I'm a Filipino, baptized Catholic, turned atheist.
I was really touched with the #illridewithyou gesture that came out after the hostage crisis in Sydney. A friend of mine who'd migrated to Sydney said that it was pretty much unbelievable when he saw it for himself.
A good deal of the population of the Philippines (non-Muslims) do think that all Muslims = terrorists. Only those who'd actually known, and have Muslims around them, say as co-workers, friends and neighbors may have a better opinion of them.
What made me say that, a lot may ask.
We think badly of Muslims, we crack jokes at them, our best mental image of Muslims is synonymous with DVD, and recently, Bluray. We think they all have a harem at home, we cradle the thought that they are all traitors, subhuman etc.
Our Muslim countrymen had long been denied services befitting a good government (heck, we're also in that bucket mostly) which makes it really easy for a bunch of disgruntled dudes with guns to scrounge up a flag, and start shooting at everything in sight, in the name of discontent and Allah.
If we, as a people, are to do something, let's start by looking at our Muslim countrymen in the south as equals, treat them well and respect, then maybe the common Muslim man and woman, will step in to do something about these secessionists, enabling the country to march on as one, and finally eradicate this problem.
This is a GRP Featured Comment. Join the discussion!