Silsilah Message of Ramadan 2017 (Hijrah Calendar 1438)

The holy month of Ramadan for the Muslim Ummah is a special time of fasting, prayer and solidarity.

Following the tradition of Silsilah Dialogue Movement to address every year a message to the Christians during the Advent and Christmas seasons and to the Muslims on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, we focus this message on the present situation of violence and terrorism by  groups who claim to act in the name of Islam, but in reality are against the basic principles of Islam and its message of peace.

An  important message of Islam that we find at the beginning of almost all Sura of the Holy Qur’an is “In the name of God, most Gracious, most Merciful”.
We hope that the Muslim leadership will be more united and courageous to face the new reality of violence  carried out “in the Name of Islam” that affects international and national peace efforts and destroy Islam with many negative implications, not only on the level of security and development, but also on the level of relationship among peoples. This is true for us not only in Mindanao, but also in other parts of the country and in the world.

We know that the Holy Qur’an tells  believers of Islam that “ There is no compulsion in Religion” (Sura 2, 256).
Thus, respect for other cultures and religions must be the basic principle that we have to reaffirm and promote. We also know that the teaching of Christianity is based on love for all and Christians  too are called to move with courage to reaffirm this  important message of love and mercy.
We know how painful  the present situation is  for many good Muslims who do not know what to do to stop violence in the name of Islam.  At the same time many do not have the courage to counteract the violence of those groups. Many of those who promote violence in the name of Islam are also against
good Muslims who are faithful to their faith. This situation is happening in Mindanao today and many other parts of the world.

We hope that the prayers and reflections  during the  holy Month of Ramadan will help those who promote violence in the name of religion to stop  their contrary actions.  At  the same time we pray that all forms of violence can be stopped, even if they are not carried out  by  ”religious affiliated groups” but by groups which  continue to use violence for their own vested interests and  geo-political  plans to gain more power.

We can identify today many forms of violence against people, religions, cultures. And even against nature, our “common house” and we are called to have courage and work together for the common good.

We in Silsilah believe that Muslims, Christians and all people of good will are called to live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace. Together we have to raise  our voices, guided by our conscience and cry out: “No more violence!”.

Guided by this spirit and message we hope and pray that the month of  Ramadan 2017 will be the  beginning of peace in Mindanao and the world. This is also our wish and prayer that in all parts of the world people can move with a new hope and rediscover that we are brothers and sisters in the common humanity created by God.

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