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Conflict with ISIS ally is not a religious conflict, Philippine bishops insist

July 13, 2017

The Philippine bishops said that the conflict with Maute, an ISIS-affiliated group, is not a conflict with Islam.

In May, Maute attacked the city of Marawi, setting fire to Christian buildings and taking hostages at the cathedral.

“We believe that the war in Marawi is not religious,” the bishops said in a July 10 statement. “We have heard and read truly stunning stories of how Muslims have protected and helped Christians to escape from almost certain death.”

The bishops added:

Even now Christians are assisting thousands of Muslims who have fled from Marawi for safety. These are indisputable signs that there is no religious war …

As Catholic religious leaders we condemn in the strongest terms possible, as did Islamic religious scholars in Mindanao, the violent extremist Maute group in Marawi. Its leaders and members have pledged allegiance to ISIS. They have contradicted the fundamental tenets of Islam by abducting and hostaging, maiming and killing the innocent.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Jul. 14, 2017 12:52 PM ET USA

    If this war is not religious, then why are buildings belonging to Catholics being destroyed but not those belonging the Muslims? Does the bishop really believe that there is no fundamental difference between Islam and Catholicism -- that causes tensions?