Marawi Not an Islamic City — Islamic Brotherhood

Feb. 27, 2010

By Media Mindanao News Service

News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today

ILIGAN CITY (MMNS/September 30, 1987) – A Muslim alliance in Lanao campaigning for the restoration of capital punishment for “five serious offenses” has demanded the revocation of Marawi as Islamic City.”

Amir Hassan Doro, President of the 1000-strong Islamic Brotherhood (19) told reporters this morning here, that Marawi, capital of Lanao del Sur (45 km southeast from here) can never be considered “Islamic City.”  “The city seeks of official corruption, stench, and despicable vices like drug addiction, white slavery and kidnappings,” Doro and his spokesman Safdullah Alonto, declared.

Marawi, reputedly a “kidnap city,” was officially designated “Islamic City” in May 1978 by the deposed Marcos government. “It was a moro appeasement by the Marcos government to restive Muslims,” spokesman  Alonto recalled referring to the period of intense guerilla war waged by the Moro National Liberation Front  in the South.

The two Muslim leaders quoted reports from the Narcotics Command (Narcom) which said that Marawi ranked number 2 in drug addiction cases throughout Mindanao last year, and grabbed the top seat this year. They also revealed that kidnappings and white slavery “are rampant” adding that the common methods employed by perpetrators involved abduction of children and grooming them until the ripe age for the flesh trade.

They did not cite figures but claimed they could name persons involved in the flesh trade, one of them a relative of a ranking public official.

The Islamic Brotherhood, composed largely of Maranao Muslims, repeatedly denounced the rash of kidnappings in Lanao which victimized the Visayan Christians, subsequently heading to heightened tension between the Visayans and Maranaos. “Criminals can never be called ‘Muslims’ anymore than they are fit to be called’ ‘Christians.’ “It proposed that persons responsible for the rise of drug abuse, abductions and white slavery in Marawi be simply called “Maranaos.”

Neither did the 13 representatives give specifics on the degree of graft and corruption in Lanao del sur. “You can simply detect this in the elegant houses of public officials and in contrast, the ill-maintained roads in the province, and in the outrageous public sanitation as evidence by the absence of a sewage system and by the piles of uncollected garbage,” declined the Brotherhood leaders.

There is an Islamic City in the world yet, not even Jerusalem and Meccah,” said Doro referring to the two holiest Muslim places in the world.

Explaining their position to restore death penalty abolished by the 1987 Constitution, Alonto and Doro said the Brotherhood is guided by concern for human rights. It cited “five serious cases” where it is warranted: graft and corruption, white slavery, kidnapping, drug pushing and rape. It however classified murder as a “special case” qualifying that killings related to “justified” rebellion are “moral” as in the case of uprisings against the Marcos dictatorship.

Islamic Brotherhood also condemned the killing of militant leader Lean Alejandro, gunned down September 19, as a case of human rights violations.

They named no responsible group for the murder but claimed “this is one case of human rights violations where capital punishment is called for.”

Alonto and Doro said that their organization is sponsoring symposiums to popularize their demands. (Media Mindanao News Service News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today)

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