Oct 042014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/02/06MANILA606.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA606
2006-02-09 09:46
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO1077
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0606 0400946
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 090946Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9207
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0134
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0224
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 000606

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, NEA, DS, EUR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2016
TAGS: PGOV PINS KISL PINR ASEC RP DA NO
SUBJECT: FILIPINO MUSLIM LEADERS DENOUNCE CARTOONS, BUT CALL FOR RESTRAINT

REF: A. STATE 20587

¶B. STATE 20453
¶C. MANILA 0557
¶D. STATE 18503

Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: A group of Filipino Muslim religious
scholars issued a statement on February 8 condemning the
publication of cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet
Mohammad. They also called for a restrained response. A
Muslim congressman from Mindanao made a speech hitting
similar themes on the floor of the House on February 8. The
GRP has pledged that it will protect public order. The
cartoons have stirred up some Filipino Muslim concern, but
public calls for a non-violent response are encouraging and
there is little sign that violence may erupt over the matter.
End Summary.

¶2. (U) The Ulama Forum for Peace and Democracy, an
organization of Filipino Muslim religious scholars, issued a
statement during its national conference on February 8
condemning the publication of cartoons depicting the Muslim
Prophet Mohammad. The group demanded that “apologies” be
extended to Muslims. The statement went on say that the
group was “saddened that the Danish and European media had
added fuel to the fire by printing cartoons that have
provoked anger in the hearts of Muslims who are already
pressed to the wall.” The statement also cautioned Filipino
Muslims against using violence to protest the cartoons,
arguing that “the Prophet condemns all such forms of
violence, especially those done in his name.”

¶3. (C) Amina Rasul-Bernardo, a conference organizer and
close Embassy contact, told poloff (who was present for part
of the conference) that the group was planning to hold “a
non-violent demonstration” in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, soon.
Rasul-Bernardo did not believe that tensions within the
country’s Muslim community were such that violence was at all
likely.

¶4. (U) Also on February 8, Representative Simeon Datumanong
from Maguindanao, Mindanao, gave a speech on the floor of the
House in which he denounced the caricatures as a “vicious
attack against Islam,” claiming that freedom of press did not
provide justification “to insult Muslims and commit blasphemy
against the Islamic faith.” At the same time, he urged his
“Muslim brothers and fellow Filipinos” to act with “restraint
and sobriety” in dealing with the issue.

¶5. (C) Per ref A points, Mission has underscored to the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of Muslims
Affairs (OMA), the lead office in the GRP dealing with
matters impacting on the Philippines’ Muslim minority, the
need to take measures to lower any lingering tensions and
prevent violence. GRP contacts said they understood and were
urging that there be a peaceful response. Metro Manila
Police Chief Vidal Querol said at a February 8 press
conference that he had directed the Southern Police District
in Makati — where the majority of foreign embassies are
located — to increase security around diplomatic premises.
A police spokesman said the GRP has not received any reports
to the effect that Muslims in Manila planned to hold public
protests.

¶6. (C) Comment: The publication of the cartoons has stirred
up some indignation among Filipino Muslims. It is
encouraging that Muslim leaders — while condemning the
cartoons — have publicly urged their followers not to resort
to violence. In any case, there is little sign that tempers
are such that violence may erupt over the matter, though
there was a flag-burning in a city in Mindanao on February 7
(ref C).

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

Jones

   

 

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