Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Muslim and Christian Filipinos Need to Bury the Hatchet Now

Singapore.  © ds-lands.com
Who do not want a place where people of different religious beliefs can learn to live in peace, harmony and mutual good will. Will that ever be possible in Sulu, or in the Philippines as a whole, for that matter? 

An FB friend, Nelson Tapsirul, said: “Singapore is characterized by diversity of religious beliefs and practices due to mix of peoples originating from various countries. But they live in peace and harmony. We may need to learn from Singapore experience.”

Sounds easy right? But extremely hard to do. Why? Because, our training from the Spanish conquistadores had been totally awesome and complete!

In the 16th century, Spanish tried with all their might to conquer Sulu archipelago, but they were not successful. They succeeded only in constructing a military base in Sulu, which is now a part of the Present-day Jolo – the Barangay Walled City, a city within a town. Or a Barangay and a City? Oh, never mind.

So what the Spanish did was to train some Christianized Indio natives to fight alongside with them, imbuing those Indios with hatred against the “Moro” or Muslim people. A play called Moro-Moro, which is still popular today was a clear proof of how the Spanish used societal entertainment those days to brainwash the Indio to hate us, the Muslims. Its equivalent present day brainwashing tools are media, films, and televisions.

Moro-Moro play as depicted by an Artist. www.seasite.niu.edu

Of course, the Moros were not an easy game. The Moros gave them a hard fight during every battle. To the Moros, death in battlefield meant joy and freedom – the door of Jannah was opened for everyone who was slain in battle; to the Indios, just plain death and suffering.

Is there a way to easily erase the long years of brainwashing from both sides? Yes, but the Muslims have neglected some verses on the Noble Qur’an just to encourage themselves to fight back. The Christians are also seemingly forgetful that Christianity is a religion founded on Love, Peace, and Understanding.

The Holy Qur’an said: "...and nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, 'We are Christians,' because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant" (5:82). The Philippines is a predominantly Christian country.

But for us, the Christians are hateful -- they are Satru, Kafir, and deserving to die by the swords! Hmmm. And yet, we say that Islam means Peace!

Is there a way to create a world of peace, harmony, and mutual goodwill between Muslims and Christians in the Philippines?

Of course, yes!

The first step is to learn and understand each other. The second step is to understand what Jihad really is.

According to Muslim religious experts, Jihad automatically should switch on when Muslims are no longer allowed to pray to Allah, being oppressed, and being driven out of their homes.

Allahu Taala said in the Glorious Qur’an in Surah 60:8:

Sahih International:

"Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly."

Are these prerequisites happening now in Sulu? Are we forbidden to pray five times daily? Are we driven out from our homes? Are we being oppressed?

I think not! Our children are also Muslims, and are also given the same privileges as the other Filipino citizens in the country. 

That is why, I think it is time to bury the hatchet, deeply and permanently.

If we still want and desire something bigger for us, let's do it in a civilized way. It's no longer the 6th century Arabia. We have now many weapons of mass destruction. The only Planet that we live at is in great danger from our naked hands.

For suggestions and comments, please put them in the comment box below.

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