IS A BANGSA MORO STATE WITHIN A FEDERATION THE SOLUTION?

Posted on June 19, 2016

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mainphoto(Just before he passed away, Macapanton Rashid Yahya Abbas, Jr, wrote a rambling essay on the Bangsa Moro Conflict and was published in the Ateneo Law Journal  Vol. 48  Sept 2003.  Officially, he was designated as Secretary-General of several Moro groups like the Bangsa Moro Liberation Organization (BMLO), the National Coordinating Council for Islamic Affairs (NACCIA), Islamic Directorate of the Philippines (IDP, which included Misuari and Salamat), etc. He was the President of the Moro Youth National Assembly (MYNA, which included Misuari and Salamat). He was the International Spokesman and Chair for International Affairs of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF-Reformist Group). Unofficially, he was the de facto leader of the MNLF-RG and later, was adviser to the MILF and MNLF  (all factions). For many people, Abbas, Jr. was the “brain of the Bangsa Moro revolution.”)

Below are excerpts of his article “Is Bangsa Moro State Within a Federation the Solution?”:

by PROFESSOR MACAPANTON Y, ABBAS, JR.

(N.B.: He was Full Professor at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the mid to late 1970s. Thus, he can legitimately use the title of Professor.)

INTRODUCTION

The topic of “Federalism and the Peace Process” which has been chosen as the topic of discussion by the Ateneo Law Journal for its second issue for Vol. 48 on September 2003 under the theme “Emerging Trends in Philippine Constitutional Law and Constitutional Reforms” is timely in view of the advocacy of the “Federalists” like Rey Teves, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Dr. Jose Abueva and a host of leaders who believe that the “Federalization of the Philippine State” is the Constitutional solution that answers many problems of state and governance including the “Peace Process” in Mindanao between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The issue of “Federalism” is not limited to the “Peace Process” because the two are completely separate issues.  The Federal system can be adopted independent of the “Peace Process” in Mindanao. The MILF as well as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) may enter into “comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Mindanao conflict” under an International Agreement or Constitutional Arrangement even if the Federal system is not adopted.  This will be discussed later in this paper.

However, the question may be – Can a Federal State for the Bangsa Moro People be the best option for a peaceful political solution and lead to a lasting peace in Mindanao?  Hence, Federalism is the best way for the peace process to aim for the final status agreement with the Bangsa Moro People.  In this context, it is imperative to understand Islam and the Muslim faithful.  The concept of the Muslim Ummah (Community) in the universal sense as well as national and ethnic perspective which is the basis of the Muslim Law of Nations and relations of Muslim states and nations and peoples on the international level must be studied and appreciated.  The terminologies of Islam, the Muslims, and the Bangsa Moro; the history of the Bangsa Moro People as states; as anti-imperialist and anti-colonial fighters, as movements for national liberation and as citizens of the Philippines which spans a millennium is important to study and evaluated.  These will be discussed and this author shall present the different political options including a federal system for the Philippines.

In June 1980, a two-day conference, “The World of Islam from Morocco to Indonesia”, was held in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 14th Centennial of Islam.  Over 400 scholars from around the world were brought together to explore Islam and the Modern World.  This author was one of the discussants in the said Conference and it was sponsored by the Asia Society, Department of State and John Hopkins University to celebrate the Fourteenth (14th) Century of ISLAM.

The Conference concluded that at present, the impact of industrial development, technology, urbanization and secular values has had far-reaching consequences.  All over the world, rapid change has disrupted social patterns and cultural traditions which served as reference points for centuries.  Muslims, no less than others, are reacting to the flood of Western individualism, materialism, sexuality, family and politics.  To many, these ideas threaten basic Islamic values.  Furthermore, the outlook of most Muslims is strongly colored by a very recent emergence from a long period of foreign domination.  There is also an awareness of the clearly visible economic disposition between industrialized and developing nations, and within societies, between classes.

