ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 14, 2014—The Silsilah Dialogue Movement (SDM) encourages Muslims to consider helping the victims of the Zamboanga City siege as part of their obligation during the month of Ramadan.
“We are challenged to leave our ‘comfort zones’ as a form of ‘fasting’ and identify the urgent needs of our society,” SDM founder Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra said
in a statement, urging Muslims to assist families left homeless after the attack of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), led by its founding chairman Nur Misuari, last September 9.
D’Ambra reminded Muslims that the month of Ramadan is a good occasion to “open our hearts to those who are most in need.”
The interfaith dialogue advocate added that 10 months after the Zamboanga crisis, “the sufferings of the people are still visible here. This reality also reminds us the pains of many in the world due to wars, injustices and natural calamities.”
According to D’Ambra there is a need to “reuild trust, solidarity and harmony” among Muslims and Christians, overcoming fear among the different, co-existing cultures and sectors.
Citing the principle, “to think/dream globally and act locally”, D’Ambra said the SDM encourages all Muslims to revisit the Ramadan message and be able to read the signs of the times in our own territories and answer the needs of the people.
“This message is not only for the people of Zamboanga, but for all,” D’Ambra said. “Each one, in solidarity with the month of Ramadan, is invited to identify what is the ‘fasting’ that brings us out of our ‘narrow’ understanding of life and to share more our time, our talents and what we have with others. This is possible if we give more attention to the spiritual foundation of life anchored in the Love of God, the love of neighbors and the love for the common good.”
Apart from the effects of the clash between MNLF and government armed forces, SDM urged Muslims to take part in the effort to end illegal activities, especially the destruction of the watersheds of Zamboanga.
Muslims worldwide started observing their holy month of Ramadan last June 28. The month-long practice of fasting, praying, and alms-giving will end on July 28. (CBCPNews)