3Bs for the poor

By: Rufa Guiam – Philippine Daily Inquirer

No, this is not about the Build, Build, Build scheme of the Duterte administration.

The 3Bs refer to three things that the poor in Mindanao and in some urban blighted areas in Metro Manila unwillingly receive on an almost daily basis — bombs, bullets and barbs.

On June 10, residents of at least four municipalities straddled by the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces fled their homes to escape the military’s airstrikes in the area. The refugees came from the towns of Pikit (Cotabato province), Pagalungan, Montawal and Rajah Buayan, of Maguindanao.

Residents panicked after hearing the all-too-familiar sounds of air missiles exploding near their homes. Many of them had just finished their sahoor, or early dawn meal before fasting that starts at around 4 a.m., until before sundown or around 6 p.m.

Liguasan Marsh is the country’s biggest wetland biodiversity reserve, with an area spanning more than 2,000 hectares. It straddles more than 10 municipalities in three provinces—Maguindanao, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. Previous studies have confirmed the wetland’s enormous potential, especially in providing industrial-grade natural gas. As a wetland or marsh, it also hosts a wide diversity of flora and fauna.

Observant residents in the area believe the airstrikes were just a smokescreen for something insidious that could happen in the near future, such as  the possibility of Chinese businesses exploring and subsequently exploiting the rich natural biodiversity of Liguasan. Their fears seemed to have been confirmed after a Chinese government military plane landed at the Davao City International Airport, allegedly to “refuel.”

Meanwhile, in the ancestral lands of the Manobo in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, impoverished communities there continue to suffer from repeated episodes of evacuation. Last April, many Manobo Talaingod families fled to Tagum City and put up rickety shelters in a banana plantation. This was not the first time they had fled their ancestral lands. Over the years, many of their militant leaders had also received “unwanted” gifts of bullets that killed them.

The Manobo ancestral lands in Talaingod are rich in mining and forest resources. The Manobo believe this is why they are constantly driven out of their homeland.

Recently, an urban poor organization in Metro Manila, the Kadamay Alliance, mobilized its members to occupy vacant housing units built for members of the Philippine National Police and the military.

President Duterte immediately ordered the police to stop Kadamay members from occupying the housing units, and to kill them if needed. In his words: “Wala akong pakialam kung may mapatay man kayo, kahit lima o anim sa kanila… sinunog nila mukha ko sa rally nila… (I don’t care if you kill any of them, five or six of them… They burned my effigy in their rally…).” That chilling directive was followed by more of his trademark volley of barbs at the poor, peppered with foul words.

The 3Bs — bombs, bullets and barbs — are the least that poor people need. Giving them these 3Bs only affirms that this administration, with President Duterte at the helm, looks at the poor as merely a burden to governance. What better way to remove this burden than to “gift” them with the 3Bs.

Ironically, to rich cronies and sycophants, Mr. Duterte gives real gifts of fat security services, event management contracts and luxurious perks. Likewise, the President is magnanimous to the rich Chinese government. China has undermined our sovereignty as a nation through its hostile, invasive acts. But the presidential spokesperson only spins yarn after yarn to justify such acts.


Dollar outflow seen accelerating

By: Daxim L. Lucas – Philippine Daily Inquirer

The central bank now expects dollar outflows due to the Philippines’ trade imbalance to rise by over three times its original forecast as the value of the country’s imports continues to outpace what it earns from exports. In a press briefing over the weekend, officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the country’s current account would likely end the year at a deficit of $3.1 billion, equivalent to 0.9 percent of gross domestic product.

This represents a 342-percent increase over the original deficit projection of $700 million that its economists announced in late 2017. “This mainly reflects the projected wider trade deficit as growth in goods imports largely outpaces exports growth,” the BSP said. “Shipments of imported goods are anticipated to gain further traction in 2018 following the momentum seen in the last quarter of 2017.”

Imports are now expected to grow by 11 percent, from the December 2017 projection of 10 percent. Because of this, the BSP expects the country’s overall balance of payments — the aggregate net value of all transactions for goods and services with the rest of the world — to hit a deficit of $1.5 billion by the end of 2018. This is equivalent to 0.4 percent of GDP and represents a 50-percent increase over the original BOP deficit forecast of $1 billion originally set in December 2017.

