DU30 to Muslims: Rise above ‘religious, political barriers,’

July 20, 2021 People's Tonight 264 views

TO build a stronger community, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday expressed hope that unity would prevail despite political and religious beliefs between the Muslim community and other groups.

“I stand in solidarity with you in pursuing our shared goal of building a society that transcends religious, political, and cultural barriers,” Duterte told Muslim Filipinos in his Eid al-Adha message.

Duterte made the statement as he joined the “solemn and meaningful” observance of Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival that commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah, the Muslim name for God.

He expressed optimism that Muslim Filipinos would find “renewed faith and spirituality, especially when called to emulate Ibrahim’s devotion to his belief.”

Duterte said the occasion continues to serve as a testament to the “unyielding” faith of the Muslim community.

“Its narrative remains a fervent reminder to people that, even amidst life’s difficulties and challenges, our sacrifices have profound value and meaning,” he said.

Mutual respect, harmony

In a separate statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque emphasized the need to keep “mutual respect, harmony, and understanding.”

Roque also called on everyone to set aside differences to overcome “great” challenges, including the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that continues to grapple the country.

“This occasion, which commemorates the personal sacrifice of Ibrahim in obeying Allah’s command, serves not only to deepen our faith but also reminds us of the values of selflessness and hope that would bind us together in building a society with mutual respect, harmony, and understanding,” he said.

Overcome the pandemic

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar likewise expressed hope that Muslim Filipinos would help the government in defeating Covid-19.

Andanar enjoined the Muslim Filipinos to participate in the government’s Covid-19 immunization drive and continue observing minimum public health standards.

“As this celebration of devotion, kindness, and equality is observed by our Muslim devotees, please continue to follow the health protocols promulgated by the government. May we also continue to achieve societal development and progress against communal ills and difficulties, particularly from this global health crisis, as Allah expects from all Muslims,” he said.

Suspend social activities

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, advised the Muslim community to suspend social activities to keep them safe from Covid-19.

Panelo expressed hope that they would be inspired by Ibrahim by making “personal sacrifices for the welfare of others.”

“The lesson behind this feast is indeed timely as we suspend social activities and impose discipline upon ourselves, notwithstanding discomfort, for the sake of everyone’s safety and well-being,” he said.

Panelo also wished that “faith, obedience, unity, and sacrifice” would lead to healing and recovery from present difficulties.

“We hope that this occasion would also deepen our faith in our Creator and reinforce our obedience to His teachings even as we encourage Filipinos to continue being united despite our diverse beliefs and cultures,” he said.

Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated as a regular holiday, is one of the two major Islamic feasts celebrated by Muslims around the world and is considered holier than Eid al-Fitr.

It is celebrated on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar.

It also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, the fifth Pillar of Islam. Philippine News Agency