Also, concerned Muslims across Asia and Africa are actively exploring many routes to find the balance between modernization and tradition.  This reflects a sense among Muslims that Islamic principles may provide them more appropriate solutions to their national problems than those offered by either capitalism or communism.  Therefore, they call for a re-injection of basic Islamic values into the lives of the individual and society.

The clamor for the revival of these Islamic values is gaining credence even in the Philippines with the adoption of the Madrasah Education Program and the adoption of Muslim personal laws under P.D. 1083.   The very concept of secularism is being modified in Europe and North America to promote the correct understanding of Islam and Muslims especially with world events such as the events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Chechenya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Khasmir and Mindanao, Philippines…

 

… The beliefs and values of Muslim in Islam are important to understand, if one is to gain a deeper insight in the nature and essence of the Bangsa Moro struggle.  It is imperative to understand the terminology of Islam and Moro languages within the peculiar context of their history…

TERMS AND MEANINGS

Let us define the terms that we are using particularly Moro or Bangsa Moro and Filipino because the “Hermeneutic Interpretation” of the Bangsa Moro issue is as important as the substantial issues regarding the conflict and how to solve it.  The author’s younger brother Engr. Jamal Ashley Y. Abbas, the first citizen of this country to become a Petroleum Engineer and who is now completing his master’s degree in Communications at University of the Philippines wrote in an award winning article:(18)

“But according to philosophical hermeneutics, History is not separated from the present.  We are always simultaneously part of the past, in the present, and anticipating the future.  In other words, the past operates on us now in the present, and affects our conception of what is yet to come.  At the same time, our present notions of reality affect how we view the past.“Moro leaders and intellectuals maintain that if the Philippine government truly wants to solve the so-called Moro Problem, it must exert an honest-to-goodness effort to understand the feelings, sentiments, biases, ideals, prejudices, customs, traditions and historical experience of the Bangsa Moro as enunciated or articulated by the Moros themselves.

* * *

“Hermeneutics must necessarily come into play if one were serious in solving the “communication gap” between the Muslim and Christian Filipino communities.  There must be a real effort in cultural interpretation.

“The Moro problem is even exacerbated by the textual interpretation of both groups to important documents like the Philippine Constitution and the Tripoli Agreement.

“Many people in the government and the academe try to view the Moro Problem within the framework of social constructionist communication theories or Marxist critical theories.  Some Moro intellectuals believe that postcolonial discourse theories cannot be used because the Moros are still under colonial rule; i.e., Filipino colonial rule.  It is absolutely useless to blame the Americans or multinationals or globalization for the plight of the Moros, as what the leftists are won’t to do.  If there’s anyone to blame, it is the colonial power, i.e. the Filipino government.

“The MNLF, MILF, BMLO and other Moro groups have petitioned the United Nations to resolve that the Bangsa Moro nation be de-colonized.  Today’s Filipino historians, writers, or intellectual do not mention the fact that the great Filipino nationalist himself, Claro M. Recto, authored the bill called “Colonization of Mindanao Act.”

“Hermeneutics phenomenology or philosophical hermeneutics could be the framework needed to help solve this socio-political problem.  Using critical theories, which focus on ideology and power, might simply aggravate the problem.  As Paul Ricoeur wrote:

 “what is at stake can be expressed in terms of an alternative: either a hermeneutical or a critical consciousness… In contrast with the positive assessment of hermeneutics, the theory of ideology adopts a suspicious approach, seeing tradition as merely the systematically distorted expression of communication under unacknowledged conditions of violence.”

