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EDITORIAL
16 September 2014

BANGSAMORO HISTORICAL NOTES

RELEVANCE OF SEPTEMBER 2013 AFP-MNLF WAR TO DEMONIZING
IMAM DR. ABU AMEENAH  BILAL PHILIPS BY ZAMBOANGA CITY
MAYOR BENG CLIMACO IN SEPTEMBER 2014

 

SUPPRESSION OF PEACE RALLY CAUSING 9/13 AFP-MNLF WAR AND BANNING OF 9/14 PEACE LECTURE OF IMAM DR. ABU AMEENAH BILAL PHILIPS

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable,” said U.S. President John F. Kennedy

This was precisely the cause of the 9-20 September 2013 AFP-MNLF war in Zamboanga City. The violent confrontation resulted because Mayor Maria Isabel ‘Beng’ Climaco banned the holding of peace rally by MNLF members and mass supporters.  

In Twitter, it was repeatedly tweeted, “Why does the Zamboanga City Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco hate the Muslims? She caused the 9/13 AFP-MNLF war, now she’s demonizing Dr. Bilal Philips and Islam!”

Truth to tell, the Zamboanga City lady Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco has done it again. In September 2013, she suddenly outlawed the holding of peace rally of members and supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City. This was a clear suppression of the fundamental human rights of people in a democratic system to a peaceful assembly. Worse, some of the MNLF members and supporters from all over the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) were harassed, arrested and tortured by the police authorities. Thus, the unwarranted incident called for the peaceful MNLF freedom fighters in Zamboanga City in arming themselves, inviting also reinforcements from neighboring islands.

Prior to the actual AFP-MNLF battle, the MNLF members and supporters were to stage a peace rally in Zamboanga City as it was done just a few days past in Jolo, Basilan, Datu Piyang and Davao City without any violent incident. The preceding peace rallies were peacefully conducted because the local government did nothing to suppress the legitimate fundamental rights of the discontented sector to a peaceful assembly.

In August 2013, the MNLF Central Committee under Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari had just peacefully re-proclaimed the expansive United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR) after Philippine colonialism under President Benigno S. Aquino III totally

ignored the GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements of September 2, 1996. The MNLF highlighted drumbeating the independence declaration of the Bangsamoro Republik with peace rallies in the urban centers. The peaceful assembly of MNLF members and supporters was successfully conducted without any untoward incident except in Zamboanga City wherein it was totally suppressed. And the suppression led to the bloodiest war ever recorded in the area between the Philippine military occupation soldiers and the MNLF freedom fighters. The almost 20-day September 2013 AFP-MNLF war resulted in the burning of “10,160 houses and mosques” in the six villages of Zamboanga City and dislocation of close to 200,000 homeless refugees. Similar to the February 1974 Jolo AFP-MNLF war that led to the burning of almost the entire town center by land, sea and air bombardments of AFP war machine, the razing to the ground of the six Muslim villages in Zamboanga City was also perpetrated by AFP soldiers.

In the aftermath of the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war, the AFP soldiers led by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin celebrated the burning and withdrawal of the MNLF freedom fighters with the raising of the Philippine flag on top of the building of a dilapidated mosque. Consciously or unconsciously, they were just too happy and relieved in full military gear shouting victory cheers and singing the national anthem of Philippine colonialism on top of the house of worship sacred forever to the Islamic Ummah.

In the final analysis, the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war sent an ominous signal to the global community that Mindanao peace was again betrayed by the Filipino colonizers and their local puppets in Mindanao. This has only made “peaceful revolution impossible” and “violent revolution inevitable” for the freedom struggle launched by the MNLF from the beginning in 1968. The Bangsamore people’s liberation struggle has to be continued by any means possible.



BANNING OF “PEACE TALK” OF IMAM DR. ABU AMEENAH BILAL PHILIPS IN ZAMBOANGA CITY BY MAYOR MARIA ISABEL ‘BENG’ CLIMACO

It was a sad day for the global Muslims and surely an affront for democracy-conscious Canada when a true believer, Yusuf Ledesma, a “father, husband, brother, Muslim, economist and activist” informed the whole of humanity in Twitter on September 12, 2014 with the following tweets:

“Top Muslim government official confirmed that Mayor Beng Climaco cancelled Dr. Bilal Philips peace talk and asked he be secured by DOJ.”

“The talk was meant to be a lecture to end misconceptions about Islam and organized by professionals in Zamboanga including lawyers, etc.”

