ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Regional Ulama Solidarity Summit on Peace and Security is a follow through of the ARMM Ulama Summit on Violent Extremism and Terrorism held in May 12-14, 2017. It is organized by the ARMM Regional Darul-Ifta’ with full support and funding from the Office of the Regional Government of ARMM, in collaboration with Majlis-us-Shura (Assembly for Friendship and cooperation) serving as the overall Secretariat.
The Summit is a platform of general assembly of the ulama of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi Tawi and Zamboanga peninsula joined in by the ulama from other major cities in the country, gathered as one primarily to address the misconceptions and misrepresentation on basic concept of Salafism and Wahabism and to offer direction and lead for Muslims and non-Muslims on the understanding of these two important concepts as defined by others and outsiders of Islam and outside of Muslim communities, and among scholars who try to represent Islam and present interpretations even if they do not have the proper authority as ulama.
The Summit is also to affirm and assert the authority of the Ulama as the knowledge sector with adequate and appropriate, and notably, the proper knowledge and tools of understanding the Muslims themselves, as well as the practice of their faith, and how Islam is applied in their personal life and in their society. ; and how, throughout history, Muslim practice and acts based on their specific societal and environmental contexts have evolved through the time.
The Summit is an opportunity to reclaim the Islamic concepts and define them based on the authority of learned scholars in Islamic schools and traditions, and based on literature written by the same scholars.
A counternarrative crafted by the Muslim learned themselves is deemed as guidance to give the direction for the Muslm ummah as to how to deal with and where to stand against violent extremism and terrorism in their midst.
The final output of the Summit drew up strategic action points for ulama and their respective communities to expand and detail in planning how to move forward. A thematic seven Intervention keys identified and developed in the first Ulama summit is being used as the template for identifying issues, projecting targets and strategies for the achievement of outcomes. The seven intervention points are: Religious-spiritual, socio-cultural, educational, economic, political, security, and psychological interventions held as collaborative and working in synergy to work together.
Majority of participants are ulama coming from the island-provinces of ARMM and Zamboanga peninsula, joined in by ulama from major cities outside the ARMM.
A total number of 200 participants coming from the provincial Darul Ifta, and representing the various Muslim religious organizations, masajids, markaz and madaris in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the peninsula of Zamboanga. Delegates from Davao City, Cotabato City, Baguio City, Metro Manila and Palawan were also in attendance. The aleemat (Muslim women religious) were represented by organizations in Zamboanga City and Basilan, notably Noorus Salaam and the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women.
The following are expectations solicited per province:
||Bud Dahuh (Sulu)|
||Aleemats (sumping Moro)|
Attended by members of the press, Sec. Lorenzana gave a briefing on the state of security and peace and order in Mindanao and the region. The media were given the chance to ask questions right after the SND’s update. Most of the questions centered on Marawi situation and on the military campaigns against terrorism and to contain the Marawi upheaval.
Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman spoke on the fateful Marawi uprising as a precursor and all the more reason why the summit of Ulama would have to push through, although it can be noted that the first ARMM Ulama conference against Terrorism came days before the unfortunate incident. RG Hataman then concluded how the unity of ulama is crucial for the final resolution of Marawi dilemma and to apprehend similar incident to happen elsewhere in other parts of the autonomous region.
Aleem Jamal Munib told of a more sunny update about the success story of integrated madrasa education program in Davao city, and urged other LGUs to replicate it.
RDI Executive Director Abdulmuhmin Mujahid gave an overview of the background, purpose and goal of this gathering.
Among questions asked by media related to RDI activity were what security arrangements the DND can provide for the ulama in the face of threats and possible attacks of RDI’s initiatives by radical Maute and ASG. And asked whether we can still win over those who have embraced the radical options, the SND response was a proposal for more robust military establishment, more recruitment and arming the military and security sector. Aleem Munib added in that the Davao model must be replicated. While RDI Executive Director urged for increased logistical support from government to the ulama, a subsidy for madaris and support for the activities and events of the ulama. A stronger relationship between the LGU and ulama is also recommended.
