It has been three weeks since Islamic State-backed militants stormed the Philippine city of Marawi, seizing buildings and taking hostages. While President Rodrigo Duterte declared 60 days of martial law and vowed to eradicate the terror threat immediately, the extremists continue to rule the once thriving metropolis. While many residents have staged brave escapes, those that remain find their city nearly uninhabitable, with resources dwindling and corpses strewn throughout the streets.
Reports from aide workers indicate that those stuck in their homes lack access to running water and electricity and are near starvation. It is believed that ISIS is holding some 1,500 people captive in Marawi. Although the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, Marawi has a large Muslim population. Jihadists seized at least one Catholic church in the city, taking a priest and parishioners hostage, and it is the Christians who have found themselves in particular danger.
As Faithwire reported, many Muslims in Marawi have been selflessly sheltering and guiding their Christian neighbors to safety, and a new report from the Daily Mail details a recent escape that involved Muslims giving their hijab to non-Muslims, so they would have a better chance at survival.
“Some of the stories that stuck were Muslims helping protect Christian workers by letting them borrow a hijab,” said Dr. Gioia Ancheta, who is heading up a psychosocial therapy team providing relief in Marawi.
As armed ISIS fighters continue to patrol the city, residents are doing whatever they can to survive. Earlier this month, a Christian construction worker named Jamie Daligdig shared that militants had resorted to stopping people on the street and demanding to know if they were Christian, but anyone who shouted “Allah Akbar” was allowed to pass.
(h/t The Daily Mail)