Jun 22, 2012

Moro: Deriving Peace from Diversity

The contributions of the Moro to the society of the Philippines has been celebrated during celebrations in Manila today, with cultural and religious differences cited as building blocks for long-lasting peace.

Below is an article published by The Manila Bulletin:

A member of the government peace panel negotiating with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) stressed that differences in faith and culture are not hindrances to achieving lasting peace in Mindanao.

 In her keynote speech during the celebration of Manila’s 441st Foundation Day at City Hall, Yasmin Busran-Lao reiterated that the differences in faith and culture are actually a vehicle to attaining peace.

 Also present in the celebration were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Gemma Cruz-Araneta of the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission.

 Busran-Lao also lauded Manilans for showing religious and cultural tolerance.

 “This kind of appreciation and understanding of religious diversity at the barangay level not only strengthens our family but also shapes a bright future for our children,” she said.

 Lao also recognized the contribution of Muslim Filipinos in the development of the city.

 “Your anniversary has become more meaningful by showing the contributions of our Muslim brothers and sisters in building trust, respect and cooperation towards progress in our barangays,” she said.

Lim acknowledged Muslims as the founders of Manila. “We admire you because you did not surrender when the Spaniards came. You fought when the Americans and the Japanese came. But we shouldn’t fight each other for we are all Filipinos,” he said.

Lim also announced the upcoming construction of a shopping mall so that Muslim merchants will no longer have to sell along sidewalks.

He also boasted of 21 Madrasah teachers who teach Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education or ALIVE.