By: Omar A. Mohamad
KABACAN, North Cotabato (July 30, 2015)—The University of Southern Mindanao (USM) School-based chapter of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) conducted series of Ramadhan Islamic Symposiums in the school campus dubbed as “weekly ramadhan symposium.”
“The objective of the activity was not only to impart knowledge about what is Ramadhan but also help to cultivate the importance of being firm believers who have the potential to share and put into practice what has been prescribed to every human creation,” Badrudin Mamendig, Secretary of the North Cotabato provincial chapter, disclosed.
He said that on June 12, 2015, a week before Ramadhan, hundreds of participants gathered at the lobby of the Institute of Meddle East and Asian Studies (IMEAS) of USM, Kabacan, North Cotabato.
“Students and teachers have attended the Pre-Ramadhan symposium conducted by the UNYPAD Chapter in USM in collaboration with the other Muslim Organizations in the Campus,” he added.
The topic was the awareness on Ramadhan, which was discussed by the respectable personality and knowledgeable Islamic scholar Ustads Abdulnasser A. Musa, Modir of Mahad Mindanao—a well-known Arabic school in Pikit, North Cotabato.
“Ramadhan is not just a month of avoiding from eating and drinking, and sexual intimacy for the couple, but also disciplining ourselves to the bad desires that may lead every single person to do wrong”, Ustads Musa pointed out.
To give more clarity on some other issues and concerns, the second part of the program was an open forum.
On 27th June 2015, Badrudin said, there was the same activity conducted, and the topic was about “The Essence and Teaching of Ramadhan”.
“The program started at 7:00am-12:00 noon,” he said.
“On 4th July 2015, another symposium was conducted at which the “Role of Youth in Islamic Society” was the main topic, which was delivered by one of the in-demand lecturer in North Cotabato Provice Sheikh Lucman Sultan,” Badrudin added.
Rahim Lasak, officer of UNYPAD’s USM chapter, said: “It was a great opportunity to learn what are happening around us especially for those Muslim youth that have not understood their roles in Islam.”
“The Deputy Secretary-General of UNYPAD Datuan Magon gave updates on the current status of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and he challenged the participants to do something as many of BBL’s important provisions were already changed and some were deleted,” he added.
“Negotiation is the most workable solution to the Bangsamoro quest for self-determination. However, if this option will not succeed, then MILF leadership must look for another alternative, and it might consider clamour of the masses to revert to the original aim of the struggle,” Lasak said quoting Magon.
Lasak disclosed that another activity was conducted on the 11th day of July, which was held at the IMEAS Lobby, USM-Kabacan where Shiek Nasrudin Musa was invited to discuss “Brotherhood and Sisterhood in Islam”.
“Datuan Magon presented a topic about “Islamic Radicalism: Myths and Rhetoric.”
“Magon elucidated this issue of extremists or radical groups like ISIS, among others, that has been organized and where their ideology comes from and who are the groups beyond their ideology,” he said.
“Over-all, the activities in USM were successfully conducted,” said Hamsa Landayan, Provincial Chair of the UNYPAD North Cotabato Chapter during assessment session.
“Although financial constraints are among of the challenges we faced in conducting these series of activities, we managed it with the help of other colleagues,” Landayan pointed out.