Ulama wage ‘ideological war’ vs. extremist groups

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - First Page - (Rhoderick Beñez) (Bureau of Public Information)

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Dozens of houses and establishments were demolished recently on orders from the local and provincial governments to pave way for big-ticket infrastructure projects that includes road widening and hospital expansion.

Lawyer John Haye Delubio, legal counsel for the provincial government, told dxnd-radyo BIDA that they informed the settlers as early as January and even a series of meeting and consultations with the affected owners about the clearing operation.

Some house owners resisted the order while others voluntarily demolished their houses, according to Delubio, who said that at least 77 houses, stores and establishments were demolished in Amas village.

He said those whose structures were demolished would be relocated at Serbisyong Totoo Village in Manubuan in Matalam town in North Cotabato. Margarita Sindol, who lives in the place since 1976, rejected the offer, saying, it would affect their livelihood.

Even the reservoir of Metro Kidapawan Water District was affected by the demolition order. It was not immediately known whether the government would pay for the demolished structures or subsidize the expenses it would incur to rebuild their houses and establishments. BASILAN PROVINCE – Ulama or Muslim religious scholars are waging an ideological war against the spread of radicalism and extremism through a holistic approach in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“We are engaging all Quran in justifying their sectors to address the criminal and inhumane spread of religious extremism acts. We can’t allow that and radicalism in the and we will not allow that. country,” said Our call is to fight against Abdulmuhmin Alyakanie violent extremism and terrorism,” Mujahid, the executive director Mujahid said. of the Darul Ifta, or Alih Aiyub, Secretarygeneral the Fatwa Council of the of the Ulama ARMM. Council of the Philippines,

On June 8, Islamic said what they are employing scholars on the island is multi-disciplinary province of Basilan forged approaches in “preventing several agreements with and countering violent extremism.” the regional and provincial He said they governments, as well as have identified seven interventions with different agencies, to to address the carry-out “multi approaches” threat. in an effort to “Ulama will handle the stop the spread of extremist spiritual aspect to combat ideology. terrorism targeting the

The effort, Muhajid youth and winning the said, is an offshoot of the hearts and minds of those Ulama Summit that was radicalized through sermons held in Cotabato City in in the mosques and May. During the summit, other means,” he said. the Ulama issued a declaration Aiyub said one of the against terrorism, interventions includes saying that “It is Haram working “with educational (forbidden and unlawful) institutions to provide a to use Islam to justify or legitimize primer, or module, as reference violent extremism material and train and terrorism.” teachers for effective prevention

The Ulama also challenged of violent themselves “to extremism among their reeducate (their) constituents students. to rediscover Islamic “Scholarships will also faith for justice, compassion, be provided on skills training harmony and peace.” for out-of-school youth

“It is imperative upon by tapping the Technical us all to cooperate and collaborate Education and Skills Development with the Authority stakeholders in preventing (TESDA) as a partner,” he and countering violent extremism said. and terrorism in The effort will include its many forms and manifestations,” “psychological intervention” the declaration such as values said. Mujahid said they are formation that will be carried now proactively engaging out by local all stakeholders to overcome government units and the the challenges of Department of Social Welfare extremism as what is happening and Development in Marawi City. targeting the youth sector.

“These extremist “The program will also groups are using the creed have a component for social of Islam. As a matter of fact, intervention, which they are using the so-called will help mold an individual 13 doctrines of Islam and to be productive citing verses of the Holy and peaceful through trainings. This will also be implemented along with economic intervention such as providing livelihood programs for the youth through government line agencies like the Department of Agriculture and TESDA, among others,” Aiyub said.

Part of the program, he said, is to engage with the security sector to “shield the youth from being recruited” by extremist groups, and “to provide peace and security in the community.” Mujahid said the program will be piloted in Basilan

“We are going to implement it in the different parts of the region. We are piloting this initiative in Basilan. We will conduct an assessment and finetune it before implementing it in other provinces,” he said.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has instructed the Department of the Interior and Local Government in the ARMM to initiate forums for local government officials across the region to understand the complexity of the problem and how to combat it.

“When the masses, the religious leaders, and the political leaders are united to work together for the betterment of our society, we can succeed, In Shaa Allah,” he said.

Gov. Hataman has earlier said that Muslim scholars can contribute in the advocacy against terrorism by educating people about the true teachings of Islam, most especially on the principles of justice, compassion, peace, and harmony.

A soldier in Eastern Mindanao Command sounds the “TAPS” as the Philippines flag was raised half-mast on June 12 during the 119th Independence Day, in all military camps in the country as the Armed Forces of the Philippines mourns for troops killed in the besieged city of Marawi.

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