Around 300 ulama, or Islamic scholars, will attend an anti-terrorism summit to be held in Cotabato City from May 12 to 14.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) organized the summit as a response to the Duterte administration’s statement that terrorism is an urgent and critical national security threat.
In a statement released by the ARMM Bureau of Public Information on Monday, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said, “The threat of violence and terrorism could further hamper economic growth in the region.”
“Even as reforms in the ARMM were introduced resulting in initial positive response from investors, recent security-related incidents in some areas could dampen business interest in the entire region,” he said, citing the Maute Group’s recent terror attacks in Lanao del Sur.
The ulama leaders, in a statement, said working with stakeholders to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism is important.
They emphasized that Islam could not be used to justify violent extremism and terrorism.
“The threat of violent extremism and terrorism is not solely the problem and responsibility of political leaders but of religious leaders as well since many terrorists misrepresent and misuse the Islamic faith to justify violence and terrorism, which tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims,” they added.
The summit will also discuss ARMM’s campaigns and programs against extremism, and the draft communication for peace action plan.
President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the summit along with Hataman and ambassadors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Singapore, and the United Nations' representative to the Philippines.