PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte called for prayers for peace to reign in the country as he greeted Filipino Muslims on the celebration of Islamic New Year today, September 21.
In his message, the President cited the importance of the occasion in instilling discipline and good values among members of the Islamic faith.
“I join the Muslim Filipino community and all the Muslims in the world in commemorating Amun Jadid or Islamic New Year. This occasion is one of the most important events in the culture of Islam. Indeed, Amun Jadid provides a reason to celebrate faith, offers the opportunity to contemplate life’s real purpose and grants the chance to reassess your dealings with other people,” Duterte said.
“More importantly, it is a time to strengthen your love for Allah by translating the readings of the Holy Qur’an into actions that demonstrate goodwill, obedience, harmony, vitality and hope,” he added.
The President then called on Filipino Muslims to unite with other Filipinos in attaining peace and prosperity for everyone.
“On this day, I pray with you that we may all find the peace that we seek in ourselves, in our country and in all of humanity. The Filipino people have faced many challenges that tested our respective beliefs, principles and ways of life. Now is the time to start anew and inspire our endeavors with trust, understanding and mutual respect,” Duterte said.
“Let us work as one nation to fight the ills of society and never waver on our journey towards the fulfillment of our promise of real change,” he added. “I wish you a happy new year and may Allah bless you always.”
The country’s more than 10 million Muslims are celebrating Islamic New Year as government troops are preparing their final assault against Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City on May 23.
The Islamist fighters reportedly attacked the war-torn city in an attempt to establish an enclave for IS fighters in the southern Philippines.
A military enforcement was imposed by President Duterte in the entire Mindanao until end of December this year to allow the troops to liberate Marawi and prevent the possible spread of lawless acts to other parts of the country.
A total of 673 terrorists, 47 civilians and 149 government troopers have died since the clashes started, according to latest official data. CATHERINE S. VALENTE