It is important that we should have the proper understanding of the recognition given by Philippine Law and Jurisprudence, as well as, by the Philippine government in its agreements with the MNLF and the MILF and the Resolutions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that the Indigenous Muslim Communities of Mindanao, Basilan, Tawi-tawi and Palawan are to be known as the “Bangsa Moro People” and that their culture, religion, history and civilization are distinct from the Filipinos who were colonized and christianized by Spain and later by America.  Such distinct ethnic nationality does not make them separate or enemies of the Filipinos or the Philippine state but “equal historic communities” that must co-exist and work together to strengthen a common state or even separate states within a federal or confederal system of government.  In the United Kingdom, the Scots, the Welsh or the Irish of North Ireland are not called British or English but they remain a strong state as a United Kingdom and was once an empire.  The Corsicans of France as well as the Britons are not called French or the Basques of  Spain are not called Spaniards or the Wallons and Flemings of Belgium are two separate peoples in one state or the Montenegrens and the Serbs in the Federation of the former Yugoslavia or the Chechens or the Cossacks or Dagastanis and many nationalities in the Russian Federation or the Tibetans or Uighurs of China are not called Chinese or Han for they are separate nations or the Ainos of Japan and so many other cases in the world were you have many nationalities in a single Federal or Con-Federal state like the United States of America.

When the Bangsa Moro asserts its historic right as a national ethnic community, it is not being separatist or secessionist but rather asserting a historical truth that must be acknowledged otherwise there will be no solution to the conflict in Mindanao.  In this connection Father Eliseo Mercado, PhD and former President of Notre Dame University of Cotabato City, in an interview in the United States last May 2, 2003 with the EIR, were he is presently undergoing scholarship at the Georgetown University stated categorically that:

“I believe the Philippine government and for that matter, the Filipino nation, must open up to the reality that we are not a mono-nation-state and that we are poly-ethnic groups and we are a poly-nation-state.  It is possible to have many ethnic groups, and many nations, and still form one country, one republic that is the first thing.  The second thing is to see the root causes of insurgency and rebellions over the problem of separatism.” (19)

The Bangsa Moro Question can have a genuine, just and comprehensive political solution if its distinct historical claim as states before U.S. illegally annexed them into the Philippines by virtue of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, as the basis of the solution.

THE MUSLIM LAW OF NATIONS

In order to reconstruct the Islamic theory of international relations, we should bear in mind that Islam offers a social system based on divine revelations and immutable and inalienable rights as part of a political community endowed with a system of laws designed to protect the collective interest of Muslims as well as to regulate their relations with the outside world.  The basic principle of Islamic governance in external relations with other nations is that only the Muslim Nation is the subject of the Islamic legal system, while all other systems are the object of these systems, although the non-Muslim nations are not denied certain advantages of the Muslim Law of nations.  The ultimate goal of Muslim Law of Nations was to establish peace within the territory brought under the pale of its public order and, theoretically, to include the whole world in obedience to Allah’s commandment to govern in accordance with Islam.

“Before Islam could achieve that ultimate objective, it had to enter into relations with communities that had not yet submitted to its control in accordance with a set of rules and practices.  Conformity to Islam’s legal and ethical standards was required not only of the believers whose territory had not yet expanded beyond the frontiers of the state but also of believers who owed their legal – though not necessarily their political – allegiance to Islam. An illustration of this principle can be found in Muslim minorities in China, Russia, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Philippines, etc.

“However, the non-Muslims who resided within the Islamic community, although they were regarded as the subjects or citizens of the state (though not members of the religious community), were not bound by all the Islamic, ethical; and legal rules.  Islamic authority however, had to deal with the problems arising from their inter-relationships with Muslims.“In the ancient near East, Greece and Rome, Islamdom and Western Christendom, a distinct civilization flourished in each of these “worlds”.  Within each civilization a body of rules and practices developed for the purposes of regulating the conduct of each entity with the others in peace and war.

