COTABATO CITY: The Marawi evacuees on Saturday accepted a donation of beef from a Turkish foundation. This after they turned down the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) offer of thousands of dressed chicken from Pampanga where a bird flu outbreak was declared last month.
The Integrated Center for Alternative Development (ICAD) donated live cows which were slaughtered according to Halal procedures then the beef was distributed to those at the Saguiaran evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur during the second day of the Eid’l Adha celebration.
The evacuees said that aside from their fear of being infected with the avian flu virus, they explained they turned down the DA’s offer of the dressed chicken from Pampanga because it is against the “maratabat” or pride and honor of a Maranao to receive meat of a suspicious quality.
They said they are being treated as second class citizens and are questioning why they were not offered the dressed chicken during the early days of the Marawi siege when they badly needed food.
“The chicken were not slaughtered in accordance with the procedure in Islam where chicken and cattle are subject to halal processing before it is allowed to be consumed by Muslims,” they added.
Soldiers of the Western Mindanao Command under the Joint Task Group Tabang (JTGT) led by Col. Thomas Sedano arrived early at the evacuation center to help in the ritual slaughter of about 15 cows donated by ICAD which beef was later distributed to the evacuees.
The cows were slaughtered or went through a “sumbali,” a Maranao a term for ceremonial slaughtering done by an Imam to make sure that the process is halal; in Tausug the term is sumbaih.
Halal refers to what is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic Law. It is frequently applied to food and drinks, including animals that are to be butchered for consumption.
A program for the second day celebration for Eid’l Adha was held in the morning with Kim Edres, director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, with Saguiaran Mayor Macmod Muti and police and military officials.
The ICAD Foundation has donated a total of 53 live cows to the internally displaced families at various evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Maguindanao.
In Metro Manila, ICAD and another Filipino-Turkish NGO, the Pacific Dialogue Foundation (PDF) also conducted their annual distribution of beef at the ICAD office in Greenhills, San Juan City.
Cihanger Arslan, PDF president said thousands of families in Metro Manila received at least two kilos of beef each.
Arslan said both ICAD and PDF are doing this annually during the Eid’l Adha celebrations as an act of charity and kindness for those in need and the less privileged since 1997.
A non-stock and non-profit foundations organized by Filipinos and Turkish, ICAD and PDF are with the objective of promoting closer ties between the Philippines and Turkey and fostering religious tolerance and multi-cultural exchange.
The ICAD runs secular schools in Metro Manila and Zamboanga City that follow the Cambridge diploma program.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL