Noy calls for solidarity as nation marks Eid’l Adha

(The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino called for solidarity, tranquility and clarity of purpose and a reminder of the “stories of sacrifice upon which we built our nation” as Muslims all over the world mark Eid’l Adha or Feast of Sacrifice today.

“We owe this era of peace to those who readily laid down their lives to secure a better future for their fellowmen,” he said in his message yesterday. “We, as adamantly and relentlessly as our heroes, will continue to fight for their dream: a peaceful, harmonious and inclusive Philippines.”

Eid’l Adha commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

Aquino said Ibrahim’s tale “inspires strength and courage in the face of doubt, challenges and despair, especially to those bereft of hope, stricken by tragedy and the disquiet of communities long neglected by those in power.”

“Let it reinforce our bonds as we work together to fulfil our mission of perpetuating positive change in society,” Aquino added.

In separate Eid’l Adha messages, local officials called on Muslims to continue supporting President Aquino’s peace process.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao told The STAR via text message that only through religious solidarity among ARMM’s Muslim, Christian and indigenous lumad folks and a deep understanding of the true political undercurrents in the country’s south can peace take root in the region.

“Let the essence of Eid’l Adha remind us of how important is sacrifice, in its many forms, to achieve unity and lasting peace among all people in Southern Mindanao,” Hataman said.

The ARMM has more than five million Muslim residents scattered in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur provinces, both in Central Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and in the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

The commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, had told his Muslim subordinates, during a simple program after their Eid’l Adha worship rites, that religions should not set Muslims, Christians and lumad people apart, nor put permanent barriers among them.

“All religions teach fear of God, respect for life and humanity. We can stand united in that aspect of our respective faiths,” Pangilinan said.

Non-Muslim ethnic Teduray chieftain and North Upi town Mayor Ramon Piang also assured everyone of local government support to achieve religious solidarity in the area.

Meanwhile, thousands of foreign and local Muslims gathered at the Pelaez Sports Center in Cagayan de Oro City yesterday morning to celebrate Eid’l Adha.

Adzhar Madjid, a youth leader, said more than 2,000 Muslims converged at the center to spend time with friends and families as part of the Islamic festival.

In Central Mindanao, moderate rains brought about by storm Dujuan forced thousands to gather inside mosques and covered courts for an otherwise outdoor celebration.

Most clerics who led the prayers in different worship sites focused their khutab (sermon) on the tenets of sacrifice to achieve spiritual perfection as related in the Bible and the Qur’an.

Aside from the Islamic competitions, Madjid said the festival, one of two most important events for Muslims, also translates to the slaughter of at least 300 cows in Northern Mindanao for the traditional meat distribution.

Madjid said Muslims will also converge today in the Islamic City of Marawi for the Feast of Sacrifice and commemorate the willingness of Abraham to obey God.

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