COTABATO CITY: Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Simunul local government recently launched a seaside historical landmark honoring Sheik Karimul Makdum, a 14th century Arab missionary, judge and scholar who taught southerners Islamic peace activism that outlawed Islamic terrorists at present are trying to destroy. The landmark was constructed on the spot where Makdum landed on the shores of Simunul Island in Tawi-Tawi province. He supervised the construction of the oldest mosque in the Philippines, the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque in 1380 that marked the introduction of the Islamic faith in the country. Makdum brought with him a copy of the Qur’an that he used as main reference in propagating Islam in what are now island towns in Tawi-Tawi. ARMM and provincial officials led the inauguration that was capped by the launching of P80 million worth of infrastructure projects in Simunul. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the landmark with a figure of the Holy Qur’an on top of an arch shall be a “strong reminder” for people in Tawi-Tawi to remain moderate in their interpretations of the teachings in the Qur’an. Outlawed religious extremists in ARMM supposedly have been misinterpreting many verses in the Qur’an when they preach to justify their violent behavior and their persecution of Christians and neutral Muslims.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL