Metro Manila — At the Blue Mosque and Cultural Center in Taguig City, Muslims are deep in prayer as they observe Ramadan.
A week into the holy month of fasting, prayers help them abstain, not just from food and water, but from worldly desires as well.
It’s a faith-stretching exercise, even unholy thoughts should be avoided.
It’s a period when Muslims unite, and a time as well to stand up for what their faith rejects: attacks by extremists on innocent people in the name of Islam.
Autonomous Muslim Region Governor Mujiv Hataman condemns the terror attacks, calling these violations of one of the pillars of Islam.
On the killing of a hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group, Hataman said, “It has only been a week since Ramadan began, and it is appalling that this holy month we set aside for prayer and reflection has been already been violated by extremists here and abroad, as they wage violence in the name of our faith.
“This is not what Islam stands for, and we refuse to let this turn against our fellow Filipinos – not at a time when Ramadan teaches us sympathy compassion, and love.”
And Muslims are affirming their objection to extremism.
A devout Muslim, Jadjurie Arasa says some defend their actions based on a shallow and selective understanding of the Koran.
And he reinforces what Islam stands for, saying Islam is peace.
And this is what they’re praying for as they observe the holy month of Ramadan.