Far from the likes of Bin Laden PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 11:47

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

 

The ISIS in Iraq and Syria have burst into the international scene and in such a manner that  is causing great distress to so many people. Even for those who are not directly affected by the ISIS — not yet anyway —  such as we in the Philippines are provoked into reflection of what ISIS can eventually mean for us.

The ISIS  is a group that is out to claim control of Iraq and Syria and there to promote a very strict version of Islam which it will eventually spread to other countries with majority Muslim populations. So to speak it intends to be the caliphate for this century. So, do other Muslims  in the world and particularly Muslims in the Philippines feel they will give their allegiance to the ISIS?  If ISIS were simply ISIS and not recognized by Muslims as the new caliphate, the tone of the issue will be different. But if it is indeed recognized as the caliphate, we have cause to be concerned, far as we are from the present theater of operations of ISIS.

The Oxford dictionary defines allegiance as “loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause”.  The ISIS matter requires serious reflection for Philippine Muslims on where their  allegiance should be directed and what the implications will be. For non-Muslim Filipinos there will be reflection on what this would mean in terms off eventual relationships between them and their Muslim neighbors.

A synonym of allegiance is fidelity,  which connotes strict observance of duties. If a Filipino Muslim were to feel that he/she is bound to obey what the caliphate instructs, what would then be the implication of  this allegiance  to the ISIS and the caliphate in terms of  relations between Muslim Filipinos and non-Muslim Filipinos?  We know what the ISIS has done to Shiites, Yezedis,  Christians and other believers in Iraq and Syria since it gained power there.  Should Filipino non-Muslims fear for themselves because they  are not Muslims in places like Mindanao and especially in the Bangsamoro Entity?  How I wish the Muslim leadership, whether clerical or political, can announce  their stand on the matter of the ISIS.

I hope I will not be considered a rabble rouser or one who provokes animosity between people because of the statements I make here. Before apprehensions fuel mistrust and other negative emotions I feel it is best that Muslims and non-Muslims “dialogue” on the matter. “Let us reason together” is a better preparation  for what might become  an emotional issue which will impede sincere and truthful exchange of ideas.

I cannot understand why ISIS has taken the pain to execute three persons in the manner it has . Using the Internet to intimidate people may be effective in sending a particular message  but is the message giving the world a fair and truthful picture of what it means to be a “strict” Muslim? Most definitely it does not. No more so than the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York  gave  the world a just and truthful orientation of what it means to be a Muslim.  9/11 has given the world a picture of what al Qaeda means, or what a Muslim of Bin Laden’s ilk means.  But the Muslims I know are far, far from the likes of Bin Laden.