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25 March 2013



The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is alarmed by the tragic situation prevailing in Zamboanga City, involving the abduction and possible killing of a respected and religious Muslim theologian, Sheikh Bashier Bantal Mursalon, on January 21, 2013.

A married man, 36-year old Sheikh Bashier is a peaceful resident of Labuan, Zamboanga City. A graduate of Khartoum University, Sudan, he is credited to have established an Islamic learning center (madrasah) in Labuan and Patalon Barangay, Zamboanga City. It was reported that he was abducted along the highway proceeding to the city proper while riding alone in a motorcycle by a group of seven unidentified men riding on a black SUV. Without any prooof or evidence, he was accused by City Director de Ocampo to be involved in kidnapping activities in Labuan.

His case has been brought to the attention of the Zamboanga City Police Force on January 28 and Mayor Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City on January 29. The Muslim Ulama/Guru Crisis Management Committe (CMC) has filed his case with the Commission on Human Rights on January 31 and subsequently filed a complaint against some policemen of the Labuan Police Station on February 4. On February 9, the Crisis Management Committee also sought the help of Congresswoman Beng Climaco to request a special investigation of the case by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in lieu of the Task Force Bashier created by the Zamboanga City Police Force. On February 12, the CMC appealed to Councilor Abdurahman Nuno to conduct a public hearing on the controversial case and formally filed a 33-page petition on February 15 signed by all ulama/guru and available Muslim constituents of Zamboanga City for the public hearing to be conducted in the open session of the City Council. Finally, on February 18, the ulama group and Muslim constituents held a condemnation public rally and demonstration prelude to the City Council public hearing that henceforth decided in recommending the transfer of the full investigation of the Sheik Bashir case to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from the Task Force Bashier created by the Zamboanga City Police Force.

Furtheremore, the MNLF also has expressed alarm and dismay over the case of another Muslim religious teacher (guru/madaris), who was arrested in Ciudad

Medical Zamboanga Hospital after only being released from medical treatment on March 4, this year. He is up to date imprisoned in Sta. Maria Police Station, Zamboanga City, awaiting fair trial although his case of mistaken identity is already referred to the Commission on Human Rights by the Crisis Management Committee of the Muslim ulama/guru of Zamboanga City. 

On these two episode surrounding the tragic fate of Muslim religious teachers in Zamboanga City, the MNLF can only condemn with strongest term the abduction,  harassment and persecution incidents and expect due justice to prevail.

On behalf of the members of the MNLF Central Committee and the Bangamoro freedom fighters in the ground all over Mindanao, we also wish to express our support and sympathy with the victimized Muslim Ulama and their family members, and await for the concerned authorities to render positive and objective judgment over the cases.

     Prof. NUR MISUARI
Chairman, Central Committee
    Moro National Liberation Front 


Follow the Darul Iftah Crisis Management Committee on the Case of Shk. Bashier Mursalon








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