Hopes for the BBL and thereafter PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 February 2015 13:17



In a Muslim-majority country an issue that is likely to come up will be the kind of government that country will have.  This is a factor that needs to be carefully thought about because there is  in it the seeds of conflict which can rend the country ( or the area/territory) apart in some future date.

Can a democratic form of government operate in a Muslim-majority country?  There are scholars who say it can and there are those who think across a continuum -  those who say democracy can operate but with difficulty and those who say it can’t.

Regimes in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and others were toppled in what has since been known as the Arab Spring. The protests in these countries basically involved groups which can be simply described as 1) those in favor of western-style democracy and 2) those who wanted to have Islamist –style governments in place.

In Egypt Mohamed Morsi was eventually elected president when Hosni Mubarak stepped down and elections took place.  Morsi was supported by the Moslem Brotherhood which for years had worked for the establishment of an Islamist government in Egypt. However, not long after Morsi was ousted by a coup and replaced by el-Sisi.

Thirty years earlier when the Shah of Iran was forced to leave the country the Ayatollah Kohmeini took over the reins of government and to this date, while there is an elected president, it is the top Muslim cleric who really runs the country.

The question might be asked: When the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed and the Bangsamoro Entity becomes a reality, will it be run as a government unit according to the democratic principles of the Republic of the Philippines or according to Islamist principles?  I am hopeful that it will  be  according to the democratic principles to which our republic adheres.  My reservations stem from the growing influence of strict and extremist Muslims as exemplified by the likes of IS and the fact that there will be non-Muslims living in the BE.

Does the Muslim community in the Philippines or in Mindanao support the religious orientation of the IS? Does the leadership of the MILF or even the MNLF know how strong the IS attraction is among our own Muslim community in the Philippines?

I ask these questions because if the BBL is signed as I hope it will be, this will signal the end of the shooting war between the MILF and our own GRP units. But what happens between the MILF and the BIFF?  And also, between those Muslim communities who are for the kind of Islam that is contrary to what the IS is propagating? Let us remember that a number of Muslim-majority countries like Jordan and UAE are now lined up against the IS.

When the BBL is signed as I hope it will be then my hope is also that all the guns of war, whosever they are,  will be silenced too.