Police memo on 'profiling' Muslim students 'irrational, unwarranted' — child rights group
This file photo shows Muslims mark Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice at the Blue Mosque in Maharlika Village, Taguig.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, File
Police memo on 'profiling' Muslim students 'irrational, unwarranted' — child rights group
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - February 21, 2020 - 10:57am

MANILA, Philippines — A children’s rights organization said the move of the Philippine National Police to compile a list of Muslim students in Metro Manila promotes not only discrimination but also poses risks to the lives of these students.

The leaked police memorandum issued by the Manila Police District ordered all its station commanders to “submit the updated list of Muslim students in high school, colleges and universities in your respective areas.”

In a statement, the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns called the PNP memorandum “irrational and unwarranted move.”

“The memorandum promotes discrimination and Islamophobia and severely undermines the safety and security of the Muslim students,” Salinlahi said.

The group said the profiling may result to possible police surveillance and their increased presence in campuses as well as an increase in cases of harassment, intimidation and threat against Muslim students.

It also expressed concerns that the move may be used to target students and organizations critical to government policies.

“Such move may create fear among Muslim youth of being falsely accused of joining in terroristic activities or sympathizing with violent extremists,” Salinlahi said.

It added: “We urge the PNP to respect our Muslim brothers and sisters and observe existing laws on the children’s rights by immediately recalling the memorandum.”

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers denounced the measure Thursday as blatant Islamophobia.

“It is deplorable that the PNP would want to target these young Muslim students to supposedly counter violent extremism, which is short of saying that Muslims are more likely to become extremists or terrorists. But the reality is, these students and our schools have nothing to do with the government’s wars, and therefore should not be used as avenues in the furtherance of such,” ACT said.

MPD denied the cops are profiling Muslim students, saying it is a tool in their conduct of interventions and programs to strengthen partnership with the Muslim community.

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