Ulama hold summit against violent extremism and terrorism Print
Sunday, 15 October 2017 16:50

By  NONOY E LACSON

Ulama, or Muslim scholars in Zamboanga peninsula  or Region 9  including those in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi attended on Friday a two-day regional summit which aims to address the emergence of violent extremism and terrorism.

The event, which was held at a local hotel here,  was  an offshoot of the Ulama Summit held in Cotabato City in May and being spearheaded by the regional government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the regional Darul Ifta, and Majlish-Shura.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the objectives of the solidarity summit is to bring together the Ulama in the region for mutual consultation and for discussions on the pressing issue of violent extremism and terrorism as well as reach a consensus on how to protect the Muslim community in general and determine the Ulama’s (religious professionals) role in countering and preventing violent extremism in the locality.

Hataman said  “Our aim here is to spread the true teachings of Islam. We are mobilizing the Ulama to counter the threat of violent extremism.”

Adding that as early as 2015, the Darul Ifta of the ARMM declared that “terrorism and mischief cannot be accepted as synonyms for Jihad, or one of struggle’s methods, because our religion commands us to be compassionate to all beings in the land.”

The Ulama earlier condemned the brazen attack of the Islamic State-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf in  Marawi City.

The fighting, which started days before the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan ?on May 23, has remained to date or for more than five months now.

The Ulama yesterday  has  started to  set guidelines to reach a common understanding on terminologies about Islam that would prevent misinterpretation.

The Ulama said they  will also craft plans and approaches on how to deal with the issues of violent extremism, and develop ‘Risalatul Wasatan’, or to call moderation in teaching about Islam.

The highlight of the summit is to clear the misconception on the negative labeling of Muslims in general, according to the Ulama.

High-ranking  military and  government officials from the national government attended the opening of the summit who have been invited to discuss the issue of violent extremism in a collective manner.

Among  them were  Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana,  Armed Forces of the Philippines, Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt Gen Carlito Galvez Jr.,  together  with his group military  commanders   and local government leaders. (Nonoy E Lacson)