A Philippine lawmaker filed a bill before the House of Congress, seeking to ban and criminalize the use of the word “Muslim” by any reporter, writer, media outlet, police blotter, government agencies, public and private hospitals or such other institutions in describing a Muslim criminal.
1-BAP Party List Representative Silvestre Bello III seeks strong support for the approval of the House Bill 5969, also known as “An Act Prohibiting the Use in Philippine Tri-Media, Police Blotters, and Other Government Agencies of the Word, “Muslim” to Describe Any Person Suspected of Committing Any Felony When Reporting Such Felony.”
In his explanatory note attached to the bill, Bello –a non-Muslim– claimed that Islam is a complete way of life, and Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Section 2 of the proposed bill declares tagging “Muslim” in the police blotters, government, public and private documentary reports, and media reports of a criminal act committed by a Muslim as unlawful. Section 4 specifies the following punishments for violators of HB 5969:
- 1st Offense – A fine of not less than 500 pesos (Php500) nor more than 1,000 pesos (Php1,000).
- 2nd Offense – A fine of not less than 1,000 pesos (Php1,000) nor more than 3,000 pesos (Php3,000).
- 3rd Offense – Suspension of the government license, permit or accreditation of the concerned media outfit or establishment for a period of not less than six (6) months nor more than twelve (12) months.
- 4th Offense – Revocation of the government permit to operate and/or prohibition to engage as a media practitioner.
Section 5 of HB 5969 declares media practitioners as solidarily liable with their editors-in-chief and publishers if found guilty of violating this Act.
And to ensure the immunity of this bill from inconsistency and unconstitutionality issues, a repealing clause and separability clause were included (Sections 6 and 7).
Read the whole draft of House Bill 5969 here.
The author of House Bill 5969 is just one of the many Muslim apologists who are deaf and blind about Islam’s real nature. I bet Congressman Bello did not even try reading a single passage from the Qur’an. Hence, his ignorant claims.
So, let us review Bello’s claims:
Claim #1 – According to Rep. Bello, Islam is a complete way of life.
Surah Al-Ma’ida [5:3]: “This day I have completed your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you and have selected for your Way of Life, Al-Islam.”
Basing on the explanatory note attached to his draft bill, one can only assume Rep. Bello was aware of what he was talking about. If that is the case, then what is taking him so long to convert to Islam and follow what he claimed as “the complete way of life”?
Claim #2 – According to Rep. Bello, Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness.
The Quran has numerous verses –violent verses– calling Muslims to fight in the Cause of Allah (Jihad). And to quote a few:
Surah Al-Baqarah [2:191]: “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”
Surah Al-Baqarah [2:193]: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone).”
Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216]: “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims).”
Surah Al-Imran [3:141]: “And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.”
Surah Al-Imran [3:157]: “And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass (of worldly wealths, etc.).” [This is Allah’s idea of “forgiveness and mercy.”]
Surah Al-Anfal [8:12]: “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.“
Surah Al-Anfal [8:65]: “O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Urge the believers to fight…“
Surah Muhammad [47:3]: “So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives). Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (i.e. free them without ransom), or ransom (according to what benefits Islam), until the war lays down its burden. Thus [you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out Jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam (i.e. are saved from the punishment in the Hell-fire) or at least come under your protection], but if it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.”
Surah As-Saff [61:9]: “He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islamic Monotheism) to make it victorious over all (other) religions…“
The above verses from the Qur’an are just a few among the 170+ hate-filled verses that incite Muslims to wage Jihad against non-Muslims. To claim that Islam is a religion of peace and compassion, and Muslims are the ones who are being discriminated is total bollocks.
The Southern area (Mindanao) where a large percentage of Muslims in the Philippines reside has been plagued with chaos and terrorism problem for decades. This scenario of Islamic chaos is prevalent wherever Muslim communities thrive. In Mindanao, the total Muslim population is only 20% –a minority. Yet, this minority is treating Mindanao as their own Islamic property. Hence, the endless cycle of violence which is why the region is still chaotic despite the endless peace negotiations. And get this: the attempts to negotiate for peace did not come first from the rebellious Muslims. It’s always the government which is making a way to bring them to the negotiating table for peace deals. Peace deals that they’ve tossed out of the window repeatedly.
Now, their apologists are complaining of discrimination. So, let’s talk about that “discrimination” claim.
Here’s the fact:
The 80% non-Muslim population of Mindanao has been living in fear of the 20% Muslims in the area.
In the last three decades, Muslim violence in Mindanao alone has claimed the lives of more than 120,000 people. If it’s not Muslims killing non-Muslims, it’s Muslims killing their fellow Muslims.
My alcoholic cousin who was assigned to work in Mindanao for a month abstained from drinking while he was there because he was terrified that the devout Muslims in the area might take offence and kill him. My cousin’s case was just one of the many cases of non-Muslims who were forced out of fear to assimilate with those Muslim minority in Southern Philippines. And now, they (Muslims) have the gall to race the “victim” card?
They are victims of their own backward mindset.
Going back to Congressman Bello, his attempts to appease the Muslims’ inflated egos did not end in his filing of the HB 5969 before the third session of the sixteenth Congress last July 29, 2015.
In a statement displaying his irrational tirade against the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for “discriminately” profiling a September 16 Zamboanga City bombing suspect as “Muslim”, former Justice Secretary turned Congressman Silvestre Bello III said,
“There is a need to curb the ‘enthusiasm’ of none other than our law enforcers in making hasty and dangerous descriptions of mere suspects which unwittingly denigrate a whole race of people.”
He further said,
“It is not surprising that this unfortunate ‘name calling’ results in angry reaction not only from our Muslim brothers but from all those who believe in the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.”
One word to best describe this Philippine lawmaker:
Yes, I dare say, he is ignorant; because to treat Muslims as a race to justify his claims of “racial discrimination” is pure ignorance.
Quite frankly, I wouldn’t trust someone who does not know the definition of the very simple word, “race” –who does not know how to differentiate a religion from a race– to create governing laws for me to abide –especially laws that are designed to curb my rights to free speech.
Rep. Silvestre Bello, author of House Bill 5969, is also one of the two lawmakers who objected to the inclusion of a provision in the BBL that would prevent the Bangsamoro to secede from the Republic in the future. One thing is clear here:
We have a lawmaker who wants to curtail our freedom of expression and is willing to risk losing Mindanao in the future, in order to appease an overly sensitive religious group.
Bello’s move to restrict freedom of the press is a blatant disregard of our constitutional rights –our rights to freedom of expression. He is just one of those apologists who are willing to kowtow to Islamic whims.
Well, they can always try, but we will not let them win. As long as the Constitution exists, I will exercise my constitutional right –my right to freedom of expression; and no Islamist tool boy like Silvestre Bello can tell me what to express and to not express.
The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines
Article III – Bill of Rights
Section IV. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
I rest my case.