In response to the sad tweets of Brother Yusuf Ledesma (may his kind multiply), mnlfnet.com repeatedly tweeted in Twitter, informing the domestic and foreign media network as well as leading global personalities with the corresponding tweet:

“Why does Zamboanga City Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco hate Muslims? She caused 9/13 AFP-MNLF war, now she’s demonizing Dr. Bilal Philips and Islam!”

Who is Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips? What is his pivotal role in spreading Islam as a religion of peace and harmony?  

The 68-year old Dennis Bradley Philips was born in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he reverted to Islam in 1972, adopting the name Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. He has devoted his whole life to conveying Islamic knowledge in order to “change the Muslim Nation through Islamic Education” as he always posited. He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Islamic Discipline in Islamic University of Madina in 1979; Master of Arts in Aqueedah (Islamic Theology) in King Saud University, Riyadh, 1985; and PhD in Islamic Theology from University of Wales in 1994.

He taught for ten years Islamic Studies in an Islamic High School in Riyadh. He spent ten years lecturing in Arabic and Islamic studies in the American University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He founded the first Islamic Information Center in Dubai in 1994; headed the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Preston University in Ajman, UAE; founded and headed the English medium Islamic Studies Department of Knowledge International University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and, founded and headed the College of Da’wah and Islamic Culture (English section) at Omdurman Islamic University in Sudan. He was also the founder and head of Preston in Chennai, India, and likewise founded and headed the Islamic Studies Academy in Doha, Qatar.

He founded the Islamic Online University (IOU) in 2013 and currently has over 180,000 students registered from 219 countries in the world, making IOU the number one university in the world with respect to the diversity of its student body. He is presently Imam and Khatib at Abu Hurairah Center where he teaches five free university-level classes weekly and counsel Muslim families two days per week.

Backdrop by these outstanding accomplishments to propagate Islam as a religion of peace throughout the world, the question arises: Why is Philippine colonialism under President Benigno Aquino III and a Catholic puppet political marketer demonizing an Islamic preacher and Islam?

Why is Philippine colonialism now prohibiting internationally-known Islamic preacher to lecture Islam in Mindanao?

Surely, Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips could not refuse visiting his co-religionists in Zamboanga City and elsewhere in Mindanao because he was invited by the Muslim communities of the Filipino-occupied territory. Yet he was banned to deliver a peace lecture in Zamboanga City by the Catholic mayor, who cunningly appealed to DOJ Secretary Laila de Lima to issue a black list order, on the pretext that the peaceful Islamic preacher was “dangerous” and “suspected terrorist”.

RELEVANCE OF 9/13 AFP-MNLF WAR AND 9/14 DEMONIZING OF DR. BILAL PHILIPS AND ISLAM

On this sad development, the relevant situation of suppressing a peace rally in September 2013 and the banning of a “peace Lecture” in September 2014 in

Zamboanga City by Mayor Beng Climaco is just worth commenting. It cannot just be justified by state government excuses and terroristic propaganda.

It is certainly worth knowing the truth behind the banning of Dr. BilaI Philips to deliver a peace talk in Zamboanga City this September 2014 after only one year of the September  2013 AFP-MNLF war. The peace lecture was organized by the Muslim resident professionals of the city and they also invited the lady mayor to attend the public meeting. But the Muslim organizers were just dismayed and disappointed when the scheduled peace talk was forbidden by Mayor Beng Climaco in conspiracy with Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Laila de Lima based on unfounded and make-believe excuses.

What could be the motivation of Mayor Beng Climaco in prohibiting an international Islamic preacher to deliver a peace lecture in Zamboanga City?  Could the real reason be premised on the harsh truth that the Catholic lady mayor is only afraid that Imam Dr. Bilal Philips could see the chronic situation of the thousand-strong Muslim refugees in Zamboanga City? The mass suffering and misery of aged, women and children Muslim families dislocated until now due to her judgmental folly of suppressing the September 2013 peace rally of MNLF supporters that led to the AFP-MNLF war.

According to the International Red Cross Center (IRCR), “40,000 people are still displaced, a year after the end of fighting between MNLF and government troops in Zamboanga City.” The IRCR group also reported that there is still no “determined action” to rehabilitate the refugees because according to reliable sources the dislocated residents have been prohibited to rebuild their houses in the burned areas.

