The ARMM Regional Darul-Ifta’ commends our security sector in liberating Marawi City from the hands of the ISIS-inspired Maute and ASG terror groups. The death of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute may not be the end of terrorism in our place. We must work together as one people, united and committed to addressing the push and pull factors of violent extremism and terrorism in our region especially on the aspect of counter-narrative against ideology of terrorism.
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 S. 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 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 in order to justify their wrongdoings. And as such, they have tarnished the image of Islam and the Muslims as a whole.
As religious leaders, we would like to reiterate that:
- It is HARAM (forbidden and unlawful) to use Islam to justify or legitimize violent extremism and terrorism;
- It is incumbent upon us all to reeducate our constituents in rediscovering our Islamic faith which is full of justice, compassion, harmony and peace; and,
- 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.
We are engaging all sectors to address the spread of religious extremism and radicalism in the country. To do this, we have identified seven key interventions, namely; Religio-spiritual, socio-cultural, educational, economic, political, security, and psychological interventions.
And now is the time to rebuild Marawi City, our communities, and for healing process for harmony and peace and prosperity.
Dr. Aboulkhair S. Tarason
Alim Abdulmuhmin A. Mujahid