Guided by the Holy Qur’an and inspired by the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a mercy to all creation, we are gathered here today obliged and duty-bound as religious leaders to shepherd our people and our communities away from the darkness of ignorance and violence to the justness and peacefulness of Islamic way of life. Confronted with the threat and problem of violent extremism and terrorism engulfing our world today and our own country, the urgency of working together is imperative.

Our President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, has repeatedly made public statements on the menace of violent extremism and terrorism as the most urgent and critical threat to national security. Our ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman has called on local government units to take a more proactive role against the continued threat of terrorism in our region. Also, he called on us, as religious leaders, to emphasize that terrorism has nothing to do with our faith, whether Muslims, Christians, or Lumad. We are called upon to take care of one another, to embrace and preserve life, and to respect the rights of every human being.

The threat of violent extremism and terrorism is not solely the problem and responsibility of our government and political leaders, but more so for us as religious leaders because many terrorists misrepresent and misuse our Islamic faith to legitimize and justify their wrongdoings. And as such, they have tarnished the image of Islam and Muslims.

So therefore we declare that:

  1. It is HARAM (forbidden and unlawful) to use Islam to justify or legitimize violent extremism and terrorism;
  2. It is incumbent upon us all to reeducate our constituents to rediscover our Islamic faith for justice, compassion, harmony and peace; and,
  3. It is imperative upon us all to cooperate and collaborate with stakeholders in preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism in its many forms and manifestations.

Therefore, we hereby affix our signatures as symbol of our commitment to this Declaration as our amanah (trust) to fulfill. May the Almighty Allah always help and guide us to the Right Path. Aameeen!