Zamboanga Ulama condemn the foiled assassination of Arab preacher, diplomat

Western Mindanao

The organization of Islamic scholars of Zamboanga Peninsula condemn the assassination attempt on Arab missionary and diplomat from the Kingdom of Saudi  Arabia after a university lecture in Zamboanga City last Tuesday (March 1).

"We condemn in the strongest terms the foiled assassination of a Saudi senior scholar, Dr. A'id Al Qarni and his companion, a religious attaché, SheikhTurkey Assaeg, which transpired in the evening March 1, 2016 inside a university campus in Zamboanga City," the Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula (UCZP) said in an official statement issued on March 2 and shared over social media website.

The Ulama said, "By all standards, it is without a doubt, a dastardly act perpetrated against a venerable, peace-loving scholar who has helped millions of people around the world developed a positive outlook in life through lectures and works that focus on making people happy and overcoming trials and calamities,"

The Muslim Islamic scholars call on the Muslim communities of Zamboanga Peninsula and the neighboring regions to exercise restraint and patience as indignation is expressed against the incident which they call an act of terrorism.

A video footage of the incident posted in the Facebook today bared a gunman suddenly appeared from the crowd and shot the two lecturers who were on-board a departing SUV inside the premises of university where the lecture was held.

The suspect, identified as Rugasan Misuari III, was neutralized by the security escorts of the Arab speakers. His two other companions were apprehended. 

The Ulama's statement stressed, "We enjoin our people to observe utmost prudence and caution in processing and sharing other information on the social media or proliferated elsewhere relative to the identity, motive or affiliation of the culprits."

"This is the time for sobriety and solidarity for the Muslims and non-Muslims alike  and not  cause of strife and division," the statement said.

The group also called all concerned authorities to conduct a full-blown expeditious, credible and impartial investigation "to ferret out the whole truth behind the assassination, from the motives to the identities of all involved in the cowardly act."

UCZP said it intends to conduct its own parallel investigation within the confines of the law in their will to complement and fast tract the probe of the concerned law enforcement agencies.