Azhar urges Abu Sayyaf to free Arabiya reporter

A+
A
A-
Baker Atyani

Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani. AP FILE PHOTO

CAIRO—The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the top religious authority for Sunni Muslims, on Wednesday urged Islamist extremists in the Philippines to free a reporter with Al-Arabiya news channel seized in June.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb called upon kidnappers to “revert to right and religious principles… which stress that kidnapping and terrorism are prohibited,” in a statement released by his office in Egypt’s capital.

He urged the kidnappers of Bakr Atyani, a Jordanian journalist working for Dubai-based Al-Arabiya, to set him free and let him “return safely” to his family.

“This shameful act of kidnapping, terrorism and putting the lives of people at risk for a small sum of money contradicts the principles of Islam,” Tayeb said.

“It also violates the freedoms guaranteed in all conventions and international norms,” he said.

Atyani and two Filipino crew members went missing last June on the Mindanao island of Jolo, which is notorious for Islamist militants and kidnappings, and a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf small Islamist movement that has been blamed for most of the country’s attacks and kidnappings.

Earlier this month, the extremists released the two crew members, who said they were separated from Atyani on the fifth day of their captivity.

Abu Sayyaf group was founded with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network to fight for an independent Islamic state, though it later turned into a criminal gang.

US special forces have been rotating in Mindanao for more than a decade to train local troops in crushing Abu Sayyaf which is on Washington’s list of wanted foreign terrorist organizations.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • dprotector

    Who is the Grand Imam of the Philippines? I think he can also persuade this people to release the reporter.

  • robert franklin

    this kiram and his pirate clan are the sort of people who are kidnappers, pirates, murderes, terrorists. the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar has already cursed on them. i pity the innocents and hard working peaceful taulugs because of kiram and his pirate clan stupidity, the whole lot of tausug are awaiting disaster from the almighty God.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos