QC Mall, Dog Fashion Show Contestant Ronald Flores ‘Offend Islam, 1.7-Bln Muslims’

Fisher Mall’s slogan goes like, “Where you feel at home.” With the unfortunate incident, hopefully, Muslims would still “feel at home” at the shopping mall, specially, if appropriate and corrective measures are implemented.

By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs

Short link: https://wp.me/paaccn-mA6

(SDN) — ​A commercial establishment in Quezon City, Fisher Mall, and Ronald Flores, a contestant in the establishment’s Dog Fashion Show on October 2, 2022, have grossly offended Islam and its estimated 1.7 billion believers.

Muslims in the Philippines wake up hurt and, perhaps, understandably mad, after seeing a video clip on Facebook of the contest, showing Flores and his dog cart, a crude, makeshift misrepresentation of the Ka’aba, Islam’s holiest shrine and the direction to which every Muslim pray.

“None can be so massively insulting and offensive to Muslims than disgracing the Ka’aba, because to the followers of Islam the Sacred Ka’aba is the House of Allah,” said, Ustadhz A.D.Nr., a Muslim religious leader who once worked in Saudi Arabia.

He said, “remember what happened in France when a magazine, ‘Charlie Hebdo’ published an offensive cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)?”

“We do not want that violence happening to us here in the Philippines. So, I am calling on my brother Muslims to react only through peaceful and rational way and explain to Fisher Mall management and Ronald Flores why the Ka’aba is so sacred to Islam and Muslims,” he emphasized.

He also suggested that the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia take the offending issue with the Fisher Mall management through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to prevent any repetition of the blasphemous act committed during the dog show. In misusing a representation of the Ka’aba, they offended and insulted every Muslim across the world, he added, not just in the Philippines.

If Islam were a circle, the Ka’aba is its center, he explained, alluding to the religious shrine’s importance to Muslims.

Flores misrepresented the Islamic shrine as his props and dog cart for the contest, the ex-OFW noted. “Respect for every religion and cultural icons should be practiced at all times.”

The Fisher Mall in Quezon City. Credit: Fisher Mall.

According to an article on ABS-CBN on January 28, 2014, the family of fishing magnate Roberto Simeon “Bobby del Rosario owns Fisher Mall.

Figures from World Atlas show Islam has “approximately 1.7 billion followers, “one of the fastest growing religions today.” And more or less 10 million Islam followers in the Philippines.

Fisher Mall’s Official Statement on the incident shared by NCMF-BER Director Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr.

The now-viral video show Flores and his dog cart fashioned in the likeness of the Ka’aba as he pulled his dog from the cart during the a la Miss Universe competition.

Upon seeing the video clip, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), said Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, director of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER), immediately acted on the offensive act.

Datu-Ramos through a memo on October 4 informed the Commission’s top management headed by Secretary Guiling “Gene” A. Mamondiong as many netizens flooded the NCMF-BER with messages about the disgracefulful incident.

He said the NCMF-National Capital Region headed by Regional Director Adzhar Albani, CESO III, through the NCMF-NCR’s Cultural Affairs Division Chief Dr. Esmael Abdul and Legal Affairs Division Chief Atty. Mia L.D. Abdullah, sought a meeting with the management of Fisher Mall to clarify the matter. It was held at the mall.

“With the cooperation of the mall management represented by its Marketing and Tenant Relations Manager Angela Miranda and her staff, the NCMF-NCR was able to reach the contestant identified as Ronald Flores, who voluntarily attended the meeting accompanied by his family and a representative of his barangay (village), said Datu-Ramos.

Watch (credit and thanks to Facebook uploader):


At the meeting, the NCMF-BER head quoted Flores as explaining that he did not intend “to deliberately offend the Muslim community. He alleged that the country (Saudi Arabia) he represented was not his choice but was merely assigned to him by the organizers and that due to sheer lack of time having given only two days to prepare and with his pet getting sickly, he was not able to do proper research for the costume and props.”

At the meeting with Fisher Mall representatives and Ronald Flores and his family.

Datu-Ramos said Flores profusely apologized Live on Facebook to the whole Muslim community for the disrespect to Muslim “Ummah” or world community “caused by his carelessness and promised that it will never happen again.”

On the other hand, he said the management of Fisher Mall “reiterated its deep regret and apologies to the Muslim community which it already expressed via an Official Statement dated October 3, 2022.”

Datu-Ramos said the NCMF welcomed Fisher Mall’s apologies and “openness to the possibility of establishing a Prayer Room for Muslims” in the mall…after Dr. Abdul shared this as being one of the of goals of the Commission.”

Through Atty. Abdullah, the NCMF-NCR “explained to Flores and his family the gravity of the offense that he committed even as the Commission shed light on the Holy Ka’aba’s wide and huge significance in Islam and Muslims.

Datu-Ramos revealed that “a lot of people” are still reacting negatively to the apologies extended by Fisher Mall management and Flores.

“Islam’s doctrines and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) dictate that Muslims have to be patient and forgiving, especially those who have little or no understanding about the religion (Islam). Islam is peace. It is haram (forbidden) in Islam to curse another human being, regardless, if he is a Muslim or not,” he explained.

Others in the meeting included NCMF-NCR Legal Affairs Division staff Tingcap S. Mortaba, Jr., “One Ummah” president Haroun Joves Mahilum; Senator Robin “Abdul Aziz” Padilla’s representatives also came led by lawyer Algamar Latiph and had a dialogue with the management of Fisher Mall and joined in by the NCMF-NCR representatives, Flores and his family.

Meanwhile, Albani, as cited by Datu-Ramos, said the meeting with Fisher Mall and Flores was just an initial one, and did not rule out filing an appropriate case against those who offended Islam and the wide world Muslim community. (✓)

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