By Julmunir Jannaral | The Manila Times
COTABATO CITY: A group of Muslim leaders has expressed that it is not "haram" or prohibited in Islam to vote for former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who has filed his certificate of candidacy for President in the May 9, 2022 national elections.
The Muslim leaders apparently were refuting a statement in an old poster titled "Anti Muslim" bearing a warning that Muslims should not elect politicians whose pictures were in the poster with Bongbong, whose picture was one of those shown in the advertisement.
Shariff Ibrahim Albani, a candidate for senator in next year's polls and who will be in the lineup of the Marcos ticket, said the poster — an old one and first posted in 2015 and reposted once again on social media — also carried the picture of the late former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Albani cited Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari who vowed to strongly support with his thousands of followers from the MNLF Bongbong's bid for Malacañang.
Misuari claimed that Bongbong was his Vice President in the 2016 national elections, saying it is true that the father of the former senator, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, was his No. 1 enemy when he was still waging war as the chairman of the MNLF secessionist movement.
But, he added, the fault of the father cannot be also the fault of the son.
"The fault of the father cannot be inherited by the son," the MNLF chairman pointed out.
In the same manner, former Basilan governor Abdulghani "Gerry" Salapuddin said as a devout Muslim himself as well as a former MNLF rebel commander operating in the hinterlands of Basilan, there is no truth that Bongbong is anti-Muslim.
"Islam is a perfect way of life and politics is an institution for good governance. Both are victims of its undesirable and unscrupulous practitioners," according to Salapuddin, who at one time became the deputy speaker for Mindanao in the House of Representatives.
He said he could not understand why some people are focusing on the declaration of martial law that happened many years back when in fact it is Bongbong who is the candidate for President.
"Is it correct and appropriate that he is made to answer for what his late father did?" Salapuddin asked.
He explained that Bongbong had nothing to do with the declaration of martial law in 1972 when he was still a young boy and he was neither the President nor a policymaker.
Albani mentioned other Muslim leaders and their respective organizations in the country who have signified also their good intentions to strongly support the candidacy of Bongbong and to belie the black propaganda that the young Marcos is "Anti-Muslim."
He named the groups as the 1Maharlika, World Philosophical Forum of the Philippines and Unity for Revival Foundation, which are all headed by Shariff Ibrahim Albani himself.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah), has also given the commitment of the Sulu Sultanate to fully support the candidacy of Bongbong.
We in the sultanate likewise refute the said statement alleging that BBM (the former senator's initials) is anti-Muslim," according to Idjirani, the official spokesman and who is married to the younger sister of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd.
The other three Muslim organizations that are also pushing the candidacy of Marcos are the Young Muslim for Bongbong Marcos Movement for Change headed by its president Ustadz Udzpar Abdugapar; International Movement for Peace, Unity and Reconciliation headed by its president Ping Adil Mugong of Simunul, Tawi-Tawi; and the Marcos for President Movement headed by its founding chairman Jupakar Arabani of the province of Sulu.
Kiram called the "anti-Muslim" hate campaign as nothing but a source of fake news out to divide the solidarity or unity of the Muslims.