September 21, 2017, 8:11 pm
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No Bibles, please

IN the tradition of the laglag-bala at the airport (contraband bullet suddenly appearing in a traveler’s luggage to start a fleecing operation), the Filipino penchant for inserting things inside benign packages such as relief goods for Marawi evacuees has attained a new level of sophistication.

Just recently, high-caliber ammunition was discovered among bags of donated clothes, slippers, diapers, medicine and canned goods destined for evacuees in Marawi. The cargo was en route from Mandaluyong to that beleaguered city in the south. It takes just a cursory probe to know that these bullets were intended to reach the Maute-Abu Sayyaf group fighting the Armed Forces.

Never to be outdone, Christian activists recently swooped down on evacuation centers in Iligan City with hygiene kits composed of soap, toothpaste and shampoo, school supplies and other relief goods and other donations. 

Pious Muslims such as Islamic teacher Abdulharim Ambor were appalled when they saw that inside the hygiene kits were hardbound copies of the Bible, titled “Su Sindaw”(The Light) written in the Maranao language.

Some Muslims were so incensed that they wanted to throw the books in the garbage bin or burn them. The Muslim scholar restrained them, gathered all the Bibles and turned them over to the a Balik-Islam group in Iligan for proper disposition, inasmuch as they could not be returned to the senders.

Ambor said, “Of course, the people want help and they need help, but what they don’t need today is an insult to their sensibilities.”

The Muslim teacher is correct in pointing out that while the Christian activists may not think it offensive to distribute Bibles, the act of proselytization may be used by some groups, like the Maute, to persuade fellow members of the Islam faith to fight the government.

Ambor is apprehensive of what may happen if this goes on, so he appealed to “our brothers in the Christian faith not to mix evangelization with your attempts to help the needy Maranao.”

While the Christian distributors of the Bible believe they are doing good, the consequences of this act are enormously evil. It is just like fanning the fire of hatred and bigotry among ISIS fanatics, especially the young.

Getting one supposedly holy book and pitting it against another book, with the two claiming they are eternal, unalterable and the final, unerring truth, can only invite unending trouble, misery, and death to our benighted nation.
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