Press Release
February 8, 2009

Gordon promotes greater understanding and respect of
cultural differences between Christians and Muslims

Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today expressed high hopes that the planned establishment of a "Museum of Islamic Culture" in Intramuros History Town would usher in a renewed solidarity and better understanding between Christian and Muslim Filipinos alike.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate tourism committee, said the Museum of Islamic Culture would bring Islam back to the core of Philippine consciousness, propagate better appreciation for the faith and lead to a more encompassing peace between Muslims and Christians.

"This is our sincerest effort to raise public awareness and promote greater understanding of the important cultural and historical contributions of the Islamic faith to the people of the Philippines," he said.

"We are certain that most would agree that the establishment of the Islamic Museum will also accomplish much in the way of promoting a greater manifestation of peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians in the Philippines," he added.

The Museum of Islamic Culture which would showcase the rich history and unique culture of the Filipino Muslims in the country shall be housed with the Ecclesiastical Museum that is also in the pipeline of projects aimed to reclaim the old glory of Intramuros History Town.

Gordon, a staunch advocate of Muslim interests in the country, led the closing ceremony of the first "Best of Regions" exhibit since its revival, the latest of which showcased the best of Region 12 (Central Mindanao) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The opening of the exhibit was highlighted by the presentation of the letters written by 100 children of the regions seeking for peace in the country. The letters were deposited in a "lakub" (Vessel of Hope) and bundled up together to signify unity.

It may be recalled that in the Senate, the former tourism secretary had filed the "Ninth Ray" Bill which proposes that the rays of the sun on the Philippine flag be increased from eight to nine, to symbolize the community of Muslim leaders who defended the country.

He explained that Muslim heroes left an imprint on national history that must be given due recognition in Philippine flag.

Earlier this day, Gordon said Christians and Muslims participated in the Philippine National Red Cross' (PNRC) bloodletting activity and donated blood to the PNRC's blood bank in an effort to promote peace.

The program "Isang Dugo, Isang Bansa" showed that though Christians and Muslims may differ in religious beliefs and way of life, they are both Filipinos who live in the same country and can live in harmony and unity.

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