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Editorial.What is happening to our Islamic values?

We are in the midst of our observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan. We are supposed to be meditating in remorse for the wrongs we have committed and are fasting for the hope and belief that Allah (s.w.t.) will forgive us our sins.

It is sad to note, however, that crimes big and small are happening all around us, in our place that we pride to be the Islamic City of the Philippines.

The perpetrators probably claim too that they are Muslims for it is usually what we Maranaos love to call ourselves. And the victims are also Muslims and a few Christians because the latter are only very few in our city and province.

What is happening to us? Our spiritual and political leaders look helpless. Our law enforcers seem helpless too.

Shall we look back to our youth when we went to the Madrasah and were taught Arabic to learn how to read the Holy Q’uran and memorize the Surahs? How long ago was it when we were taught the values of true Muslims who submit ourselves completely to the will of Allah (s.w.t.)?

We are proud to be Muslims and we stand to tell the whole world that Islam is the true religion. We need to show other people of other faiths that we are right and they are wrong.

However, how can we demonstrate the purity of our faith if even in the Holy Month of Ramadan, crimes are rampant in our midst?

Two weeks ago, a policeman from a municipality in our province who claims to be on Ramadan leave, was involved in a kidnapping incident in Iligan. The victim was a 17 year old student. She was a Christian and was reportedly raped by her kidnappers.

In the Islamic City, cadavers of women and men were found — some within the Mindanao State University, while others in the city downtown. And we also heard of kidnappings and carnappings taking place for ransom or otherwise. Never in our history have there been such criminalities rocking our midst.

Ironically, peace advocates and religious scholars preaching for peace are proliferating and almost every day a peace seminar is being held, in many instances funded by CSOs with access to foreign funders. Yet the more crimes are being committed.

Probably, we have to look deeper into the basics of our faith. Shall we allow Maranaos involved in crimes to call themselves Muslims?

Perhaps, it is time for our religious and political leaders to move. The jinns in the minds of some people who commit crimes must be driven away. And if such jinns persist because of outside unseen hand, we must strengthen our faith so that nothing can drive us to commit a crime or a major sin. Ranao Star

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