By: Morsid Tilon U. Guiapal
ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat/ March 20 – United Youth for Peace and Development Inc., (UNYPAD) Sultan Kudarat Provincial Chapter recently held Forum on Awareness on Peace Process, Violent Extremism and Radicalism in order update the Bangsamoro people on the recent development of the Bangsamoro peace process and educate the public on the background and consequences of violent extremism being experienced in Southern Philippines.
The activity was held at Mahad Arrahmah Al-Arabie Al-Islamie, Prk, Masagana, Kalawag II, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on March 18, 2018 where 134 youths coming from different Madaris and schools of the province attended.
Dr. Anwar Saluwang from UNYPAD national office discussed the continuous recruitment of the radical group and said that “it is very alarming and it spread fear in the communities.”
“We have to clearly explain about violent extremism to the young generations for them to avoid these radical groups.’’ Dr. Saluwang said.
He further elucidated in the forum that violent extremism is not espoused by Islam citing that Islamic doctrine promotes peace, respect, harmony and reconciliation.
Shiek Sadrudin Abdullah shared the Islamic perspectives on violent extremism and radicalism. “It is a violation in Islam to join or sympathize with radical groups,”
“Terrorism has no place in Islam, in fact it destroys Islam,” the resource person pointed out. He further related how devastating violent extremism is for it destroys communities as well as relationships.
Sheik Abdullah urged the audience to learn Islam from legitimate Muslim scholars and Islamic leaning institutions and be ambassadors of peace and goodwill in their respective communities.
To further enrich the knowledge of the participants about the issue, Datuan Magon, also from UNYPAD National, shared inputs on the background of violent extremism and radicalism and the scope of the radical groups based on research.
Magon explained how this radical ideology penetrates some parts of the Philippines especially Mindanao.
“The recruitment of this radical group is very alarming. It is a challenge to the youth to understand this ideology so that they will not be recruited by the radical groups,” Magon said.
Tu Alfonso, UNYPAD Vice President for Internal Affairs, gave updates on the peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH). He also shared a brief history and experiences of Bangsamoro people on their struggle to self-determination.
Alfonso urged the audience to continue supporting the peace process and pray that the Almighty will help it succeed.
He also related the background of UNYPAD and shared his experiences being in the organization.
He further related the sacrifices of the offices and members of the organization in order to realize UNYPAD’s mission and vision.
Ibrahim S. Nor, UNYPAD SK Provincial Chairman, thanked the speakers for imparting their ideas in this forum that contributed to the success of the forum
“I’m sure all your inputs have enlightened the young minds and now they are warned against the recruitment of those radical groups,” he said.
The resource persons said the destruction of Marawi city is a big lesson to the people for it reflects how damaging the twisted ideology of the extremists is.
They said Marawi siege should not happen in other parts of Mindanao and stressed that the Moro youth has vital role to play in promoting peace and preventing violent extremism in their respective communities.
The participants wished to have the same activity in their barangays in order to reach out more fellow Moro youth and educate them about violent extremism and radicalism.