The higher projected dollar outflows means the peso will likely weaken further against the US dollar in the second half, according to traders. Already, the peso closed the trading session last Thursday at P53.27 to a dollar—its lowest level in 12 years.

The killing of priests

By: Randy David – @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer

The violent attacks on Catholic priests, resulting in the killing of three and the serious wounding of one in the last seven months, represent an alarming development in our nation’s life. It crosses a line that generations of Filipinos have respected even in revolutionary times. Two of the murders were committed inside chapels, while the priests, dressed in religious vestments, were about to celebrate the Mass or had just given their final blessings to their flock. Perpetrated inside a place of solemnity, in the context of a religious service, these attacks strike the keen observer as being aimed not just on the person of the priests but on what they represent.

There is no word to describe these killings other than brazen. These murders stand out for the disrespect, effrontery and contempt for religion they convey. It is difficult to comprehend the significance of these unspeakable acts — why they are happening at this time and what they portend — without noting President Duterte’s own unceasing verbal attacks on the Catholic hierarchy and the clergy. It would be irresponsible to suggest that he ordered these killings in the way he has repeatedly ordered the elimination of drug suspects. But, one can’t help wondering why he has used the presidential podium to rationalize these murders by highlighting the alleged moral failings of the murdered priests.

Is Mr. Duterte echoing a hitherto unverbalized radical change in Filipino religious belief and discourse? Or, is he using his current popularity and influence to mainstream the deeply personal resentment he harbors against the Catholic Church and the clergy? Or, is this still part of a strategic and measured attempt to silence the opposition by instilling profound fear in anyone or any group that dares to oppose the direction and methods employed by his presidency? Without any doubt, religious beliefs and practices in our country have become more diverse and less dogmatic over the years. One may even make a case of the general decline in religious fervor and conformity among Filipinos.

More to the point, there is now a growing number of Catholics who are prepared to challenge the Church hierarchy’s voice on moral and political matters. Still, these cannot be equated with the waning of religious belief and practice, nor as a sign of the decline of Catholicism as a public religion.

Church attendance and religious observance in our country remain high, spilling out of the churches into crowded shopping malls. Our people have brought the strength of their faith to the countries where they have moved as migrants, often rekindling religious worship where it has long lain dead. For all that we say, in despair, about the lack of fit between the religious beliefs we profess and the misconduct we seem to engage in routinely in our everyday lives, it cannot be denied that we continue to reserve a big place for the holy in our lives. That is why I am at a loss to understand how our people can laugh at their President’s derisive and mocking comments about their faith, their Church, and their bishops and priests.

Is this how the fascist mindset is born? Robert O. Paxton (“The anatomy of fascism”) wrote: “The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism.”

I am not a regular churchgoer myself, but I take offense when someone as powerful as Mr. Duterte, from a position of literalist ignorance, mocks the religious faith I inherited from my elders. As the nation’s highest official, he should be more restrained when speaking about other people’s religious beliefs. Innocuous remarks about other faiths have historically sparked wars, and, as we have seen, could still trigger violent reactions in our time. Modern constitutions, including ours, have incorporated a profound sensitivity about faith matters. Magistrates, often oscillating between the primacy of the freedom of expression and the urgency of preserving public order, have had to articulate its imperatives under changing circumstances. My favorite is a line from a high court ruling written in 1996 by the late Justice Isagani A. Cruz: “An atheist cannot express his disbelief in acts of derision that wound the feelings of the faithful.”

I must end these reflections with a disclosure. Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, bishop of Caloocan and current vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, is my brother. I cannot help worrying about his personal safety. He has been vocal about the rampant killing of drug suspects in his diocese and about keeping the doors of its churches open as sanctuaries for the frightened, the oppressed and the powerless. Some crazy admirer of Mr. Duterte’s so-called war on drugs might think that getting rid of priests like him is a form of public service.

My brother is so clear-eyed about the path he has chosen that I have hesitated to even tell him to be cautious. I believe in what he does. More than ever, he needs to exemplify courage. Recently, he turned to his Facebook account to respond to a seminarian’s apprehension that the killing of priests might discourage young people from pursuing a religious vocation. He replied: “Fr. Paez, Fr. Ventura, and Fr. Nilo were not ‘victims’; they opted to be ‘martyrs,’ meaning witnesses, from the start. They responded freely to the invitation to choose the path of Jesus, knowing full well that it could cost their lives. This is what martyrdom is about. It is not about dying for a cause; it is about living out that cause, no matter if it means suffering and death.”

