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Lanao solon says TV show puts Muslims in bad light

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Lanao del Sur Rep. Ziaur-Rahman “Zia” Alonto Adiong on Thursday flagged ABS-CBN’s new TV program Ang Batang Quiapo for allegedly depicting Muslims as harboring and thieves under the pretext of using stolen goods to help others.

In a statement and social media post, Adiong said he was disheartened by allegations that the Muslim residents of Quiapo not only own guns, but also coddle criminals particularly thieves who hide in their community to avoid arrest by the police.

“These are discriminatory, harmful, and derogatory portrayals of an entire community. As a district representative of Lanao del Sur and a Bangsamoro Muslim, I am deeply saddened by this discriminating portrayal,” Adiong stressed.

“It is crucial to note that Islam does not coddle theft and considers it a major sin,” Adiong added.

He also said it was preposterous and derogatory that the short time Muslims were featured in popular media, it was to rehash outdated stereotypes.

“Muslim community in and around the Golden Mosque in Quiapo has a rich history that dates back several centuries. Islam was first introduced to the Philippines in the 14th century, and the Muslim community has been an integral part of the country’s cultural and social fabric ever since,” Adiong said.

“The Muslim community is a diverse and vibrant group that has made significant contributions to the progress and development of our nation. To ignore this fact and portray us in a negative light is a disservice to our community’s long-standing presence in this country and to the values of respect and inclusivity that we should all strive to uphold,” Adiong said. Bobby Lagsa

Adiong added that he urges the creators of Batang Quiapo to reconsider the impact of their film and the message it sends to its viewers.

“In a time when the world is already grappling with hate speech and extremism, the last thing we need is a popular television show that adds fuel to the fire. We call upon them to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not happen in the future,” Adiong said.

Adiong added that he calls on the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and all concerned agencies to look into this incident. “As for this representation, we will review, strengthen, and push forward legislative measures to address similar acts of discrimination in mass media and other streaming and digital platforms,” Adiong added.

“We call upon all members of our society to reject hate and discrimination in all its forms and to work towards building a more peaceful and harmonious world for everyone,” Adiong said.

Social media users also cried foul and commented on the episode and portrayal of Muslims in the TV series. “Any Philippine movie that includes and portraying Muslim cultures and Islam must be regulated subject for censorship and approval from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF),” says Ama Datu Abdallah.

Development worker Najeeb Dipatuan Macabiro said that the act of an individual, is not an act of religion. “This TV show must give their

public apologies. Once it will be ignored, they would surely repeat it. We must show to the Filipinos that we don't tolerate Islamophobia here in the Philippines,” Macabiro commented on Adiong’s post.

Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Doctor in Sustainable Development Studies Fatah Sarangani also commented that the production and most importantly the writer and director of the series episode are all ignorant and did very poorly in research.


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