Monday, June 8, 2009
MANILA - Although Friendster, Facebook, and Multiply have virtually everything people need for an active cyber-social life, some Muslim users still don't find what they need for a truly "halal" social networking experience.

This was an issue 42-year-old Salim Yusop tried to address when he launched Tausug Network (TN), a social networking site catering mainly to Tausugs in Sulu province.

Born in Jolo, and later resided in Metro Manila in the 1980s, Yusop said he had always dreamed of creating a website custom-fit for Muslim users—one that would reflect Islamic culture and beliefs, especially those of his ethnic group.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009
COMMENTARY: The Bangsamoro Narrative: Input from Islamic movements (2). By Datu Michael O. Mastura

Pace one, the paradox is the very notion that Muslim ‘resistance equals terrorism’ by informational manipulation with national media apparatus has filled out the ‘vacant political message’ of status reversion of Moroism to proto-statehood. Rejection of the ‘land of truce’ (sulh) proposed in the initialed MOA-AD confronts Islamic geopolitical discourse in conjunction with the post-war “ethnic flooding” of Mindanao ripening into “settler neocolonialism” today. Negation takes away from this doctrine the compromise that continues to make and unmake the conflictual interactions in our social orders and its political aspirations. Thus locating the ancestral domain as a point of contestation of colonisibility accounts for Bangsamoro utmost striving for a juridical entity or state, a national status, or self-determination that gathers popular support.

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Monday, January 12, 2009
Monday, December 1, 2008
Samira Gutoc, lead organizer of the event and founding chair of the YMPNM, in providing the rationale of the activity, stressed that the Moro cause may not only be the assertion of the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity but revolves around "the many layers of discrimination" against the Moro people. The BJE is the proposed territory that is supposed to be governed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had the MOA-AD been signed and the peace talks proceeded.

Gutoc enumerated the Moro cause as: 1) affirmation of the right to self-determination (RSD), 2) a Moro nationalist identity, and, 3) uplift of Moro people's lives.

Full Story...
Monday, October 20, 2008

Moro identity at the heart of conflict: Misuari
Veronica Uy I INS

MANILA: We are Filipino and Bangsamoro. This was the answer Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, gave when asked if Moros consider themselves Filipinos.

In an exclusive interview with The Inquirer, Misuari said: “Our people would like to call themselves as Filipino and a Bangsamoro citizen. They cannot do away with their identity as a Moro or as a Bangsamoro. We are Filipinos at the same time Bangsamoro. We are Bangsamoro at the same time Filipinos. We are part of a larger nation.” “That’s how we look at ourselves. We cannot do away with our identity as Bangsamoro people even as we say we are also Filipinos,” he added.

Moro identity at the heart of conflict: Misuari - Read More!

Monday, October 6, 2008
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Cotabato City, Dec. 2 (NNN-PNA) - The Philippines Senate approved on Nov 28 a bill declaring as national shrine the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque, the oldest Muslim worship place in Mindanao situated in Tubig Indangan, Simunul Island, Zamboanga Peninsula.

In a statement, Senator Edgardo Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation, emphasized Friday that declaring the six-centuries-old mosque as part of national heritage could help pave the way for Filipino-Muslims in the South to take the path of peace.

"It is a most opportune gesture of friendship to our Muslim brothers. Declaring it as national shrine is of far reaching significance because it celebrates the construction of the first Muslim mosque in our country, built two centuries ahead of the Spanish colonization," Angara said.

"In the same manner that the Roman Coliseum is celebrated and revered up to this day, so should we honour and protect one of our country's most important historical structures," he added.

The bill is set for submission to the Office of the President for final approval and enactment into law.

Arab missionary Sheikh Karimul Makhdum constructed the mosque 615 years ago, some 140 years before the arrival of Magellan in the Philippines.

Makhdum is recognised to have introduced Islamic civilisation in the country. His mosque is held with great esteem and emulation by the Muslims; and even non-Muslims and is considered sacred.

Some 5,000 domestic and foreign tourists frequently visit the shrine annually.

Maguindanao Islamic theologian Abdulkadir Abdullah expressed joy over the development saying "Such is a welcome development for us as we also want our cultural legacy protected."

Angara's son, Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, earlier filed the bill before the House of Representatives for the mosque's recognition as national shrine.

Bongao Link

The Bongao Landscape.

Before the armed rebellion of the MNLF in the early 1970s, Bongao is merely a backwater village ruled by the prominent noble Halun family, who used to own about 3/4 of the island. The capital of the province is Bato-Bato in the mainland situated in a cove with deep waters suited for anchors of the Philippine Navy. At the height of the armmed rebellion and fearing that the provincial capitol might be overrun, the government transferred it to Bongao. The white-washed, Taj Mahal-inspired provincial capitol building is located on a hill overlooking the bay and the whole town to the North of the Island against the backdrop of Mount Kabugan and the famous Bud Bongao (Bongao Peak).

The transfer of the seat of government ushered the rapid development of the island as the southernmost center of commerce and trade. Suddenly, the population swelled as individuals (and their families) who are in government service moved to town.

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