A LOCAL Muslim group has decried the violence that claimed the lives of 12 French journalists last week, “ostensibly in the name of religion,” saying it is “anathema to universally-held values of liberty, equality and brotherhood—concepts that are part of the fundamental tenets of Islam.”
“We are saddened by this horrific event that has once again cast Muslims as rampaging over-zealous demagogues, belying the fact that a vast majority are peaceful, law-abiding members of their respective communities,” the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) said in a statement on Monday.
It added that it “share[s]the sorrow of the families of the victims, some of whom were innocent bystanders.”
Looking back, the PCID said “liberte, égalité, fraternité [liberty equality, brotherhood]were the rallying cries of French revolutionaries that have resounded beyond the streets of Paris and reverberated the world over, sparking independence movements across continents.”
The Paris barricades and the French revolutionaries, according to the group, have been catalysts to numerous aspirations for independence from colonial rulers, including the Philippines’ own nationalist struggle for self-determination.
“While many would take offense at the satirical lampooning characteristic of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, no one could countenance the brutal massacre in Paris last Wednesday. Such violent intolerance contravenes the precepts of Islam, which values the sanctity of human life,” the PCID said.
It pointed to “other venues to vent our vehement disgust or raging fury over the pointed mockery of our beliefs or the cavalier treatment of our spiritual icons. After all, we are living in the age of reason. We no longer take umbrage through the strength of our fists and the edge of our swords.”
Rather, the group said, “our level of civility mandates our claiming redress of our grievances through democratic processes which we have long struggled to establish with our blood, sweat and tears. The peaceful resolution of conflict is a core principle of Islam.“
Established in 2002 as the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy, it is a “non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the study of Islamic and democratic political thought and the search for peace, democracy and equitable and sustainable development in Muslim communities.”
It made the transition from Council to Center in June 2010.