Talk about displaced concerns. A Catholic bishop speaking in the aftermath of the Islamic terror attack on Marawi City that left more than 100 dead and destroyed the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians said he’s now worried about the potential for anti-Muslim bias to creep into the community.
Shouldn’t he be more worried about the Islamic persecution of Christians that’s going on around him?
But he’s not. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, a global charity, Bishop Edwin dela Pena wondered how the recent buring of the cathedral — and hostage-taking of Father Teresito Suganub, the vicar general, would impact locals’ relations with Muslims.
Ostrich head in the sand? You decide.
“In an interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Edwin dela Peña, who heads the Prelature of Marawi in the Philippines, discussed the situation in Marawi City where Muslim extremists have killed more than 100, burned down the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, and are holding hostage Father Teresito Suganub, the vicar general, along with a dozen or more staff members from the cathedral. To date, some 12,500 families have been displaced by the violence as the army is clashing with the militants …
“How will this situation affect Christian-Muslim relations in Marawi?
“‘Unavoidably, some of the natural biases that Christians have against Muslims will be stirred up again. Interfaith dialogue is a very fragile process and these incidents can destroy the foundation that we have built. Some people are fueling these anti-Muslim sentiments—just as we’ve made a very good headway improving the relationship between Muslims and Christians in Marawi. In fact, comparing our relationship with Muslim-Christian relations elsewhere in the country, I can safely say that ours is the best. For example, our schools—which have been operating for decades—have always been dear to our Muslim brothers and Christians alike. These institutions have trained the city’s professional class, building up a kind of patronage and loyalty to our schools among the Muslim population.'”
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