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Largest Muslim group slams Philippines’ army chief


Largest Muslim group slams Philippines’ army chief

Christine Douglass-Williams

This call by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a sensible and effective one which should be implemented not only in the Philippines, but in all nations that are seeking to curb the spread of the jihad ideology.

The outrage over this call from the National Ulama Cooperation of the Philippines (NUCP) is nothing more than a smokescreen. The spread of the jihad ideology via madrassas (and mosques also) is a problem that is not confined to the Philippines; it is a global issue. It is also a common practice for Ulama organizations and Muslim Brotherhood groups — which operate as if they have a mandate to shield Islamic doctrine from scrutiny, so as eventually to establish supremacy and subjugate kaffirs — to push back against any resistance to the spread of the jihad ideology, which is a part of normative Islam.

The Minadano Inquirer report said: The country’s biggest Muslim religious organization on Tuesday (Oct. 20) slammed a statement attributed to the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) supposedly calling for monitoring of Islamic schools nationwide following intelligence reports that these were being used as breeding ground for terrorists.

Ebrahim Ismael, board member of the National Ulama Cooperation of the Philippines (NUCP), told the Inquirer that AFP Chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay’s statement would only complicate the relationship between civilians and the security sector.

Ismael said it was “wrong to say” that Islamic schools were being used to recruit terrorists. “I am a product of madrasah and extremism was not taught to us,” said Ismael, referring to Islamic schools.

“Militants who operate Islamic schools may be using it, but Islamic schools, in general, are not,” he added.

Aleem Solaiman, deputy chief minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), described Gapay’s statement as irresponsible and which should not be tolerated as it would just generate animosity between Muslims and Christians.

“We refuse to accept the irresponsible and hateful statement,” Solaiman said. “I can attest to the fact that terrorism was never and has never been taught in its slightest forms in the madrasah,” he added.

Uztadz Hakimi Dimakuta, a prominent Muslim religious leader in Lanao, also questioned Gapay’s statement. “I learned how to be a good citizen and how to deal with my fellow Christians,” he said, recalling his time as a madrasah student.

Last week, Gapay said the security sector would monitor Islamic schools to prevent infiltration by Islamic State. Internet-savvy IS propagandists, Gapay said, had been enticing children to terror-related content through social media.

“We are now strengthening and enhancing our program as far as prevention, when encountering violent extremism,” Gapay said.

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