Input Lecture by Dr. Aboukhair S. Tarason on “Misconceptions and Misinterpretations of Salafism and Wahabism”
To set the tone of the dialogue between DND and the ulama, Dr. Tarason gave a lecture which highlighted the current misconceptions and misinformation that has resulted in the labeling and tagging Muslims as being involved in violent extremism, and that Islam is condoning violence and its institutions are accused as breeding radical elements.
Reading from his lecture note, Dr. Tarason emphasized that while there is no such concept of radicalism in sharia terminology, as it is not found in the Quran, in ahadith and never mentioned in sunnah, but it must have come from the outside.
There is however a concept of “excessiveness” forewarned by the Prophet Muhammad sallalahu alaihi wa sallam and mentioned in Surah Al Maida:77. Excessiveness that means: “doing something extravagantly and done beyond the limit”, and is being deemed as ‘haram’.
A hard copy of his lecture was distributed to participants.
The fruitful dialogue between the SND and ulama had, aside from Secretary Lorenzana, the WESMINCOM commander Gen. Carlito Galvez, and other top commanders of provincial and ground units of AFP as respondents to clarifications and exchanging proposals with the ulama on how to move forward.
Among the issues covered were:
|Asked by:||Answered by:|
|Tableegh from Basilan||I want to know who is the resource person that provided info to the DND?||SND:
Publications from abroad and foreign literature online
|Local ulama should be consulted and be the resource persons|
|What is the role of youth in the DND?|
|Is it the same resource person who had informed the DND that the MSA is a breeding ground for extremism?|
|Military checkpoints in Basilan are frisking the tableegh and advising them not to wear their “muslim attire” and are being interrogated of their SOT, if they are salafi or wahabi.||Harmony Center to be constructed at the WESMINCOM facility. This can be a space for dialogue among military and the ulama|
|Explain about the 700+ ISIS killed in Marawi. Are they civilians? Are they real ISIS?
Isn’t reporting such massive killing of people of Marawi creating fear and negative impact in the hearts and minds of Muslim civilians?
|Galvez: There maybe civilians among them who are new recruits and who have joined the ISIS in the course of war since they were already trapped.
The military information has it that there had been a “convention” in Marawi where from 50-100 were foreigners (or foreign-trained?).
Of the killed, 33 were international terrorists.
The 700+ is not an exaggeration and based only on body counts and sniper kill, it is not yet counting those felled by bombs and crossfire.
Of the 700+ killed, only 10-12 were civilians who were already armed and fighting in the frontlines.
Civilians are not targeted and killed. The military has identified their location. The military has profiled the location of civilians.
1,750 has been rescued. 700-800 are estimated to be still trapped inside hiding in mosques and markaz, the community people have become sympathizers
|Balik-Islam||Muslims especially those like the Balik-Islam are being threatened by the khawaridz. And we are also being targeted by the military and police.
What is our security reassurance now?
|SND: There should be a local security arrangement between he brigade commander and the LGU at the provincial down to municipal and barangay levels.
(Addressing the military commanders present): you must coordinate with them, the ulama, and have periodic troop education.
|Closer LGU-military coordination
SND gave his personal contact numbers:
Gen. Delfin Lorenzana
Utilize the Harmony Center as space for periodic TINE (Troop Information and education) and invite the ulama. Make it a regular practice.
|Phil. Military ustadh||There is a negative branding that Baguio city ulama are engaged in defiant teachings.
I can attest (and now inform you) that this is not true.
|Ex-VM Sakallahul Kasim||There is a rumored crackdown in Basilan very soon in the coming days, and there is allegedly about 100 names in the order of battle or to be apprehended/ investigated. This is sowing fear not only among the ulama but also the ordinary Muslim families as Basilenyos are still wildly traumatized by the crackdown in 2001 that had sent hundreds to jails who to this day are still languishing without proper charges and their families have become broken and devastated.||SND: The list was prepared as part of Martial Law preemptive measure in connection with Marawi rebellion. Martial Law Order 1 was signed, with order to the military and police to arrest some people.
