The Bato Ali Mosque was once a beautiful edifice with a distinct green dome. Now, only an ugly, bombed-out skeleton topped by a perforated minaret remains. The ravaged mosque stands out as a reminder of what happened here in the southern Philippines almost two years ago.

In the beginning everyone "thought it's a joke," recalls Norodin Lucman. He comes from one of the most influential Muslim families in the city of Marawi, where the black flag of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" was on display for months. "How can you attack a city and take tens of thousands of civilians hostage?" But it happened. "This is how terrorism goes about its work," says Lucman.

With just over 200,000 inhabitants, quaint Marawi is the largest Muslim city in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. It is idyllically located on the shore of Lake Lanao in Mindanao, the second biggest island of the Philippines.

Read more: Deutsche Welle