More Christians Executed by Sunni Islamists in the Philippines: Maute and Crisis in Marawi
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Sunni Islamists in the Philippines express utter joy by executing six more Christians in the environs of Marawi. Maute Sunni Islamists, loyal to ISIS (Islamic State – IS), are committing atrocities against Christians and anyone deemed loyal to the government of the Philippines. However, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appear intent on a two prone strategy, to counter-attack and not to alienate local Muslims by playing into the hands of Islamic jihadists, who belong to the Maute terrorist group.
Local Muslims opposed to Sunni Islamic jihadists are aghast by the devastation of Marawi. Yet, with the crisis entering the fourth week, then fears are that Islamists will force the Philippines army to attack mosques based on terrorists being holed up in Muslim holy places of worship.
Sunni Islamists also hope by butchering Christians and attacking Christian holy places that this religious hatred will in turn breed counter atrocities by the AFP – thereby, ushering in sectarianism and religious divisions. Hence, the AFP is treading carefully by appealing to local Sunni Muslim religious leaders to dissuade Maute terrorists from manipulating mosques.
The New York Times reports, “The Philippine military says the militants have put up a much fiercer fight than expected. A video recovered by the army shows the militant leaders planning to seize Marawi. Mr. Hapilon is seated at a table wearing a head scarf, to the right of Abdullah Maute, who is standing.”
Alarmingly for the Philippines, it is widely believed that foreign Sunni Islamist terrorists from various nations are assisting indigenous Islamists in the Philippines. For example, reports stress that Sunni Islamists from Chechnya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, are assisting the crisis in Marawi.
Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla, said, “The AFP assures our Muslim brothers and Islamic faithful that it will not go down to the level of these terrorists who desecrate places of worship to lure government security forces into responding to their violent activities in a similar manner.”
However, with Christians being butchered openly on video to serve the Sunni Islamist propaganda machine, then the AFP is being put under enormous pressure. On top of this, Christian holy places have been attacked and many hostages from this faith remain in the hands of brutal Sunni Islamist killers.
Reuters reports, “The Maute group first surfaced in 2013 with a bombing of a nightclub in nearby Cagayan de Oro. Its stature has grown since then, most notably with the bombing last year of a street market in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, Davao City.”
The government of the Philippines is hoping that the crisis in Marawi will soon come under firm control. Yet, even if this occurs, the fear is that the crisis will spread to other parts of the region. Similarly, regional nations will be focusing on the external Sunni Islamist terrorist angle – despite most Sunni Islamist fighters being indigenous.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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