Muslim group wants Pasay City to defer mosque demolition

August 27, 2009 11:45 am 

MANILA, Aug. 27 — A Muslim group on Thursday urged the Pasay City government not to push through with its planned demolition of their Grand Mosque in a reclaimed area along Roxas Boulevard.

“Clearly, at the rate things are going, they are hell-bent on destroying out place of worship. Proof of this, they even threatened to do it during Ramadan, the holiest period in our lives,” Abdelmanan Tanandato, leader of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Nademolis sa Roxas Boulevard, said.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured, from dawn until dusk.

Early this month, the Paranaque regional trial court branch 274 notified the Baclaran-Parañaque City Islamic Cultural Center, Inc., Nasser D. Ramos and Jalil Moluk and Sultan Sohayle Cosain Tanandato, to vacate the reclamation site in Roxas Boulevard.

The notice also stated that “failure to vacate, the government will be constrained to use force and effect the said order to the full force and limit provided by law.

The defendants have questioned the court order and filed a motion calling for its repeal. The court has set the hearing on Friday (August 28) on their motion.

Meanwhile, Imam Abdul Fatah Sarip warned that blood might spill if the Pasay City government pursue its demolition of the mosque.

“Muslims brothers and sisters would gladly offer their lives during Ramadan if it is the only way to save their place of worship from utter destruction,” Sarip said.

The Task Force Anti-Eviction, composed of various people’s and non-government organizations, such as Urban Poor Associates, Community Organizers Multiversity, and Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise Foundation, have demanded the government to defer the demolition.

Lawyer Bienvenido Salinas II, legal counsel of UPA, said they were also drafting a house resolution in aid of legislation halting the demolition of the mosque. The said resolution is in partnership with ABA-AKO Party-list Rep. Leonardo Montemayor. (PNA)



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