THE SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER IN ZAMBOANGA CITY SECOND YEAR | September 09, 2015

Zamboanga City will never forget September 09, 2013. It was the beginning of a siege and a war that caused so much pain, hatred and death. Many still live in fear reflecting “what will be the future of Zamboanga for me and my family?” and “what will be the Muslim-Christian relations if the alarming practice of using religion to divide people and leaders will continue in Zamboanga and other areas as it is happening in other parts of the world?” Zamboanga City will never forget September 09, 2013. It was the beginning of a siege and a war that caused so much pain, hatred and death. Many still live in fear reflecting “what will be the future of Zamboanga for me and my family?” and “what will be the Muslim-Christian relations if the alarming practice of using religion to divide people and leaders will continue in Zamboanga and other areas as it is happening in other parts of the world?” On the occasion of the first anniversary of September 9, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement has decided to share with friends a simple booklet with personal stories of a few chosen friends, among the thousands who also can have good stories to share.  The booklet is a sign of hope to tell all: “Do not be afraid…  There is also a lot of goodness among us, Muslims and Christians in Zamboanga.  We can live in peace together if we love each other, accepting the differences of our faiths and cultures…God has planted in all of us the same seed of love…We are brothers and sisters, with the same spiritual aspiration in life.  The aspiration that is also a dream.  The dream is to live in harmony, solidarity and peace as part of the same human family”. Together we have to transform the “ground zero” of Zamboanga into a ground of hope! (You may find this booklet @ www.silsilahdialogue.com)On this second anniversary of the September 9 in Zamboanga City, we are all challenged to look at ourselves, our families, communities and Zamboanga in general.   How are we now?   Are we going extra mile to achieve personal healing?   What are we doing to help ease the pains, fears, hatred and death of our neighbours?
As we all push for the establishment of a lasting peace in Mindanao it will be good for us to embrace the idea of our being all members of one family.  Recently, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Nobel Laureate for Peace, wrote:
“And God says, I have a dream.  I  have a dream that all of my children will discover that they belong in one family – my family, the human family – a family in which there are no outsiders; all are held in the embrace of the one whose love will never let us go; the one who says that each one of us is of incredible worth, that each one of us is precious to God because each of us has their name written on the palms of God’s hands.  And God says, there are no outsiders – black, white, red, yellow, short, tall, young, old, rich, poor, gay, lesbian, straight – everyone.  All belong. And God says, I have only you to help me realize my dream. Help me”.
As we walk about in our daily life let us reflect more of the people we meet on the way as brothers and sisters in one family – one human family who possesses the same heart to love.  A love rooted in God’s love to each one of us, so personally and intimately at the same time to the one entire human family.  It is in this sense of our belovedness that love becomes an action word. You’ve got to do something!

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