Lanao taps Muslim clerics in fight vs extreme ideology

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MARAWI CITY: The provincial go­vernment of Lanao del Sur has tapped moderate Muslim clerics or Ulamas to take part in peace building by portraying Islam as a religion of peace amid efforts by the government to combat the emergence of extremists in the country.

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Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto-Adiong said the task given to the clerics is to provide weekly sermons every Friday at large mosques in this city and 39 towns of the province.

The program shall help educate people about the religion of Islam as “peaceful way of life,” she said.

Adiong added that it is also to comply with her “9-point agenda” through implementing activities, policies and programs to communities and ensure continuous peace and order as well as spiritual enhancement.

The drive started on Friday after several clerics in the province vowed support to the peace building initiatives that would upset extremists’ propagandists.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu renewed his call for strict rules on all madaris (Arabic and Islamic schools) including the profiling of students and teachers in addition to registering their institutions with the government.

Mangudadatu said profiling all teachers and students in the madaris system, including orphanages, will insure that their lectures would isolate extremists recruiting young Muslims for jihadist activities.

The government is combating the emergence of extremism brought about by international terror movements that have swayed several jihadists groups in the country, particularly in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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