Discrimination vs Muslims real, says Padilla

September 23, 2022

Senator Robinhood Padilla on Thursday said it is high time to end the ignorance that is a major cause behind the discrimination against Muslims and other groups in the Philippines.

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities and Muslim Affairs where a bill seeking to establish a National Hijab Day was taken up, Padilla said he also experienced being a victim of discrimination, not only because of his Muslim faith, but also of his being an “ex-convict.”

“When there is discrimination, there is ignorance. Many people who engage in discrimination think they are knowledgeable but they are fools,” Padilla said.

“Discrimination is real,” he added.

Padilla earlier filed Senate Bill 233, which seeks to severely punish discrimination with at least six years in prison and a P100,000 fine.

Additionally, he introduced Senate Bill 1272, which designates 1 February as National Hijab Day in an effort to promote understanding and combat prejudice via “awareness, education and empowerment.”

He also described during the hearing how Muslim women were treated differently because they were wearing a hijab as they prepared to board a ship bound for Bohol.

He said, the security guy who was on duty was nasty to his partner because she was wearing a headscarf but quite kind to people who weren’t.

“Some people may act that way because of what they watch on TV or the movies — or even in news shows that may be biased. That is why the National Hijab Day is important — so that non-Muslims will understand why Muslim women wear hijab,” he said.


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