If you fear that you are in the list or a friend or relative is in the list, advise them to showup and present themselves to the nearest police authority or military detachment to clear themselves up.
This is a “baklang” Martial Law. An arrest order can only be issued by court. The authority has only 3 days to file appropriate charges, and failure to do so, it must release the “suspect”. Unlike in Marcosian ML, where you can be detained forever.
|Prof. Sahi Udja – Sulu Assoc. of Muslim Professionals and Ulama||I propose that this Summit shall come up with a recommendation that for any information about Islam this Ulama summit will be considered authority and must be consulted.|
During the 1st Ulama summit (before the Marawi siege) a framework was drawn and agreed upon. This summit is for the ulama to validate and reaffirm if the same framework is still working of intervention. The 7 interventions are:
The workshop grouping is by province and answered the following guide questions:
- Is the Framework still relevant?
- What is the local context?
- Why is there a need to address with an intervention? Detail the intervention(s).
- How? Moving forward. (Identify indicators of output and outcome)
The output yielded a rich exchange of thoughts and experiences from the ground by representatives of ulama in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan, Zamboanga peninsula, and those coming from major cities outside of ARMM such as Baguio city, Davao city, Cotabato city, Metro Manila and Palawan.
It was capped by an almost three-hour plenary presentations from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.
Below is a consolidated matrix of responses from the workshop groupings. These are raw and unedited responses as worded and presented by the groups:
Key Result Area
Responsive Context (Gaps/Issues/Objective conditions)
Output and Outcome Indicator(s)
|RELIGO-SPIRITUAL||Religio-spiritual||· To address the ideological component of VET||Outside ARMM|
|Because radicalization is a process of mind-setting that accrues through time||· it must also be addressed through deconstruction of ideological framing by offering a counternarrative||· . Ideological re-orientation||Outside ARMM|
|Religio-spiritual||· Strengthening the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims||· Interfaith dialogue
· Religious education program for the women
|· . Tawi-Tawians are not so traumatized, not so affected by islamophobia, and there is a willingness in government to support to build infrastructure (i.e. 4B donated by LGU to build madrasa), but:
· . lack of ulama
· . weak da’wah
· . lack of madrasa and markaz
|· . low level of consciousness on the importance of Islamic education
· . lack of equipment and facilities
· .most of the islands have no madrasa, therefore the higher the possibility of youth being misled by deviant groups.
|· . continuing advocacy on the importance of Islamic education
· . encouraging the young ones
· . encouraging the stakeholders to build madrasa
· . drum out support from local and international donors
|·||· Lack of eeman resulting to violent extremism
· The ulama is authority that can explain and clarify about Islam (using the correct sources)
· Empower the manhaj of salafi in the community and in social media.
· Establish the authority of ulama in the community and government
· Unified khutba in all levels: national, regional,local
|EDUCATIONAL||Educational||· To correct the misconceptions and misinterpretations of the meaning of Qur’an.
· To prevent the youth into being recruited to radicalism and VET.
|· . Peace education
· . Symposia, forums, lectures
· . mass media and social media
|What- Subsidy must be given to traditional madrasa, by LGU.
-Unifying curriculum is required.
-Registration of traditional Madaris
|• Why- To improve the educational system of the traditional Madrasah.
-To avoid suspicious or false teachings
|• How- By perpetual financial assistance from the LGU.
Lack of knowledge on the correct teachings of Islam (Quran, sunnah and Ahadith)
|Proliferation of da’wah on the wrong teachings||Continuing advocacy||Tawi-Tawi|
|Educational||“Knowledge is light, ignorance is darkness”
“little (religious) knowledge is dangerous”
|· . Continuous teaching of Islam in all aspects
· . Create modules on moderation
· . Unified regional khutba
· . National curriculum for madaris
· . writing and publishing reading materials.
