President Estrada cited yesterday the significance of the 26th National Quran Reading Competition being held today, Sept. 20, saying it shows government's sustained support and commitment in the preservation, promotion, and enhancement of the country's Islamic cultural heritage.
"I am optimistic that this year's competition will once again promote our country's Islamic heritage as a vital component in our quest for progress and development of Muslim communities," the President said as he wished that it would improved mutual respect for the country's diverse customs and tradition.
The yearly event clearly affirms the wide concept of Philippine democracy that the nation subscribes to, he said.
Saudi Arabian Ambassador Saleh Mohammad al-Ghamdi said the conduct of the Quran-inspired event attests to the awareness of the Philippines' Muslim communities and their commitment in promoting Islamic spirit and values.
"I always believe that the source of this spirit, 'The Quran,' invites all believers to ponder over the treasures of principles, theories, and guidance that will lead us to the ultimate advancement and progress," the Saudi envoy said.
Al-Ghamdi said he is sure that tranquillity, peace, and progress can be arrived at only through strong faith and sustained Islamic ideology.
"Therefore, let us pray together that God Almighty enlighten our hearts and souls so as to be instrumental in the attainment of peace and prosperity," Al-Ghamdi said, adding it is his earnest hope all Filipinos are one in aspiring for peace and stability.
Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay Jr. will deliver a welcome address while Al-Ghamdi is guest speaker in the occasion.
The Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) headed by Executive Director Ismael Naga Jr. is holding the event at the University of the Philippines' Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City.
Estrada also sent his warm greetings to the OMA management and personnel while commending …