“Former systems of the law of nations, in contrast to the modern International Law of nations, were not universal in character since each system was primarily concerned with regulating the relations of entities and nations within a limited area and within one (though often more than one) civilization.  Furthermore, each past system of the law of nations, in contrast to the modern law, was entirely exclusive, since it did not recognize the principle of legal equality of nations which is the basis of the modern law of nations. (20)

Prof. Masjid Khadduri clearly expressed this legal theory that, the Muslim Law of Nations was based on the theory of a universal state.  The binding force of the said law was not based on consent of reciprocity, but on their own interpretation of their political, moral and religious interests, as they regarded their principles of morality and religion derived mainly from the commandments of ALLAH.  With the entry of the Muslim states in the United Nations (UN), it is a safe assumption that this principle has been relaxed and the legal equality of all nations is gaining acceptance in the Islamic world.

“The Muslim law was ordinarily binding upon individuals rather than territorial groups.  It was only in modern times, especially under the material and cultural pressure of modern civilizations that the observance of law has been attached to people in relation to the territory they live in, rather than in relations to the group they belong to.“The Muslim law of nations is not a separate body of Muslim laws; it is merely an extension of the laws designed to govern the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, whether inside or outside the world of Islam.  Strictly speaking, there is no Muslim Municipal (National) Law and International Law based on different sources and maintained by different sanctions because the Shari’ah makes no distinction.” (21)

AL-SIJAR (LAW OF NATIONS)

The early Muslim jurist either dealt with the conduct of foreign relations in the general law corpora under such headings as “Jihad”, “Spoils of War” and the “Aman” or “Al-Kharaj”.  Later on, all of these were discussed under a technical term “Al-Sijar”.

“In practice the Muslim Law of Nations (Al-Sijar) is taken to mean the sum total of the rules and practices of Islam’s intercourse with other peoples.  The sources are the treaties, utterances and instructions of the Caliph to the commanders in the field, opinions and interpretations of publicist and jurists.  Analyzed in terms of the modern law of nations, the sources are of the same categories defined by modern jurists and the statutes of the International Court of Justice, namely, agreement, custom, reason and authority.” (22)

In Islamic legal theory, the world was therefore divided in two divisions: Dar Assalam (The Abode of Peace) comprising of Islamic and non-Islamic territories held under Islamic sovereignty, and the rest of the world, called Dar Al-Harb or the Territory of War.  The first included the community of believers as well as those who entered into an alliance with Islam.  The inhabitants of those territories were either Muslims, who formed the community of believers, or non-Muslims, those who belonged to tolerated religions who paid the Protection Tax (Jiizah) to Muslim authority.

The world surrounding the Islamic political community was known as Dar Al-Harb, because it remained beyond the pale of Dar Al-Islam.  It lacked the legal competence to enter into intercourse with Islam on the basis of equality and reciprocity.  Such territory may be regarded as “state of nature”, because it ruled to conform to Islamic legal and ethical standards.  Some Muslim publicists, especially Shaffi Jurists, devised a third temporary division of the world, called Dar Al-Sulh (Territory of Peaceful Arrangement) or Dar Al-Ahd (Territory of Covenant), giving qualified recognition to non-Islamic communities if they entered into treaty relations with Islam, on conditions agreed upon between the two parties.  The Hanafi Jurists, however, never recognized the existence of a third division of the world, arguing that the inhabitants of a territory concluded a peace treaty and paid a tribute, it became part of Dar Al-Islam and its people were entitled to the protection of Islam, because otherwise it would be part of the Dar al-Harb and object of Islam. (23)

DEFINITION OF JIHAD

The word JIHAD is derived from JAHD or JUDH meaning “ability and exertion”.  Jihad means the exertions of one’s power in repelling evil.  Jihad also means the using or exertion of one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation and this is of three kinds: the visible enemy, evil and one’s self.  Jihad is therefore far from synonymous from war.  However, Jihad is also mistakenly used to mean holy war or defensive war by western or even westernized Muslims as the only bellum justum in Islam.  This was shown as a misconception by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:

Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive (Jihad) with might and main, in God’s cause with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank, in the sight of God.

