Unity, harmony urged amid IS threat

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged the Filipinos to become “catalysts of unity and harmony” in the face of the extremist threats in the country’s south.

He also called on the Muslims to “reaffirm their devotion to the virtues of Islam” as they celebrate Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice today, Sept. 1. 

“With the adversities we face as a nation, let us bring forth the spirit of solidarity in our shared hope of attaining genuine and lasting peace,” Duterte said.

“May this occasion invigorate you to remain steadfast in our task of ensuring triumph against the elements that perpetuate discord and violence.”

Duterte earlier declared Sept. 1, or Eid al-Adha, as a regular holiday. It commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, although God  intervened and provided him with a sheep to sacrifice instead.

President Rodrigo Duterte

Muslims all over the world will troop early today to designated places of congregational prayers and vow vigilance against the threats by extremists who may unsuspectingly merge with legitimate religious crowds on Eidl Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice.

Malacañang has declared Friday as a non-working holiday pursuant to Republic Act 9849, the law providing for the inclusion of two Muslim festivities as part of the country’s national holidays.

The Eid’l Adha on Sept. 1 marks the culmination of the Hajj Pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam, which will be joined this year by 1.8 million Muslims from all over the world. Hajj is the Fifth of the Five Pillars of Islam. 

Eid’l Adha is one of the two greatest feasts of Islam―the other being Eid’l Fitr or the Feast of Ramadan. 

Duterte said the celebration was an opportunity for Muslims to renew their faith. 

“Ibrahim’s admirable act of obedience to the will of Allah is a reminder to us all of the value of sacrifice necessary in our lives,” Duterte said.

“It also exemplifies the necessity to surrender personal comfort for the greater good.” 

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