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Desecration of Philippines cathedral draws wide condemnation

Muslim religious and political leaders in the Philippines have joined in the barrage of condemnation of the desecration of a Catholic cathedral by terrorist gunmen in the besieged city of Marawi.

‘Let it be known to all that Islam commands all Muslims even in war time to protect places of worship,’ read a statement issued on 7th June by the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines, which represents the Muslim leaders.

The harsh reaction came after a 96-second video surfaced on social media on 5th June showing militants wrecking St Mary Cathedral, ucanews.com reported. The video, believed to be filmed on 23rd May, the day Muslim insurgents began attacking Marawi, shows men smashing and stomping on religious images and a large wooden cross inside the cathedral.

They later burned the church and abducted Fr Teresito Soganub, vicar general of the Prelature of Marawi, and several church workers.

The Muslim leaders said, ‘what this terrorist group has done is un-Islamic and a blatant disrespect and disregard of the teachings of Islam’.

Picture: Smoke billows from a burning building near a mosque June 2 as government troops continued their assault on Islamic militants in Marawi, Philippines. Muslim religious and political leaders in the Philippines joined a Catholic bishop in condemning the desecration of a Catholic cathedral by terrorist gunmen in the besieged city. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters).