Sharia vs ‘extremism’ – Manila Standard


COTABATO CITY—The influential Bangsamoro Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion) has issued its Sharia ruling, asserting on the “need to fight violent extremism in the land,” even as the group called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front “to safeguard its territory from intrusion” by terrorists.

The seven-paragraph Fatwa No. 1 or ruling was signed by Bangsamoro Mufti Abuhuraira Abdurahman Udasan on June 27, the day after the Ramadan fasting ended. The document, however, was made available to the press only on Wednesday.

Udasan, a Muslim scholar on comparative religions, noted that the issue of extremism has even sown intrigues, causing much division among the people, Muslims and non-Muslims. But he said the Muslims’ principal sources of law—the Qur’an and the Written Tradition of Prophet Muhammad—are clearly against acts of mischief and abuses.

Aboulkhair Tarason, grand mufti of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Dharul Ifta, has also issued a similar ruling, adding that the ARMM should invest in youth and child development programs, backed by education on Islamic values to protect them from falling prey to corrupted teachings.

Under the Sunni Madzhahib or Muslim Schools of Law, the “defense of religion, land (territory), people and honor from armed incursion” are the prerequisites that allow a leader to call upon the people to wage a defensive war called jihad al-qital.

Bangsamoro Mufti Abuhuraira Abdurahman Udasan. Screen grab photo from Youtube video

Taosug professor Alih Sakaluran Aiyub of the Western Mindanao State University said Muslim scholars will soon come up with a Primer on Violent Extremism and Terrorism to provide guidance to young Muslims and non-Muslims, amid reports that extremists were targeting young recruits.

Mufti Udasan summarized the bases for his ruling, quoting verses in the Qur’an: “And do no evil, nor mischief on the face of the land.” (2:60); “Seek [no occasion for] mischief, for Allah does not like those who do mischief…” (28:77).

Asserting the MILF should safeguard the people and its areas of influence from “violent intrusion,” Udasan quoted in his ruling the Prophet of Islam, saying: “Fight anyone who comes to you and you, affairs to renounce allegiance or to sow discord among you.”

The MILF leadership promptly responded, assuring the Bangsamoro Dharul Ifta of its commitment to safeguard its areas of influence from “intrusion by violent extremist elements.”

“The Marawi cisis would not have happened if the Maute group did not enter the city,” MILF Chairman Hadji Murad Ibrahim said. “Even without discussing the ideological aspect; just looking at it in the practical perspective, what good does ISIS bring? If we allow them here, what good will they bring? They will only destroy [the communities] further.”

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