Youth commission’s Seguerra calls for end to discrimination against Muslims
Iligan City (July 4, 2017) – National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Aiza Seguerra is calling for an end to discrimination against Muslims. “We are all brothers, a little sensitivity will not hurt,” Seguerra told media after receiving complaints of discrimination during a consultation dialogue with youth Muslim leaders.
The former child star was here on Saturday, July 1, to meet with Marawi youth representatives. The NYC chairperson’s visit was organized in coordination with the Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The autonomous Muslim region, through OBYA, has been at the forefront of the advocacy to stop discrimination against young Muslims especially in Mindanao’s urban centers.
Amir Mawallil, OBYA executive director, noted such discrimination is one reason why radical movements and other forms of extremism have attracted young Muslims in previous years.
Seguerra told media he heard several stories on discrimination during his visit. Young girls who were wearing hijab, the veil traditionally worn by female Muslims, were called names, including ‘terrorists’, he said. “No matter what religion, or culture, we belong to, we are all brothers,” he said.
During his visit, Seguerra performed songs with the participation of the evacuees, which was highly appreciated. “These are the times when we can share our talents to other people the purest way possible,” he said.
During the dialogue, Dir. Mawallil discussed the problem of radicalism and how young Muslims could prevent its entry in their communities. “We need to act and assert more strongly against violence because this cannot be the start of another cycle of displacement,” he said.
In various forums, the OBYA chief has underscored the importance of the youth in combating terrorism. Thus, youth leaders should be given adequate attention in the decision-making process, whether in the government or in the private sector.
“We need to listen to the voices of the youth and understand how we can all better engage in preventing and countering violent extremism in all its various forms,” he added. (Bureau of Public Information)