Mr. Duterte will find, to his dismay, that it is impossible to win a war against martyrs.

Padre Sebastiano D’Ambra nominato Segretario

Padre Sebastiano D’Ambra è stato nominato Segretario della Commissione Espiscopale per il dialogo interreligioso nelle Filippine.

La Commissione è presieduta da Mons. Emanuel Cabajar, vescovo di Pagadian e ha il compitodi:

a) Promuoverà il dialogo con i seguaci di altre religioni come il buddismo, l’induismo, l’islam e le religioni indigene, così con tradizioni religiose come il confucianesimo, il taoismo e lo zoroastrismo.

b) Continuerà a comunicare con il Pontificio Consiglio per il dialogo interreligioso e manterrà di conseguenza informato la Conferenza su problemi e questioni di reciproco interesse.

c) Collaborerà con la Commissione episcopale per le popolazioni indigene e l’Ufficio per gli affari ecumenici e interreligiosi (OEIA) della Federazione delle Conferenze episcopali asiatiche (FABC) in particolare per quanto riguarda la promozione del dialogo interreligioso.

d) Stabilirà collegamenti con diversi Centri di lavoro interreligioso nelle Filippine.

e) Collaborerà con la Commissione sulle popolazioni indigene per lo studio, l’analisi e le raccomandazioni sulle credenze naturali indigene e sulle culture religiose.

f) Darà i necessari consigli alla Conferenza per l’attuazione nel paese della Dichiarazione “Nostra Aetate”, e altre direttive della Sede Apostolica e disposizioni sinodali.

Fr. Nilo killed in Zaragosa

A priest was killed inside a chapel in Nueva Ecija on Sunday, June 10.

Acording to the news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Father Richmond Nilo was shot dead at the San Pablo Chapel in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija. Nilo, 40-year-old parish priest of Zaragoza, was behind the altar getting ready to start Mass at around 6:05 p.m. when two unidentified men shot him through a window four times.

Nilo was also the former president of the College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan City. His death comes a little over a month after another priest, Father Mark Ventura, was gunned down in Cagayan Province.

Nilo is also the second priest to be killed recently in Nueva Ecija. Father Marcelito Paez was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen in December 2017.

Update of the Case of Fr. POPS

ARAKAN, JUNE 1, 2018

Fr. Fausto was killed on October 17, 2011. Since then many investigations were held on and off, but no conclusion in court. The new administration of President Duterte started in June 2016 and promised to reopen the case. On March 31, 2017 the Department of Justice (DOJ) appointed State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong to conduct an in-depth re-investigation with financial assistance from the Asia Foundation.

This new prosecutor reviewed all previous testimonies and new testimonies were added. He came to Arakan and Kidapawan several times with his team for ocular verification and with great skill he proved the validity of key testimonies.

The report of Prosecutor Ong was published on November 2017 and the news caused reactions both in the Philippines and abroad. The key witnesses and their families were rushed into safe houses under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) constantly guarded like prisoners. Then there was another delay until May 2018 due to the change of the DOJ secretary. Finally the new DOJ secretary Menardo Guevarra appointed a new team of prosecutors who should start their preliminary investigations this month of June and decide which of the accused will be issued warrants of arrest, then the trial in court should start soon. Also in May of this year, one of the accused proposed to give additional testimony identifying the group that planned the killing of Fr. Fausto and their motives. This may contribute to restrain such groups accustomed to killing with impunity and show that the practice of impunity may not last forever. We are grateful to the State Prosecutor Peter Ong and his team who were able to revive the case, even though we were about to abandon it as another unresolved case or a lost cause.

On the other hand, we are worried because the DOJ (Deparetement of Justice)now is giving priority to many other cases which the military filed against suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and their supporters. This is part of the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, which started with the siege of Marawi and was extended up to December 2018. Many soldiers from Marawi were sent to our areas and they are now deployed in the rural communities looking for NPA rebels or supporters, while the killings of drug suspects continue in urban centers.
On January 11, 2018 the DOJ issued the list of 600 suspected terrorists. Among them many farmers and community tribal leaders, particularly in Arakan and nearby areas, including several friends of Fr. Fausto. These are civilians always seen in their farms and in community activities, but now they are accused of having participated in ambushes and attacks led by the NPA rebels. Some of them were arrested, a few killed, and many are hiding and cannot work in their farms and their families are facing starvation.