· . Islamic values and Arabic language literacy in colleges (HEIs)
|Educational||700M budget allotted for (ALS-Muslim education) not devolved to ARMM (since 2005) because it is lodged in DEPED and there is no law on devolution (i.e. violates separation of state and church).||· Create National Commission of Darul Ifta
· empowering law.
· . mainstreaming of Islamic education
· . Asatidz recognition (accreditation) scheme
|SOCIO-CULTURAL||Socio-cultural||Interventions must address socio-cultural elements that are drivers/factors, such as but not limited to: poverty, difficulties and hindrances to people’s well-being and human security.||• . Policies, legislations, mechanisms for socio cultural recognition of the way of life of Muslims by the larger society:
• . National level – provide legal framework
|Muslims are easily swayed because the basic unit of family is disempowered due to the frequency of periodical displacement and evacuation.||. Revive traditional structures
. for implementation down the line:
. civil-government-NGO-community partnership
|ECONOMIC||Economic||Poverty causes the poor to associate with whoever has money and financial capacity||· . allocate allowances and budget for religious workers.
· . provide work opportunities
· . government scholarships
· . support the schooling of children and dependents of rebels and victims of war.
|Poverty and lack of opportunities for livelihood make women and children more vulnerable to becoming victims of violent extremism||· . Skills training on livelihood and entrepreneurship
· . Livelihood programs
The peace process is an important factor in the intervention against VET.
|Bangsamoro idealism and its aspiration for self-determination will be determinant of the people’s sentiment and their state of disfavor, discontent and dissent.||· . satisfactory BBL or any form of political arrangement (i.e. federalism) expressive of RSD.
· . empowering law to institutionalize and strengthen the structure of Darul Iftah
|· .implement the peace agreements and give Muslims what is rightfully theirs
· . create National ulama commission (i.e. NCMF of ulama)
· . Bureaucratic structure/body for young ulama/Muslim youth
|Outside of ARMM|
|• What- Political Mode of Selection to have a truthful leaders with minimal funding expenses, such as mass vote buying and pressure.
|• Why- To minimize and reduce corruptions
|How- Moving forward through consultations which leads to Federal System of governance||Basilan|
|SECURITY||Security||Addresses the issue of violent insurgents, e.g. ISIS and ASG||• . ARMM Gov must be a member of Security Council.
• . Grand Mufti of (national) Darul Iftah be a consultant-adviser if not a fullpledge member of Security Sector.
• Dialogue of Ulama with National Security Authority (NSA)
|• . engagement of ulama with local govt and security sectors.||Zamboanga1|
|• What- Recruitment of the native Muslim residents in military services.
|• Why- To reduce the risk of violence and extremism.
|• How- Giving chance and opportunity to those are qualified.
|. The security of the ULAMA must not solely rely on the military, but the community
|. The threat might be the military will control all the activities of the ULAMA
This means that the military will be able to intervene the ULAMA Activities
|Therefore the ULAMA must be united with the community
With a short break for magribh prayer and dinner, the participants regrouped to finish the plenary presentations of the rest of the groups’ outputs. The day’s last session thereby ending at 8:00 PM.
DAY 2 October 14, 2017 Saturday
9:20 – Emcee Shk Salman Sakili
Introduced the panel at the presidential table:
- Shk Jamal Munib, VP Ulama Council of Zam Pen/Dir of Madaris Program of Davao City
- Shk Muhaimin Sakili, Chair, Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula
- Aboukhair Tarason, Grand mufti of ARMM Regional Daril ifta
- Abdulgani Gerry Salapuddin, Adviser-consultant of GPH Panel, OPAPP
- RDI Exec. Dir. Shk. Abdulmuhmin Mujahid
- Sharif Jul-asri Abirin, Mufti of Sulu
Kiratul Quran (Surah Ayah Litarrafu)
Introduction of delegates by province called out by Emcee
- Sulu, led by Mufti Sharif Jul-asri Abirin
- Basilan, led by Dr. Tarason
- Tawi-Tawi, led by Mufti Inju
- Zamboanga, comprised of ulama graduates from foreign institutions
- Davao, led by Alim Jamal Munib
- Aleemats of Zamboanga and Basilan
- Palawan, shk. Mahir – ICRC
Introduction of partners, guests and observers:
- PRO-9 PSupt.
