Armm sets anti-terror summit

THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) scheduled the conduct of a three-day anti-terrorism summit to be attended by at least 300 ulama from Armm and other regions.

The summit, dubbed as “Armm Ulama Summit Against Terrorism,” will be held from Friday, May 12 to Sunday, May 14, in Cotabato City.

The event is initiated by the regional government in cooperation with the Armm's ulama in line with the Duterte administration's statement that terrorism is an urgent and critical national security threat.

Armm Governor Mujiv Hataman, as well as religious leaders, underscored that the threat of violence and terrorism could further hamper economic growth in the region.

Hataman noted that recent security-related incidents in some areas could dampen business interest in the entire region even as reforms in the Armm were introduced resulting in initial positive response from investors.

The Maute Group's terror attacks in Lanao del Sur show violent extremism's new trajectory, compounded further by recent developments like the Islamic State's expanding influence outside the Middle East.

The governor said these developments would adversely affect high-impact programs and projects that Armm recently introduced all over the region benefiting mostly conflict-affected and low-income communities.

He said the Ulama leaders have noted that the threat of violent extremism and terrorism is not solely the problem and responsibility of political leaders but of religious leaders as well since many terrorists misrepresent and misuse the Islamic faith to justify violence and terrorism, which tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims.

The ulama emphasized that Islam could not be used to justify violent extremism and terrorism. Reeducation is necessary to rediscover the Islamic faith, specifically the principles of justice, compassion, peace, and harmony, they added.

Working with stakeholders to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism is important in this regard, the ulamas emphasized.

President Rodrigo Duterte is on top of the list of invited guests, according to Hataman.

The other invited guests are the ambassadors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Singapore, and the United Nations' representative to the Philippines. (SunStar Philippines)
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