In Facebook, the appalling situation of the Muslim refugees suffering the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war aftermath has been described by a conscious observer, San Arsid al-Tandick, who commented:

“…Aftermath laid untold devastation with damage to properties estimated at billions of pesos, hundreds of lives and thousands of families displaced. Thousands of Muslim families are still suffering in evacuation camps. After 3.5 billion pesos in government funds and hundreds of million more in foreign assistance for resettlement and recovery programs is declared to have already been exhausted, our brothers and sisters, continue to suffer and die in those concentration-like camps with no end near in sight.”

Recalling further the tragic September 9-20, 2013 AFP-MNLF war, he continued commenting:

“…If this day must be given importance, this day shall be the day to remember our brothers and sisters who are the real victims of the senseless war between the MNLF and government troops that happened last year…It is a memory of a war that brings to awareness the hypocrisy and insincerity of this government in solving the Mindanao problem. Make this day rather, a day to remember the continuous sufferings of our Muslim brothers and sisters out of government’s neglect despite billions in funds spent.”

Simply put, how can therefore Mayor Beng Climaco hide the truth that to this day there are still Muslims living in dirty tents in the city boulevard and grandstand center? Worse still, Muslim children are dying due to negligence and other deprivations caused by the 9/13 AFP-MNLF war due to her miscalculation?

PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM’S JUSTIFICATION OF ARREST AND DEPORTATION

Unable to give his peace talk in Zamboanga City, Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was brought to Davao City by the Muslim professionals who kindly invited him. He delivered a public lecture in Sunny Point Hotel auditorium on the issue “Raising Righteous Children.” The public lecture was attended by both Muslims and non-Muslims. But after the lecture he was arrested for immediate deportation on the ridiculous charge of “alleged links to a terrorist group outside” as parroted by PRO 11 Regional Director Chief Superintendent Wendy G. Rosario. Consequently, the arrest and deportation order invited more than 2,000 Muslim professionals and various sectors to stage a protest rally in Marawi City. They strongly demanded the release and deportation of the Islamic preacher, stating the obvious that “Bilal’s arrest was a clear manifestation of how ignorant Philippine authorities were.”     

Nonetheless, with the blind intervention of the DOJ justifying the arrest and deportation of Dr. Bilal Philips, the Canadian Islamic preacher was deported from the Philippines. After being deported from the Philippine, he described his phenomenal ordeal in his personal website, expressing politely the sorry state of the role of Philippine colonialism in his deportation. He also cited that “sensational journalism” has played a major role in demonizing him. He particularly said that “such irresponsible sensational journalism has been identified by the UK government’s Runymede Report as a major source of Islamophobia.”

He finally expressed: “It is very sad that lecturer and speakers like myself who call to Islamic moderation and oppose extremism, terrorism, indiscriminate violence and revolt, are blocked from conveying this peaceful message to Muslim minority communities.”

NIGHTMARE HIDDEN AGENDA OF PHILIPPINE COLONIALISM KEEPS COMING BACK

Indeed the sad experience of Imam Dr. Bilal Philips encountering up close face to face the tyranny and hypocrisy of Philippine colonialism could indeed be a moral lesson to all Muslims that the hidden agenda of the Filipino colonizers is still that bindingly strong. And that the Christianization program of Philippine colonialism over the Indigenous peoples of Mindanao is never lost.

Is this the reason why Philippine colonialism is at all cost pushing hard the perpetual occupation of the Bangsamoro homeland and continuing the war of genocide and terrorism of the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao?

Does this not speak then of the conspicuous reason in the first place why the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao were colonized in order to continue the proselytization of the unscrupulous Spanish invaders to Christianize them? The genocide war against the Mindanao natives has to continue pending the complete Christianization of the Indigenous peoples on the dirty hands of the Filipino colonizers of Luzon being the once proud colonial slaves of Spain.

On this sinister end, the alarming words of Joseph F. Fallon in 1987 cannot be surely forgotten when he said:

“…The Philippine legislature sought to resolve the Moro problem once and for all. To this end, Republic Act No.1888 established the Commission on National Integration with the stated purpose…”to render real, complete and permanent the integration of said minorities into the body politic…” This goal presupposed that all subordinate peoples, especially the Moros and Igorots, shall eventually be forced to become Christian…”

Thus, he finally said:

“…After so many decades of abuses and betrayal, for the Moros and Igorots to trust Manila and to remain with the Philippines would not only be naïve, it would be suicidal.”-osm, mnlfnet.com

 

   

   

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