There is, of course, a well established correlation the world over between Ramadan and an increase in jihadist attacks. And what better way to celebrate the end of the “month of jihad” than… more jihad?
“Violence could erupt after Ramadan – Jolo Catholic bishop,” by Jomar Canlas for the Manila Times, September 11 (thanks to Twostellas):
A Catholic bishop fears an escalation of violence in southern Philippines after the Muslims’ celebration of Ramadan.
Jolo Bishop Angelito Lampon said in the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines CBCP) that they are bracing for a possible stepping-up of hostilities just like what happened in the past years.
Friday was the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“Usually, something happens after Ramadan. That is our experience . . . that’s why we take extra-precautionary measures,” Lampon also said over Church-run Radyo Veritas on Thursday.
That is also the reason, he added, why they welcome the decision of the police and military leadership to go on heightened alert as early as last Monday.
“It’s just proper that they’re on heightened alert to preempt any untoward incidents,” Lampon said.
The military and the police are on heightened alert as a precautionary measure against possible retaliatory attacks from Abu Sayyaf rebels after their commander and two of his men were killed by an elite police unit last week.
With this, Lampon urged those planning to sow fear and violence to forego their plans and think twice.
“We pray that their sacrifices would bear fruit toward peace, save life, to Allah. We can work together toward development of harmony and peace,” he stressed.
But Allah promises paradise to Muslims who “slay and are slain” for Allah (9:111), while also admonishing believers “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them…” (3:28). Further, “whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them” (5:51).
It tends to throw a wrench in the works of joining together for harmony and peace.
In the meantime, Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma stressed that the period after the end of the Ramadan is the best time for the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to pursue peace talks.
Trying to catch them in a good mood, perhaps?
Ledesma heads the Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.