They are the people who will achieve salvation.” (9:20) (24)

Sir Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary observed:

“Here is a good description of Jihad.  It may require fighting in God’s cause, as a form of self sacrifice.  But its essence consists in (1) true and sincere faith, which so fixes its gaze on God, that all selfish or worldly motives seem paltry and fade away, and (2) an earnest and ceaseless activity, involving the sacrifice (if need be) of life, person or property, in the service of God.  Mere brutal fighting is opposed to the whole spirit of Jihad, while the sincere scholar’s pen or preacher’s voice or wealthy man’s contributions may be the most valuable forms of Jihad.” (25)Fight (Jihad) in the cause of God
Those who Fight (Jihad) you
But do not transgress limits
For God loveth not transgressors
And slay them wherever ye catch them
From where they have turned you out;
For tumult and oppression
Are worse than slaughter
And fight them on
Until there is no more tumult or oppression
And there prevail Justice and Faith in God;
But if they cease, Let there be no hostility
Except to those who practice oppression. (11:190-193) (26)

Sir Yusuf Ali again commented on this verse that:

“War is only permissible in self-defense, under well-defined limits.  When undertaken, it must be pushed with vigor, but not relentlessly, but only to restore peace and freedom for the worship of God.  In any case strict limits must not be transgressed; women, children, old and infirm men should not be molested, no trees and crops cut down, nor place withheld when the enemy comes to terms”. (27)

He explained the universal practice of Muslims and their governments on the matter of war and peace.

“In general, it may be said that Islam is the religion of peace, goodwill, mutual understanding and good faith. But it will not acquiesce in wrong doing of its men will hold their lives cheap in defense of honor, justice and religion which they hold sacred.  Their ideal is that of heroic virtue combined with unselfish gentleness and tenderness, such as is exemplified by the life of the Prophet.  They believe in courage, obedience, discipline, duty and a consonant striving by all means in their power, physical, moral, intellectual, spiritual, for the establishment of truth and righteousness.“They know that war is an evil, but they will not flourish from it if their honor demands it and a righteous Imam command it, for then they know they are not serving carnal end.  In other cases, war has nothing to do with their faith, except that it will always be regulated by its humane precepts.” (28)

The verses of the Holy Quran on Jihad aside from the two cited above which numbers more than thirty (30) verses never used the word “Harb” or war but only “fighting.”

In my paper, I observed, that the whole breadth of Islamic history will prove that Jihad was never used as an instrument of conversion for truly, mankind has never witnessed religious tolerance as displayed by Islamic rulers.

The Holy Quran enjoins religious tolerance when, it commanded “There is no compulsion in religion, truth stands manifest from error.”

Historians and writers like J.M. Haydman, Joseph Schart, Nathaniel Shcmidt, Lamartine, Lipson, Dozy, Renan, Sir Allan Burns to name a few, credits Islam and its reign with the flourishing of intellectual and religious freedom for all.  No less than Arnold Tynbee, the greatest historian of our times said:

“Today the modern world stands in need of Islamic tolerance and universal brotherhood and the Muslim world has to play its role in the shaping of a harmonious and peaceful and happy destiny for the war-weary, tension tossed and ideology-torn world.” (29)

MODERN DOCTRINE OF JIHAD

The first and most revolutionary change was the adoption of peaceful relationships among nations of different religions, modifying the classical principle of Jihad or a permanent state of war between Islamic and non-Islamic nations.  Muslims rulers started making treaties establishing peace with non-Muslim states extending beyond the ten year period provided under the sacred law.

