By Nonoy Lacson
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) condemned the burning of the St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi City, destroying images of Jesus Christ and Mary, and desecrating the place of worship of the Catholic faithful by the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf (ASG).
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman described the act as inhumane and unacceptable. “Their acts mirror that of the Khawarij and their belief betrays those of our faith. These terrorists are nothing but hypocrites who undermine the true essence of Islam,” the governor said.
They are un-Islamic, he said. “They are the worst of the creation,” he described the Maute Group members.
The acts of the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf, and their ilk show that they are unfortunate reincarnations of the Khawarij — they who recite the Quran but the words do not pass beyond their throats, and who leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target and do not return as the arrow does not return to its bow, he explained..
Hataman said they are immature and reckless, quoting the Qur’an and Hadith in perverse ways that fit their equally perverse cause. He added: “these infidels who represent the Khawarij of our time must be condemned and shunned away from the Muslim ummah, for they are unworthy of the promises of Allah and the pleasures of jannah (paradise).”
He further explained that the Prophet himself (peace be upon him) did not come to deprive those who did not follow him. Instead, the governor said that he upheld their dignity and honor, and reminded us to treat others fairly regardless of faith, status, or ancestry.
According to Hataman the covenants of the Prophet with Christians from various places show kindness and compassion towards Christians, offering them protection and aid. The governor said, “the Prophet forbids desecration of churches, much more destroying them.
He said: “It is our responsibility as Muslims to denounce the actions of the members of the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf, and all other local groups whose actions are a disservice to Islam — a faith that promotes compassion, kindness and peace.”
Hataman continued: “Let us not allow these terrorists to hijack and destroy Islam. We cannot and must not tolerate them, and we must make sure that they are brought to justice.”