Gensan Madaris teachers vow to help in the drive against terrorism, extremism

GENERAL SANTOS CITY - More than a hundred Madaris (plural for Madrasah or Islamic school) teachers today committed to help in the drive against terrorism and violent extremism in their will to help protect the town from the intrusion of radical and terrorist groups.

In an emergency meeting organized by the City Mayor’s Office (CMO) – Indigenous Cultural Affairs Division (ICCAD), Dr. Janena Tito, Executive Assistant III, warned that radical groups or individuals may be just around the city or roaming in adjacent towns.

“We need to help our security sector in protecting the city from any atrocities perpetrated by these extremists,” she said.

On September 16, an explosion in front of a pharmacy along National Highway in Barangay Labangal, this city, injured eight people including a six-year old girl. The explosion was third in the Region 12 since August 28, 2018.

Dr. Tito said the Madaris teachers, as members of the communities, are ought to take part in monitoring threats from radical or extremist organizations considering that maintaining peace and order is “everyone’s responsibility.”

“We can not simply rely on our authorities the security of our town, we need to help them and we have to be vigilant,’ she underscored.

Dr. Tito shared some updates saying that there are suspected extremists recently apprehended in the nearby municipalities. “Our policemen recovered illegal drugs, firearms and black “ISIS” flag,” she conveyed.

Ustadz Badrusabah Alangan, Vice-President of General Santos City Madaris Federation, said for several decades already, the Madaris teachers of the city were not involved nor connected with any terror groups.

“We know their ideology is twisted and we will not allow them to penetrate our communities,” he said. “What happened in Marawi should not happen here,” he added.

Dr. Tito further disclosed that extremists are using huge amount of money to recruit members. “The authorities have been tracing where this money comes from and who are the people receiving it,” she said.

The Madaris teachers agreed to intensify the campaign against terrorism and extremism through information dissemination, educating Muslim communities about the issue and joining peace fora and dialogues.

They are also considering organizing a huge peace rally to pitch their call against radicalism and violent extremism.

General Santos City has 38 Madrasah centers that hold weekend classes facilitated by more than 138 Madaris teachers.

The local government of General Santos City supports Madaris education by providing honorarium and regular capability-building trainings to the Madaris teachers.

The city is a home for different Moro tribes like Maguindanaon, Maranao, Tausog, Iranun, Yakan, Badjao, Samal, and Sangir.