Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Celebrating Eid'l Ftr with Muslim Friends

Yesterday, I went over to the house of Ustadz Mahmod Adilao to celebrate the Eid'l Ftr - the end of the Ramadhan - with his family. His wife Norayah and daughter Nor Asiah were there, together with their grandchildren. There were also two members of the Focolare movement who arrived later.

Ustadz Adilao is the head of the Ulama League of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao chapter. He is also a member of the Bishops-Ulama Conference. We became close friends seven years ago when we worked together to organize the Caravan for Peace from Davao to Cotabato during the height of the all-out war declared by President Estrada in Central Mindanao. Since then we have occasionally met during consultations, meetings and prayer rallies. His daughter Nor Asiah is also a close friend. We are part of the Silsilah dialogue movement in Davao.

I am so glad to celebrate the Eid'l Ftr with them after expressing my solidarity with the Muslims in Mindanao by also fasting during the Ramadhan - my own version of Duyog-Ramadhan. I have been on a complete fast every Friday, and during the other days I have been eating only once day.

Even if Ramadhan is over, I will continue my Fast for Peace every Friday and will continue to eat only once day during the other days. I am doing so because there is still no peace in our land. With the end of Ramadhan, the fighting has escalated. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) units continue their attack as the Government forces continue their military operations supported by bombing operations. Muslim and Christian civilians have suffered from this ongoing armed conflict. In other parts of Mindanao, the communist New People's Army (NPA) have also increased their tactical offensives and the Government forces have also countered with more operations. Sadly, the Arroyo government has adopted a more hardline, militarist approach.

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