Monday, 21 October 2019

Sarangani countering extremism thru Madaris Tarbiyyah

ALABEL (March 22, 2019) - Sarangani Province has successfully engaged into education campaign thru its Madaris Tarbiyyah Program to strengthen capacities of its Moro communities on the prevention of violent extremism.

The Governor’s Commission on Muslim Affairs representative Asma Akmad said long before the issue on violent extremism arose in 2017, Sarangani has already been doing the initiatives of countering violent extremism since 2016 after a bombing incident in Davao City.

Now, Madaris Tarbiyyah has been recognized as one of the best practices in the Philippines on the prevention of violent extremism as presented by the United Nations Development Programme during the Coordination and National Action Planning in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2018.

Akmad said one of the points recognized was the involvement of religious groups as one of the best strategies to correct distorted narratives against Islam wherein, she said, Sarangani has long been doing.

Tarbiyyah, according to Akmad, is an Arabic term which means “to nurture one child from one stage to another until he becomes righteous and obedient.” In Sarangani, this concept is used to empower Muslim communities against violent extremism by educating them on “the true teachings of the Holy Qur’an which rejects all forms of terrorism.”

Akmad said Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon “pursued this mechanism of education to ensure the correct interpretation of the tenets of the Muslim religion and its teachings together with parallel programs in pursuit of good governance.”

This mechanism paved the way for Madaris Tarbiyyah to be crafted and implemented as a grassroots-driven anti-violent extremism strategy thru Sarangani’s Madaris for Peace Project.

This approach, Akmad said, “focuses on the Madrasah as the primary learning institution of most of the Muslim faith and therefore the logical base for generating grassroots peace building efforts.”

Madaris Tarbiyyah is a civil-political initiative that brings together stakeholders in the province whose mandates are for peace, prevention of conflict and ultimately, prevention or countering the causes and effects of radicalization and violent extremism.

Around 49 Madaris centers have been established in Sarangani in six out of seven component municipalities.

For Governor Solon, “the best people who could protect the province from the threats of violent extremism are the Sarangans themselves.”

“We are not fighting a religion. We are fighting a false religion,” Solon stressed.

Solon said the extremists pass through the Philippines and pointed out “ang gusto natin sa Sarangani hindi tayo gagawing playground (We don’t want them to make Sarangani as their playground).”

Violent extremism, he said, “is any belief that uses violence. Because they use violence, it scares the people. It is terrorism and that’s what we are fighting against.” But Solon pointed out to also “keep in mind that out of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the whole world, only 0.0001 are extremists.”

In Sarangani, he said, the Ustadz, Imams, elders and representatives from Moro Islamic Liberation Front are the ones encouraging Muslim communities to suppress radical Islam. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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