- Asst. USAID
- ADZU Peace Advocate
- Silsilah DI
- Asia Foundation
- OPAPP – Hon Gerry Salapuddin
- WMSU – Dr. Grace Rebollos
- Archdiocese of Zamboanga
Aleem Mujahid started with greetings and recognition of guests and delegates and welcomed everyone to the second day of the Summit. He reviewed the rationale for this gathering and updated everyone on the history, background works, and accomplishments of the ARMM Darul Ifta.
Guided by a prepared speech and flashed overhead from LCD projector (Please refer to the copy in Annex).
The emcee, sheikh Salman Sakili recapped the presentation of Aleem Mujahid and summed it up as:
- Asserting the authority of the ulama to lead in the campaign against violent extremism and terrorism;
- For ulama to claim authority as having the primary knowledge of Quran, sunnah and ahadith;
- Reiterate that Salafism is the exemplar of the works and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him;
After recognizing more names of visitors that have arrived, the emcee then announced that the next speaker shall read the Declaration of Ulama Solidarity Against VET. But before he would do, the emcee invited the audience to listen first to a quick review by Dr. Tarason on yesterday’s lecture on the misconceptions and misunderstanding of Salafism and Wahabism.
Shk. Sakili then recapped by saying and thanking Dr. Tarason that the participants especially those who have just arrived today have been enlightened about the term Salafism and Wahabism. He also shared a personal testimony on the case of harassment and intimidation by elements of the military experienced by the Mahad Moro, a popular markaz being administered and managed by his father, Sheikh Muhaimin Sakili who is also the Chairman of the Ulama Council of Zamboanga Peninsula.
10:30 Reading of the RDI Fatwa on Terrorism by Aleem Jamal Munib
Instead of a Declaration of Ulama Solidariity Against the VET, Aleem Jamal Munib instead read from a pamphlet the RDI Fatwa on Terrorism. (Please refer to the hard copy of this Fatwa).
10:45 Message of OPAPP by Hon. Gerry Salapuddin
11:30 Presentation of Summit Output by Prof. Munib Kahal
1:30 Conversation with partners, linkages, donors, etc.
CONVERSATION WITH PARTNERS AND COLLABORATORS: IDENTIFYING POINTS OF CONVERGENCE
|CONVERGENCE||ROLE OF UNITY||NEEDS||SUSTAINABILITY SUPPORT||PROGRAMS|
Draw inspiration and guidance from common ethical bases of unity:
1.Marakesh Declaration of Unity (ADZU)
2.Charter of Madinah
3. Common Word Between Us and You
Archdiocese of Zamboanga expresses their solidarity with the Muslim religious leaders, through Fr. Joel (Director of…)
|Capacity and empowerment support for women:
Mobilize women (i.e. aleemats) in taking up lead role in raising awareness and inculcating values and rightly-guided practices among parents, in the home, and in the community.
|· Establish and institutionalize partnership through a legal mechanism: activate the Interfaith Council as mandated legal mechanism for convergence. (Dr. Rebollos-ZABIDA)
· Support for the Regional Darul Ifta’ and endorsement of its plans by the CSO and NGO in the city. (Silsilah DI)
|Increase and popularize inter-school visitations among religious-sectarian schools (e.g. among Muslims; among Muslims and non-Muslims, etc.)|
|Create and utilize more common spaces of convergence:
For consensus, dialogue, conversations, exchanges
Fr. Sebastiano DÁmbra’s Open letter to Muslim Religious Leaders of Mindanao expressing his solidarity
|Role of religious in formation of the youth: Going back to the basics of discipline, attitude, and character as the starting point of formation; inculcating the values right and wrong as elders in the community, as parents. Not much about politics or going to other’s houses and communities, but starting off at home and within our communities to inculcate discipline and good/responsible citizenship.
