We did not mean to disrespect Islam » Manila Bulletin News

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By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte defended Tuesday the need to wear footwear when he and other government officials entered the Grand Islamic Mosque in the besieged Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on Monday.

This after government officials, particularly Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Margaux Uson, were criticized in social media as insensitive  for entering the mosque while wearing boots and for not wearing a hijab.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte makes his fourth visit to the troops battling against the terrorists in Marawi City. (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

While maintaining that he respects the religion, Duterte, in a media interview, explained why they had to wear footwear inside the holy place.

According to the President, they had to wear footwear when they went inside the mosque on Monday to protect themselves from the debris on the floor.

“‘Yung nakita na nila puro rubble and glass eh. Ano, para ka matinik? Tapos papa-tetanus ka nanaman? May IED nga doon eh. Gusto mo mag-tinikling ka doon (What they saw was the place was filled with rubble and broken glass. For what? For you to get hurt? Then you’ll have another tetanus shot? There were even improvised explosive devices there. You want to dance the tinikling there)?” Duterte told reporters.

“I respect Islam, that was the religion of my [grandmother]–there was no–it was not meant to disrespect or dishonor [the religion],” Duterte added.

The removing of footwear before entry and the wearing of a hijab for women are practices of Muslims when inside a mosque.

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