By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY— Over 100 youth, young leaders and representatives from the Muslim community and the Archdiocese of Cebu gathered in Cebu over the weekend for a consultative assembly and interfaith dialogue that focused on violent extremism and role of media in understanding Islamophobia.
Former Lanao del Sur Governor and secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Saidamen Pangarungan said it is important to educate the youth about national concerns.
The NCMF initiated the dialog in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
“The Philippine population has become younger and younger. Just by the sheer numbers, the youth has been forced to hold a stake in all national issues as they are the ones usually most affected by it,” Pangarungan said.
The forum briefed the youth on how they can influence events, issues and other concerns such as violence, abuse, extremism and prejudice among Muslim youth.
There were group discussions and workshops on the role of the youth in governance, development and peace building, Pangarungan told Manila Bulletin.
Pangarungan said the youth’s energy should be channeled towards peace-building.
He said that what happened in Marawi City, which took a heavy toll during the siege in 2017 should not be allowed to happen again in any Philippine city.
Pangarungan reminded the public that since Filipinos are a people of diverse faiths, interfaith dialogues are an effective way to bring peace. (With reports from Clyde Piczon, USC intern)