The most notable instrument that formalized the peaceful relationship between Islam and non-Muslim states was the Treaty of 1535.  It not only laid down the principle of peace and mutual respect between Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent and the King of France but also offered it to other Christian princes who were willing to adhere to the treaty (Articles 1 and 15). (30)

The second fundamental change was the acceptance of the principle of the separation of religious doctrine from the conduct of external relations.  In Islam there was a separation of doctrinal differences from the conduct of external relations and to regulate external relations on a secular basis. This was later adopted in Christendom thereby giving rise to the principle of cuious regio, eius religo, first adopted at the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, which became the basis of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 and which governed the relationship of the Christian states in Europe and later among the different faiths of the world. (31)

The third principle was the adoption by Islam of the principles of territorial sovereignty and territorial law necessitated by territorial segregation.  When the universal monocracy of Islam suffered a split in its body politic under changing conditions of modern life, the constituent entities emerged as fully sovereign and each sovereign tended to divert the mode of loyalty of men from universal to territorial concepts.  As a result, territorial segregation constituted an underlying factor for the gradual transformation of the nature of sovereignty from universal to territorial as well of the law from personal to territorial. (32)

JIHAD AND MODERN CONCEPT OF WAR

In my thesis for the Bachelor of Laws Degree at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines in 1967 I stated that:

“Neither the League of Nations charter nor the Kellog-Briand Pact which renounced war as instrument of national policy or a defensive war substantially altered the classic doctrine of war that the states had an inherent right to go to war.“The charter of the United Nations has introduced a new doctrine on the use of force.  The preamble proclaim “that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest.”  And one of its purposes is “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end, take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace” – Article I (1).  These statements imply the abolition of war in a legal sense.  The only entity possessed of a legitimate power to use force is the Security Council which is authorized under the charter to “take such action by air, sea or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore peace and security.  Art. 42.

“The inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in case of an armed attack is preserved in the charter.  However, the exercise of the right of self-defense is merely in preliminary measure pending the exercise by the security council of its authority and responsibility to maintain or restore international peace and security. Article 51.” (33)

“The Muslim States having entered membership in the UN are bound legally by the charter.  From the point of view of Islam, there is no substantial conflict with the Islamic doctrine of Jihad because the purpose of Jihad is the establishment of peace and if peace is established by the UN then the purpose of Jihad is served.  Secondly, if aggression is committed on the Muslim state or states then the UN must enforce collective action or the Muslim states may declare Jihad on the aggressor.  Thirdly, the requisites for justum bellum under Islamic doctrines are satisfied by its Charter.

“Another modern illustration of Jihad was in 1947 when the UN created the state of Israel and partitioned Palestine.  The Mufti of Palestine declared Jihad and the Arab states supported Palestine in the Palestine War.  The intervention of the UN resulted in a truce and the rights of the Palestinians are still to be settled in the UN.  There is shooting war as of the moment and there is a state of war between the Arab states and Israel and tensions results in a continuing cycle of violence.  As of the moment no Muslim state has extended recognition to Israel except Egypt.

“Again, the India-Pakistan war resulted to the declaration of Jihad by Pakistan against India.  During the war between these two states, the Muslim states either financially, morally or actively supported Pakistan in her war efforts against India.

“The secularization of Muslim states have led to the secularization of Jihad and the acceptance of the UN concept of war as justum bellum under “modern” Islamic legal and ethical standards.  Muslim States submit disputes with other states to the UN for arbitration and mediation in accordance with its Charter for peace being the ultimate objective, Muslim states are bound to honor the covenant.  The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by US aided by the UK without Security Council approval is changing international law which effectively prohibits war under the UN charter except as a collective measure with the approval of the Security Council.  The US military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan will change international law on war.

