‘Drug addicts posing as Islamic militants beheaded Canadian,’ says Sulu sultan
COTABATO CITY – Sulu Sultan Ibrahim Bahjin claimed that the men who beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel were “actually drug addicts posing as members of an (Islamic) militant organization in order to gain support and publicity” even as he described the video of the beheading an “incident truly grievous.”
“I have just seen the video footage of the gory beheading of the innocent Canadian hostage. This is truly grievous… The kidnappers (described as) ‘Islamic’… are in actuality drug addicts posing as members of militant organizations in order to gain support and publicity,” the sultan said.
In Sulu, it is “(public) knowledge that armed kidnappers in the conflict areas” are “drug addicts,” but “somehow (this is) hidden from media attention,” according to Bahjin.
“And I have talked to many residents (to confirm this),” Bahjin said.
In Moro communities, people continue to consult members of the royalties on major problems confronting them. In most instances, they would rather entrust them with vital information than directly talk to authorities.
Bahjin said the government has remained “impotent and indecisive in solving the problem head-on.”
Ridsdel was beheaded in captivity by Abu Sayyaf bandits on May 3. On the same day, his head was found wrapped in a garbage sack in downtown Jolo, Sulu.
The sultan lamented that western media reports have tended to “perpetuate the (misconception) that kidnapping and other such barbaric acts constitute Islamic teachings despite being categorically condemned by all sensible Islamic Ulama (Muslim scholars).”
He said: “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
“There is only one kind of war allowed in Islam, and that is defensive war,” Bahjin said, citing verses from the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Most of all, we weep for our Islam which continues to be unfairly blamed and judged,” he added.
In Marawi City, where criminality has been rampant due to the proliferation of drugs, the newly elected mayor of the city vowed to actively address the problem and its end-results.
Majul Usman Gandamra, a former assemblyman representing Lanao del Sur to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Assembly, said he would work hard to “stop all forms of criminality in Marawi City such as selling of illegal drugs and shall work for its progress and economic development.” SFM
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