missions in Cebu. (Photo contributed by Dr. Ijoden Hadji-Azis Mamacol)
CEBU CITY -- The leader of ustadz (Muslim teachers) and imams (Muslim priests) in Cebu on Thursday assured that the Muslim community in the province remains cooperative with the government’s peace and order efforts amid the recent deadly attacks in separate places in Mindanao.
“Here in Cebu, nagpasalamat ta tungod kay ang atong mga Muslim brothers mo-cooperate sa peace and order programs sa atong gobyerno (we are thankful because our Muslim brothers are cooperative to the peace and order programs of our government),” Dr. Ijoden Hadji-Azis Mamacol, chairperson of the Sugbo Ustadz and Imam Organization, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.
Mamacol is also the secretary of the Cebu Islamic Center and of the Rotary Club of Cebu Fort San Pedro.
He said he is hoping that Christians and Muslims in Cebu will continue to strengthen their relationship despite the bombing incidents at the Jolo cathedral and in a mosque in Zamboanga City.
“About what happened in Jolo and in Zamboanga City, I just hope that the Filipinos would not think that there is a war of religion,” Mamacol said, adding that what happened in Mindanao pertains to “war of terrorism.”
According to him, the ustadz and imams in Cebu gathered after the two incidents to discuss the possible reason of the attacks.
The Muslim teachers and priests, he said, have different opinions but they concluded that the attacks have something to do with terrorism.
“It has nothing to do with Islam,” he emphasized in a separate statement sent to PNA.
The Muslim community in Cebu is committed to maintain peace and order, he said, as he assured that the ustadz and imams in the province will render full cooperation to the authorities.
The Cebu Islamic Center headed by community president Arafat “Tony” Saripada, also assured that the good relations between their community and other sectors will be sustained.
Saripada urged different camps speculating about the two attacks to stop the “blame game” and better leave the investigation to experts.