However, the modern concept of total war which disregards distinctions between civilians and combatants and rendered the Hague Convention of 1907 irrelevant, is still not acceptable to Islamic legal theory.  This modern theory of war saw its application in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Under Islamic legal theory, the conduct of war is based on that noble principle forbidding the extension of warfare to harming non-combatants.  The rules decree against the killing of the aged, the young women, the handicapped, those who have withdrawn from life to worship and meditate, and those who have refrained from participating in battle.  The mass of workers, farmers, and tradesman-in other words, the civilians.  It is not lawful to kill civilians.  There should be cessation of hostilities should those whose death is not permitted be exposed to death between the ranks of the fighting forces.  However, this limitation on war action has been violated repeatedly by US and UK and justified under the pretext of collateral damage.  The use of massive bombings beyond enemy lines using guided missiles and bombs as the basic US strategy to maximize damage to enemy forces, utilities, transport facilities, radar and satellite systems, with the minimum loss of lives has changed the rules o warfare and caused more injuries and death civilian populations than the soldiers as seen in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.” (34)

THE OIC

The establishment of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1971 operationalized the unification of the Muslim World initially constituting the Muslim States but with declared intention to support the Muslim Communities or Minorities who constitute over 400 million of the 1.2 billion Muslim World populations.  Some of these Muslim Minority Communities are ancient nations and Kingdoms like those in the U.S.S.R., China, Eritrea, Thailand, Cyprus and the Philippines and their respective populations and territory are much bigger than many Muslim states.

In 1972, this author attended the 2nd OIC Foreign Ministers Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, submitted the petition of the Bangsa Moro against the genocide by the Marcos regime. He also had long discussions with H.E. Tenghu Abdulrahman Putra, First Secretary General of the OIC and the late Libyan Foreign Minister Saleh Bouyaser, one of the drafters of the OIC charter.

In these talks, the said leaders revealed that the late King Faisal Bin Abdulazziz of Saudi Arabia worked for the establishment of the OIC to promote the unity of the Muslims to act as a world force and the Islamization of the Muslim States in order to safeguard the purity of Islam and its institutions and to encourage Muslim societies to modernize within the framework of Islam.  The struggle of Islam against Zionism, Fascism, Colonialism and Anti-Islamic ideologies can only be won through the unity of the Ummah based on Islam.  Further, the Muslim States collectively can protect and support the rights of Muslim Minorities. This has been consistently confirmed by the Islamic Summit of Heads of States.  However, it has been short on implementation because of disunity among Muslim States caused by superpowers domination of some Muslim States.

It established the Islamic Solidarity Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, Red Crescent, the Islamic New Agency, and the Institute for Technical Cooperation, the Federation of Muslim Chambers of Commerce and Industries, etc.  It has also formulated a common stand in world issues before the United Nations, the non-aligned movement, the Organization of African Unity, ASEAN and the Arab League.  The Muslim States have emerged as one of the most powerful bloc in the UN and the world as shown by their unity on the oil embargo of 1973; the support for PLO and Palestine; the support for the Afghan Mujahiddin; the boycott on South Africa; North South Dialogue, the New World Economic Order and other major issues.

The OIC has also declared strong support for the Muslims in Eritrea, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and particularly the Bangsa Moro in the Philippines.  They have given humanitarian assistance to all Muslim Communities and made representation to USSR, Europe, U.S.A., Canada, China on the rights of Muslim minorities.  Its position is that, “violation of the rights of Muslims anywhere in the world is a legitimate concern of the Muslim States”, representing the collective will of the Muslim World through the OIC.

In the Iran-Iraq war, the OIC heads of states and governments created a committee of head of states to mediate between the parties and they continued these efforts in all forms up to the UN Security Council until finally, the cessation of hostilities was achieved.

In the present crisis in the Gulf States when Iraq invaded Kuwait and annexed it, the OIC condemned Iraq’s action and conforms to UN Security Council resolutions.  However, it did not support US actions in sending forces to Saudi Arabia.  It supported an Arab multi-national force and mediation by Muslim States between Iraq and Kuwait – Saudi-Arabia.  The OIC also did not support the war against Afghanistan and Iraq. The acts of US are beyond the Security Council’s resolutions.

The OIC became marginalized in the US led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the war in Palestine. The Acts of US are beyond the RP-US Security Council Resolutions. This situation led to militancy and birth of the Muslim Jihadist movements in the Muslim world as a reaction to the failure of OIC and Muslim states to be defenders of the Ummah and the Muslims.