Also church people are now questioned, like Sr. Fox, an Australian nun, 27 years among the poor in Mindanao who is facing deportation for joining farmers’ rallies. In Luzon, Fr. Mark Ventura, a Diocesan priest, 27 years old, was shot near the altar after Sunday Mass on April 29, 2018. He was known for his involvements with the Indigenous People, just like Fr. Fausto. Another priest was killed in Luzon last December, Fr. Marcelito Paez, 71, killed after helping release a political prisoner.

In this context of martial law in Mindanao and killings nationwide, what significance can Fr. Fausto’s case have? We still wonder what kind of justice can be obtained for Pops, we hope to be able to clarify the real motive for his killing and identify the groups responsible. Can this also challenge more people to seek justice for many more EJK victims and Human Rights violations? After the waves of killings and the long night of martial law, we pray for the sun of justice and peace to shine in Mindanao and all over the country, particularly among the population of Tribals, Muslims and Poor Farmers and Workers who are victims of chronic injustice and unpeace.

The Diocese of Kidapawan, along with other churches and civilian sectoral representatives, have launched a Peoples’ Peace Summit last November 29, 2017 and now continue to implement the Peoples’ Peace Agenda (PPA) with concrete plans of action involving civilian sectors as peace builders. We start by proposing our PPA to all armed groups, both government and rebel forces, and to all civilian authorities. Then we ask them for their peace agenda or their initiatives or suggestions for justice and peace.

Can this gradually change the culture of conflict and violence into the culture of justice and peace? If we could only realize that all are losers in war while in peace all can be winners… We believe that we can solve peoples’ problems through dialogue and peoples’ participation and we civilians can do more for peace than all the armed groups. If we could only mobilize our human resources and if we could use the budgets that are wasted in war by both sides, then we can save many lives and we can develop communities where all can contribute for the needs and happiness of all.

We continue to pray and move heaven and earth for justice for Pops and all the EJK victims.
In the name of all Pops’ friends,

Marawi un anno dopo

Il 23 maggio 2017 un’azione a sorpresa di militanti islamici del gruppo Maute nella città filippina meridionale di Marawi avviava una battaglia e un assedio che in cinque mesi doveva portare alla devastazione pressoché totale della città e alla fuga di 354mila civili. Oltre mille i morti nella conta finale approssimativa, in maggioranza ribelli ma non senza decine di militari e di civili.

Era facile immaginare che la fine dei combattimenti avrebbe portato a una frattura permanente tra la grande maggioranza musulmana della città – centrale nell’indentità islamica di ampie aree dell’isola di Mindanao e di altre zone dell’estremo Sud – e la minoranza cristiana. Invece, se la violenza dei Maute si è accanita inizialmente proprio contro la Chiesa cattolica, con la devastazione della Cattedrale e il sequestro del vicario episcopale e di decine di cattolici, i rapporti tra le due comunità sono stati solidali e, da parte musulmana, addirittura di protezione verso i battezzati presi come molti tra due fuochi e ugualmente a rischio di rappresaglia da parte dei guerriglieri e dei militari.

Un rapporto positivo rinsaldatosi nelle difficoltà, non potrà che essere benefico anche ora nel difficile tempo della ricostruzione in cui solidarietà e cooperazione sono determinanti. I fondi promessi sono solo in parte disponibili e se l’Autorità per lo sviluppo economico nazionale ha annunciato che la ricostruzione di Marawi costerà almeno un miliardo di dollari, di cui metà utilizzabili entro l’anno, pochi scommettono che tempi e impegni saranno mantenuti. Il tutto mentre 230mila sfollati si trovano ancora in condizioni precarie nei campi profughi di province limitrofe a quella di Lano del Sur, di cui Marawi è il capoluogo. Tutte aree, tra l’altro, in cui le forze armate proseguono le operazioni di rastrellamento contro i militanti sopravvissuti all’assedio e i loro fiancheggiatori, mentre altri gruppi promettono vendetta e, soprattutto, confermano la loro adesione all’autoproclamato Stato islamico in una strategia al momento di tensione, che potrebbe trasformarsi però in ogni momento in un’azione armata improvvisa come lo è stato per Marawi, dove a agire furono solo poche centinaia di uomini dopo una preparazione meticolosa.

