“We cannot afford another war” – Hataman

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Hataman on the One Year Anniversary of the Marawi Conflict

It has been a year since Marawi City, known as the lone Islamic City of the Philippines, has been ravaged by fear and terror. Parts of a city that was once a melting pot of different histories, cultures, and beliefs have been reduced to rubble.

That terrorism had its grip upon a city in the heart of our region reminds us that there is so much more to be done. In our long struggle for peace, our people have survived numerous conflicts, and this most recent war finds its place among the worst in our history.

And yet, as we have done in response to every threat our people have faced, we must stand united with our brothers and sisters. The price of peace, as we have learned throughout our history, is constant vigilance. We cannot afford to let this happen again, and this requires collective effort towards securing our homes, our cities, and our region.

The safety of our people lies not only in ensuring security against crimes and conflict but in ensuring education for all – an education that is affirmed not only by our schools but by our communities. Peace and security is achieved not only through law enforcement and state offensives, but through constant dialogue that seeks to engage each and every Bangsamoro.

As we struggle and work towards rebuilding the city of Marawi, we must also strive to rebuild the foundations of local leadership and reestablish safe spaces for the most vulnerable in our communities. In our efforts towards healing, we must go back to the core of our faith as Muslims and, as we fast together as we honor the Holy Month, we must remember that with every hardship comes relief.

As we fulfill our duties as Muslims, we must also remember to continue the work that lies ahead of us together, as we worship Allah and dedicate all our efforts for his glory.

Marawi will rise again, and it will rise with the renewed strength and courage of our people.

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