“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us, they adore the one merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” (CCC No. 841, LG 16)
The above cited citation specifically in conjunction with the Muslims, cannot be more formal and official, considering that it is an instructive pronouncement made by no less than the Catechism of the Catholic Church echoing a declaration from no less than Lumen Gentium. The key and signal teaching therein affirmed and promoted is concretely about the Muslims whom the Church categorically affirms as one with the Catholics in acknowledging and adoring one and the same God from the first to the last days of the world. This is not saying that the Muslims are all saints – but neither are the Catholics all living saintly lives.
During these difficult days when the Rule of Law – the norm of reason and ethics - is suspended and when the firing of guns and the dropping of bombs, the loss of limbs and lives have somehow become the rule in a place where Muslims and Christians live together, it might be good to take cognizance of the above Church teaching that forwards the following more salient and profound, more realistic and practical truths:
One: The standing fact is that in the region concerned where Martial Law is made binding, the Muslim and Christians live as neighbors, practice their respective faith and interact as Filipinos. So it is that as they enjoy sufficiency and peace together, together as well they suffer the difficulties and needs brought about by dissent and war in their place. No. This is not saying that they are one in faith. But one they are for adoring the one and the same true Divinity.
Two: So it is that some Christians and Muslims alike get hurt, become mutilated and even lose their lives not really on account of their respective beliefs but rather due to this and that particular group of individuals who – moved by intense anger and consuming hatred – make a living by killing others. So it is that they are called and are known as “Terrorists”. Yes, they bear different names as well as various initials. But they are one in subjugating others through various cruel ways and deadly means as well.
Three: Let it be likewise well noted that downright criminals – murderers, kidnappers, thieves and other gross violators of Criminal Law – are found among people of different beliefs and sects, Muslims and Christians included. In other words, crimes are authored by individuals considered to be affiliated with this or that belief. So it is that if Muslims are not all good and upright people, neither are all the Christians. This is sad but true. Criminal acts are not exclusive either among Muslims nor Christians.
So it is that strictly speaking, it would be downright wrong to claim or believe that the difference of faiths in that part of Mindanao – or in other places in the Country for that matter – is the fundamental and/or primary cause of honest-to-goodness war. Rather, it is basically anti-human ideologies with their anti-human constitutive elements that cause rebellions, wars included.