In questa situazione, i leader religiosi locali hanno creato un fronte unitario per ostacolare “l’estremismo violento” che rischia di travolgere ogni possibilità di pace duratura. In un un documento-manifesto, Marawi and Beyond (Marawi e oltre), i responsabili delle comunità musulmana e cristiana hanno ricordato l’esperienza di convivenza e dichiarato il loro l’impegno a «ricostruire rapporti di fiducia e assistenza reciproca» sull’isola di Mindanao. Riconoscendo anche l’appello di mons. Edwin de la Peña, che guida la prelatura di Marawi, a tutte le persone di buona volontà «affinché lavorino insieme per la ricostruzione di Marawi».

L’impegno per la ricostruzione non è monopolio del solo sistema pubblico, ma vede coinvolte molte organizzazioni di varia provenienza tra cui la Caritas, che ha assistito le famiglie sfollate da Marawi fornendo mezzi di sussistenza, assistenza alimentare e sanitaria, accompagnamento psico-sociale per i bambini e accoglienza a centinaia di famiglie cristiane e musulmane.

Attiva anche Azione contro la fame, prima organizzazione internazionale ad assistere gli sfollati e ad entrare in città quando è stata dichiarata la fine dell’assedio. «Anche se la battaglia si è ufficialmente conclusa il 23 ottobre 2017 – ricorda Benedetta Lettera, referente regionale di Azione contro la Fame nelle Filippine – il livello di distruzione rende quasi impossibile il ritorno sette mesi dopo e gli sfollati vivono ancora negli insediamenti o nelle comunità di accoglienza, che coprono a malapena i loro bisogni primari. Dipendono infatti dagli aiuti alimentari e dall’acqua acquistata da fornitori privati o fornita da camion-cisterna».

Preti e pillole

Alle 17.00 di oggi, 23 maggio 2018, la popolazione delle Filippine conta 106 milioni e 341.328 abitanti, l’indicatore di nascite scatta ogni venti secondi e mentre scrivo questa prima riga è già nato un bambino o una bambina. Se dividiamo questa immensa popolazione per la superficie totale delle Filippine, 300.000 km quadrati simile a quella italiana, abbiamo 354 abitanti circa per chilometro quadrato.

Abbondano in TV e sui giornali le notizie sull’ambiente terremoti, siccità al Nord con temperature sopra i 50 gradi, piogge intense al Sud, spiagge inquinate come quella un tempo intonsa di Boracay notizie che dovrebbero portare ansia. Qua no! Nessuno protesta contro l’aria inquinante di MetroManila e fa più notizia la richiesta all’estero di forza lavoro, cioè di migranti: in Taiwan, Giappone, Polonia, Cecoslovacchia e Austria. Scomparsa la spaurita schiera di ecologisti filippini (chi si ricorda più di Macli-ing Dulag?) al massimo i guai ambientali vengono attribuiti all’aumento della popolazione. Secondo il presidente Duterte per ridurre le nascite la ricetta è semplice: “ Non credete ai preti e prendete le pillole!” così si spinse ad affermare nello scorso febbraio aggiungendo pure che se oggi la popolazione fosse solo di 50 milioni, non ci sarebbero problemi per il cibo e per il lavoro. Ma non lo è.

All’arrivo di Magellano, dicono, c’erano circa 2 o 3 abitanti per chilometro quadrato, oggi i 354 che se li mettessimo equidistanti l’uno dall’altro potrebbero benissimo scambiarsi i saluti, gridando. Tuttavia, la distribuzione non è equa; c’è una bella differenza tra i 70 abitanti per chilometro dell’Arakan e i 42.000, sempre per la stessa area, di MetroManila che, in fondo, giustifica i casi di claustrofobia tra gli abitanti di questa mega metropoli. Allontanarsi dalle città insomma. In uno studio del lontanissimo 1989 la popolazione ottimale su una superficie di 300 mila chilometri quadrati era di 35 milioni, ma limitava l’insediamento in collina a soli 5 milioni di persone con lo scopo di mantenere sufficienti le foreste per assorbire la produzione di anidride carbonica, cosa abbastanza positiva per coloro che come me si trovavo di passaggio alle pendici del Monte Apo in Mindanao, riserva forestale in buona parte disabitata, ma anche attaccata dall’ascia umana.

