Officials from Mindanao enjoined Muslims all over the country to remain calm in their efforts to oppose the film “Innocence of Muslim,” which has sparked riots in several Islamic nations since last week.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) acting governor Mujiv Hataman reminded Muslims about peaceful denunciation of the film that showed the image of Islamic founder, Prophet Mohammad.
Hataman said Muslims should not fall prey to the film’s objective to push individuals to commit wrongdoings and destroy the image of Islam.
“We should be more sensible instead of being sensitive. We should not resort to violent acts against innocent targets,” Hataman said in a statement.
“Otherwise, some evil motives could prevail over good and obliterate peaceful co-existence among followers of the world’s great religions,” he added.
Islam forbids graphic or visual depiction of its founder to avoid misuse of Prophet Mohammad’s influence on its Islamic faithful and believers.
In the controversial movie, Prophet Mohammad was reportedly depicted as a fraud and philanderer, igniting protests and riots against U.S. and other Western institutions in the Muslim world.
A Muslim himself, Hataman reminded Islamic believers that the any form of media cannot destroy the image of Islam unless Muslims themselves do wrong things as a result of anti-Muslim sentiments.
Meanwhile, House Committee on Muslim Affairs and Sulu Rep. Tupay Loong urged Malacanang to pressure Washington to put the perpetrators of the hate film to justice.
“The Philippine government must show its support to its Muslim constituents by condemning the production and showing of the film as this is blasphemous and against all forms of moral and social ethics by appealing to the US government to hasten the resolution of this issue,” Loong said.
“Such act by the Philippine government will be taken well by the Muslim Filipinos because this will show that Philippine authorities are indeed concerned with our welfare and social being, and will help the government in its campaign for peace, unity in Mindanao,” he added in a separate statement.
Protests have taken place from North Africa to South Asia and Indonesia, prompting United Nations Security Council to express “deep concern" over the attacks on embassies around the world.
“Innocence of Muslims” also sowed serious resentment in Muslims in the Middle East, resulting in violent attacks that killed US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens last week.
Twelve people were killed in the Philippines on Saturday as troops clashed with a militant group blamed for the country's deadliest terror attacks, the military said.