Dr. Julkipli Wadi in a paper on the Islamic Ummah in the 21st Century commented on the new emergence of US as the sole Superpower on the Muslim Concept of the Law of Nations as well as the Doctrine of Jihad.

“The politicization and subsequent trans-nationalization of Islam is a product of long-standing rivalry between Arab nationalism and pan-Islamic source of political system and framework of development in the Arab world provided opportunity for pan-Islamic groups to claim support and legitimacy from marginal sectors of Muslim society.  It is reinforced by the failure of Arab nationalism to get rid neocolonial vestiges in the Middle East and other parts of the Islamic world.  The sway of Islamic movements is brought about with the eclipse of reform movements in Muslim dominated areas and secessionist groups in non-Muslim dominated areas.  Since the Afghan war in the 80’s these two strands of struggles had forged strong linkages with each other.  It thus appears that the neo-Islamic struggle is global making their target not only their immediate enemies, e.g., Arab/Muslim and Christian dominated governments, but the very source of global hegemony (e.g. America) and all the symbolism it represents (e.g. capitalism, power).  Taking cue from the fact that it is useless to engage in petty acts of violence in their respective locales, they thus catapulted their struggle by making a big signature in the heartland of American power as shown on September 11.  What they simply needed was their will.  Their capability came second.  And, ironically, it was the knowledge and technology of the United States that they used to destroy the symbol of economic and political power of the United States.  If there was a lesson learned by Islamic movements is that, if you want to be heard, you’ve got to elbow a major power.  Yet, one has to be ready of being branded as a terrorist, fundamentalist, and all those sort of labels even by their fellow Muslim brothers unfortunately.  And finally one has to contend the wrath of the Superpower and the international coalition against terror.Implication

The rule of the game of international politics has indeed changed.  The event last September 11 shows the fragility of the world today.  If a big power like the United States can become a subject of intimidation by what it considers as an “enemy that hides in the shadow” what more Third world countries including the Muslim world?  Surely, the Muslim world, its dynamics and politics will be the subject of international controversy in the years ahead.  The sense of historicity by a wide array of many Muslim struggles is now supplanted by over rhetoric on terrorism.  The line thus between legitimate political struggle and terrorism has turned blurred. (35)

 

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CONTINUE  TO  WAR IN MOROLAND (CLICK)
18 Abbas, Datu Jamal Ashely   Hermeneutic Interpretation for the Bangsa Moro Issue
Bangsa Moro Review Internet Magazine, December 2002

19 Mercado, Eliseo, Interview by Economic Intelligence Review, MindaNews Website, May 4, 2003

20 Abbas, Macapanton, Jr. International Relations in Islam, Institute of Islamic Studies, UP, Diliman, Roundtable Discussions on Islamic Studies, UP, August 19, 1990

21  Khadduri, Masjid, War and Peace in Law of Islam, 1962
22  Ibid. Khadduri
23   Ibid. Khaduri

24  The Holy Qur’an, Chap.9 verse 20
25  Ali, Abdulah Yusuf  Translation and Commentary of the Holy Qu’ran, Parachi Press,
Pakistan, 1949
26 Op-cit. Chapter 11, Verse 190-193
27 Op-cit. Comments of Yusuf Ali English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran,

28  Op-cit. Yusuf Ali
29  Op cit  Abbas, Macapanton Jr.
30  Proctor, Harris, Islam and International Relations, London: Pall Mall Press, 1965
31  Ibid. Proctor
32  Ibud.. Proctor
33  Abad Santos, Cases in International Law, 1966
34  Abbas, Macapanton, Jr., “Jihad and International Law”; Thesis, College of Law, University of
the Philippines, 1967
35 Wad, Julkipli  A paper presented during the Muslim Youth congress sponsored by the
National Youth Commission at the Executive Plaza Hotel, Malate, Manila, 27 October 2001

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