• Islamic leaders appeal for release of filmmakers

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    MUSLIM religious leaders on Tuesday appealed for the safe release of two Moro filmmakers who were abducted by an armed group in Sulu last week.

    Carrying the weight of other Islamic religious leaders and organizations, Aleem Judge Abo Ali Cali, president of the Ulama League of the Philippines (ULP) appealed to the armed group to release Nadjoua and Linda Bansil.

    “We are appealing to whoever are holding our sisters Nadjoua and Linda Bansil to release them in the spirit of Ramadan and in the name of Islamic brotherhood and peace,” said Cali, who is also a judge of the Shari’ah Circuit Court in Marawi City.

    He said that the family of Nadjoua and Linda and their fellow Muslims want to start Ramadan with the sisters already at home.

    Prof. Salipada Tamano, also an official of ULP and co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama Conference echoed Cali’s appeal.

    “In behalf of my being a co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama Conference, we are supporting the appeals for the safety and freedom of the Bansil sisters as the Muslim world prepares to welcome Ramadan, the holy month of fasting,” said Tamano.

    The religious leaders made their appeal through journalist Edd Usman, uncle of the Bansil sisters.

    Meanwhile, relatives of the sisters said there has been no direct contact yet with the group holding them.

    Mohammed Bansil, a younger brother of the victims, said no one from the armed group holding his sisters captive has established contact with the family.

    “We are hoping and praying they are safe wherever they are,” he said.

    The Bansil sisters, who are Moro filmmakers were abducted in Sulu, last week while shooting a film on coffee farmers.

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