|NCMF – why are the ulama not thinking of leading the NCMF? (Col. Taharuddin Ampatuan)
Maximize 2 mechanism:
1. Start with an institution. Ulama should workout to put a religious and incorruptible commissioner.
2. At the ARMM level – Accreditation program of the ulama and Islamic religious teachers (i.e. a model similar to Singapore can be explored).
3. Legitimize the establishment of Darul Ifta’to be enacted as legislative act of ARMM.
|Sensitize interfaith activities:
Increase non-Muslims consciousness and awareness to sensitivities/controversies/taboos/divergence/differences in manifested practices among Muslim groups and for their (non-Muslim) programs not to become precursors of discord/conflict. (ADZU)
|Working for the same community of needy, the poor, and marginalize.||REF:
Expression of support from ZSCMST.
|Focus on security and peace on 3 levels:
1. Destroy/break the walls that exist in the two communities; interact; fellowship; conversations; participation incelebrations
2. To know each other; to reflect together coming from each our respective religious traditions;
3. Acting together. (e.g. culture of peace education)
4. (Fr. Calvo-ZABIDA)
|WITNESSING: telling others that Muslims and Christians can be united and can live together.||Search for a common methodology: work with
3 conveners (Christian, IP, Muslims).
Embrace each other; listening; learning from each other.
|Call on NGO, INGO, CSOs in the city to support and advocate for the passage of BBL by the people of Zamboanga.||Schools and academic institutions’ support and accommodation of islamically-adherent practices (e.g. uniform alteration for hijabi) (ZSCMST)|
|Our common ground: the consciousness of God of Light. Of how God wants us to live in peace.||Asia Foundation: training and building skills and capacities in social media.||Jesuits: The Policy Advocacy Coordinating group. A convergence of 5 Ateneo universities in the country has been consistent lead in conversations on Peace and putting Mindanao as the heart of discourse (because of its rich cultural diversity)
|Creation and establishment of HARMONY CENTER to be led by Muslims. (ARMM-ORG)|
|The ulama needs tools and technology on how to manage the media. Public relations. Technical skills of writing, researching.
Increase the ulama access to the English-languaged media. And to access the media even in using their own language.
|Dialogue is not just a methodology, it is a Spirituality.
Put God at the center of each other’s lives.
|Training on skills in social media management (The Asia Foundation)
Creation of a social media bureau for RDI/ulama
|Jesuits will journey with the RDI in inter-religious Dialogue and intra-faith dialogue. (TAF)|
|The satisfaction of the Bangsamoro aspiration for self-determination is the ONLY medicine that will solve the problem.
There is a need to rally behind the proposal to give genuine autonomy for the Muslims in Mindanao.
Silsillah Summer Course
Youth camp – SYLPEACE
Forums in different schools
|Cooperate with the ulama in modeling good practices of governance. (Mayor Hans Bud, Maluso) i.e. recognition award in Peace programs. (LGU-Maluso)|
|World Interfaith Harmony Week (SDI)|
|ICL – Interfaith Council of Leaders (SDI)|
|Alliance-building among multistakeholders and LGU and the religious communities (ZABIDA)|
|BIDAHAN Youth CAMP (ADZU)|
|Peace constituency building to be led by ADZU, PAZ-ZABIDA, and Silsillah. Inviting other CSOs.|
|Convergence of Muslim organizations/NGO/CSO with religious programs and religious agenda to cooperate in a project to be funded by TAF. One of such programs is a book of khutbah on Peace, moderation, harmonization and Islamic position on countering VET. (NUCP)||Sulu young ulama and young professionals to be beneficiary and partners with TAF on the Social media management training.|