Manila Mayor Isko Moreno recently said the capital city will open a Muslim cemetery. Thank you, Mayor.
Isko knows what he is talking about: Muslims who have passed away need to be buried within 24 hours because embalming is forbidden to us, and we must bury our dead before the decay of their cadavers seriously sets in.
The City of Manila hosts a significant number of Muslim population—you know this because the capital hosts the Golden Mosque in Quiapo. Some of the Muslims living in the capital city were displaced by the conflict and war in Mindanao who found refuge and, eventually, a new home in Manila.
It looks like the new mayor of Manila understands how hard it is for Muslims to die in non-Muslim areas like Metro Manila, where only the capital and Taguig City have large Muslim populations.
This mindful decision of Mayor Isko will benefit not only Manila's Muslim population, but also Muslims from other part of Metro Manila.
This statement and the actions that will follow mean a lot to us Muslim Filipinos. Thank you, Mayor Isko, we feel the sincerity and understanding in your gesture all the way to Muslim Mindanao. This decision, once implemented, will contribute to much-needed healing between Muslim and non-Muslim Filipinos nationwide, not just in the capital of our country.
Preparing and providing burial grounds for the deceased we love will provide more than just space for our dearly departed. It gives those Muslim Filipinos who yet live a space where we can feel acceptance as Filipinos who follow Islam. We hope that the other LGUs will follow suit, especially those that have a large number of Muslim Filipinos among their constituency.
One friend told me that there are three things you don't delay if you are a Muslim: "Prayer, marriage, and burying the dead."
Your understanding of the urgency behind Islamic burial rites speaks very eloquently of your compassion for us and it gives us heart.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.