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Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

ANEW Bangsamoro youth group emerged few weeks ago. This group is called Bangsamoro Youth Lead­ers Cau­cus (BYLC). This group was con­vened by the Salaam Move­ment and the Al Qalam In­sti­tute of the Ate­neo de Davao Univer­sity. One of the high­lights of this Cau­cus was their Man­i­festo of sup­port to the Bangsamoro peace process.

Var­i­ous re­ac­tions, on­line and off­line, about the BYLC were dis­cussed within the Bangsamoro com­mu­ni­ties. The lead­er­ship of the Moro fronts were happy to hear the voice of the youth in this man­i­festo. But sym­pa­thiz­ers of the vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists did not like the emer­gence of BYLC.

Groups like Maute, BIFF, and other Isis-in­spired groups in Min­danao do not like the Bangsamoro youth to voice out their views and sup­port to the Bangsamoro peace process. These groups even ac­cuse BYLC as a smear cam­paign against them. They also do not be­lieve with the im­por­tance of BYLC’s cam­paign for ac­tive non-vi­o­lence as a method­ol­ogy to ad­dress the Bangsamoro prob­lem.

BYLC was also crit­i­cized by the vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists as to why their first meet­ing was held within the cam­pus of Ate­neo de Davao Univer­sity, a Catholic, Je­suit, Filipino univer­sity. The con­venors and found­ing mem­bers of BYLC did not re­act. They in­stead ex­plained on their posts on Facebook and with their fam­i­lies the his­tory of the strong al­liance of the Chris­tian King of Abyssinia and the Com­pan­ions of Prophet Muham­mad (SAW).

Ac­cord­ing to Abu Tariq Hi­jazi, a Mus­lim scholar of the his­tory of Is­lam, “Na­jashi, the Chris­tian King of Abyssinia, was the leader who helped the Mus­lim em­i­grants” dur­ing the early years of Is­lam.

Hi­jazi nar­rated in his book the im­por­tant event this em­i­gra­tion in his book in this man­ner:

“It was a very crit­i­cal mo­ment. Ja­faribn Abi Taleb, the el­der brother of Ali ibn Abi Taleb, who af­ter em­brac­ing Is­lam es­caped the pros­e­cu­tion of Makkans and led a del­e­ga­tion of over 80 em­i­grants to Habe­sha, was stand­ing in the court of Chris­tian King Na­jashi to de­fend Is­lam. He had full faith in Almighty Al­lah and so he spoke fear­lessly.

“Af­ter the sec­ond em­i­gra­tion of Mus­lims to Habe­sha (Abyssinia), Abu Jahl and Abu Su­fyan, the two war­lords of pa­gans of Makkah, sent a del­e­ga­tion to Na­jashi ask­ing him to ex­pel the Mus­lims. The del­e­ga­tion brought many pre­cious gifts for the king and his courtiers. They pre­sented their claim in the court say­ing:

“O king, there is a group of evil per­sons from among our youth who have es­caped to your king­dom. They prac­tice a re­li­gion, which nei­ther we, nor you know. They have for­saken our re­li­gion and have not em­braced your re­li­gion. The re­spected lead­ers of their peo­ple - from among their own par­ents and un­cles and from their own clans - have sent us to you to re­quest you to re­turn them.

“The king looked to­ward his bish­ops, who had al­ready been bribed, they said: ‘O king, they speak the truth. Their own peo­ple know them bet­ter and are bet­ter ac­quainted with what they have done. Send them back so that they them­selves might judge them.’

“The king was an­gry with this re­sponse and said: ‘No, by God, I won’t sur­ren­der them to any­one un­til I my­self call them and ques­tion them about what they have been ac­cused of.’

“Na­jashi in­vited the Mus­lims at the court and asked their leader Ja­far: ‘What is this re­li­gion which you have in­tro­duced for your­self and which has served to cut you off from the re­li­gion of your peo­ple? You also did not en­ter my re­li­gion nor the re­li­gion of any other com­mu­nity.’

“Ja­far stood and replied with full con­fi­dence: ‘O king, we were a peo­ple in a state of ig­no­rance and im­moral­ity, wor­ship­ping idols and eat­ing the flesh of dead an­i­mals, com­mit­ting all sorts of abom­i­na­tion and shame­ful deeds, break­ing the ties of kin­ship, treat­ing guests badly and the strong among us ex­ploited the weak.’

“We re­mained in this state un­til Al­lah sent us a Prophet (peace be upon him), one of our own peo­ple whose lin­eage, truth­ful­ness, trust­wor­thi­ness and in­tegrity were well-known to us. He called us to wor­ship Al­lah alone and to re­nounce the stones and the idols, which we and our an­ces­tors used to wor­ship be­sides Al­lah.

“He com­manded us to speak the truth, to honor our prom­ises, to be kind to our re­la­tions, to be help­ful to our neigh­bors, to cease all for­bid­den acts, to ab­stain from blood­shed, to avoid ob­scen­i­ties and false witness, not to ap­pro­pri­ate an or­phan’s prop­erty nor slan­der chaste women.

“He or­dered us to wor­ship Al­lah alone and not to as­so­ci­ate any­thing with him, to up­hold Salat, to give Zakat and fast in the month of Ra­madan. We be­lieved in him and what he brought to us from Al­lah and we fol­low him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he for­bade us from do­ing.

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