Thursday, January 17, 2013

UN on int’l interfaith understanding

From the Website of Luwaran - MILF

UN on int’l interfaith understanding

(January 8-15)
The United Nations has approved during its 57th Plenary Session on December 18 a Philippine-sponsored resolution seeking interfaith and intercultural understanding and cooperation around the world.

Pakistan co-sponsored the resolution, which was adopted and supported by 51 member states.  The resolution improves on earlier UN resolutions seeking to promote greater tolerance and harmony among people of different cultures and religions around the world during the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022).

No doubt, the adoption of this resolution by the UN will have encompassing positive impacts all over the world especially those states engulfed with religious or sectarian conflicts. The Philippines will also benefit a lot from this resolution. While many do not admit openly but the conflict in Mindanao has religious undertones that the resolution can help to heal. Religions play in dividing societies and communities. Part of the religious enmity stems from proselytization campaign of many religious groups particularly Christianity, whose main teaching is that salvation shall only be through Christ. While this belief of absolute correctness of every religion held by its adherents is fundamental teaching in all religions, Islam has a different view and approach. The Holy Qur’an says: “There is no compulsion in religion; unto you your religion and unto me my religion. Religion is a matter of free choice; one cannot force the mind to believe if it refuses to believe.

The Philippines should be commended for this initiative. This indeed is a giant leap towards building more cooperation amongst the various religious groups in this country especially in Mindanao. It will have direct and great impact on the efforts to return normalcy to Mindanao.

Perhaps the most logical and immediate step from now for religious groups is to meet immediately and draw up plans on the basis of cooperation, fair play, and justice and try to help heal the wounds of the past now being discussed by the MILF and government in the negotiating table.

The MILF sees this initiative as compatible to the spirit and purpose of the negotiation, which is to address the Moro Question in Mindanao. And much of this issue has very deep religious wounds suffered in the past.

We will find every possible way to lend our helping hand in this effort.

MILF Website