Ma è vero che l’aumento della popolazione ci rovina la vita? L’impronta ecologica filippina 1.1 è ancora in buone condizioni e sotto il limite di 1.7 oltre il quale bisognerebbe darsi da fare per non consumare del tutto le risorse naturali necessarie ai nuovi nati. L’impronta ecologica d’ogni singolo abitante, è un indicatore del consumo che si calcola in base alle riserve naturali della terra e la loro capacità di rigenerarsi: le risaie, compresi i pascoli, le foreste, essenziali per assorbire l’anidride carbonica prodotta da uomini e animali, le aree dove si lavora e dove si abita, il terreno necessario per ospitare la propria abitazione e altro.  Mentre in Italia è di 4.1 e si è già in deficit (per mantenere gli italiani in un modo sostenibile ci vorrebbe un’altra Italia e mezzo), le Filippine non ancora.

Ma per quanto? Per tutta la ‘buona’ volontà posta per diminuire le emissioni velenose delle automobili (in forte aumento) nelle Filippine, si continua ad allevare ovunque migliaia di maiali (niente contro di loro, ma di esalazioni ne producono in quantità), ad usare pesticidi, a portare via terreno per nuove strade (ma utili sono), ad ingrandire i luoghi pubblici e le foreste rimaste boccheggiano per il troppo lavoro. Allargare le foreste e mangiare più verdura (e meno carne), avrebbe dovuto dire Duterte come slogan invece di prendersela coi preti e le pillole, dato che in questa maniera più salutare una ventina di milioni in più di filippini potrebbero benissimo vivere in questo arcipelago nei prossimi anni con le cose che ci sono già e senza intossicarsi (a parte la solita MetroManila). Tuttavia, il problema ecologico dovrà essere, prima o poi, affrontato, ma l’unica strategia dei vari governi da anni non è cambiata: non creiamo posti di lavoro e riduciamo la popolazione che respira esportandola all’estero. E il mito della famiglia, fondamento del paese, unita sotto lo stesso tetto e lo stesso cielo? Cose da preti!

Ramadhan Silsilah

Silsilah Zamboanga

This message comes from Mindanao, Philippines and it is the voice of a Movement that in 1984 started to invite, especially Muslims and Christians, but also people of other living faiths, to build together a “chain”/”link” (Silsilah) of love convinced that all of us are part of the same human family, created by the same God.

This basic concept has been always supported by the spirituality of life-in-dialogue with God, with the Self, with Others and with Creation to promote a sustainable Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace in our society.

This year 2018, we have reflected on our mission in the midst of an increasing violence and conflict in Mindanao, as well in other parts of the world. We are alarmed of many signs of violence, especially among Muslims groups fighting in the name of Islam. This is now an international reality visible also in Mindanao among groups that are fighting guided by their understanding of the “true Islam”.

What appears clear to us is that the victims are the Christians and also Muslims who do not have the same “ideological” understanding of Islam. It was a time when the relation among Christians and Muslims in Mindanao was better even in majority populated Muslim areas like Jolo, in the Southern part of the Philippines. Before the Christians there were free to go to the church and practice their regular Christian life. Now the church in the city of Jolo has to be protected by the military to protect the Christians who are in danger.  This and many other alarming stories are the causes of sadness also among good Muslims, commonly called “Moderate Muslims”. They too live in fear because they are not “good Muslims” in the eyes of those who are practicing a more radical understanding of Islam that justifies violence.

In this situation, Silsilah this year in preparation for the 35h Anniversary of the Movement that will be on May 9, 2019, decided to move with more determination guided by the theme: “Silsilah, a sign of hope in the midst of divisions and conflicts”.

In this Holy Month of Ramadhan for the Muslim world, Silsilah wishes to share solidarity with the Muslims and reaffirm the belief that Islam can still contribute in the world today for a better future for all because Islam reminds us, among the many things, the value of prayer, fasting and attention to the needy, especially during the Holy month of Ramadhan.