Muslim leaders clear misconception that Qur’an learning schools are breeding ground for terrorism

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Concerned Muslim leaders of Muslim-dominated village here clarified in a community peace dialogue the misconception that Qur’an learning schools are breeding ground for terrorism.

Sheikh Ashraf Alangan, administrator of a Qur’an learning school, said their institution are one with the aim of the government for peace and development of the city and will never get engaged with any group who sows havoc to attain their objectives.

The activity, held at Camasi, Barangay Ligaya, General Santos City on Thursday (Sept 3), pooled community leaders, local government unit and the representatives of the security sector.

Alangan, related how their schools sustain their operations. Camasi has three Qur’an learning schools where learners read and memorize the Qur’an. They are taught on the intricate pronunciation of every word of Islam’s holy book.

There are also sessions for Islamic values and ethics and understanding the meaning of the verses of the holy Qur’an. 

“We envisage a society whose people adhere to the teachings of Islam as guided by the holy Qur’an and traditions of Prophet Mohammad,” he said about their school’s common vision. 

He cited the mission of their school as follows: 1) To initiate memorization of the Holy Qur’an among Muslim youth; 2) Educate the Muslim youth on the teachings of Islam which is establish peace, unity and understanding among the people; 3) To produce generations of Muslim youth that are God-fearing, law-abiding and productive; 4) Guide the Muslim youth away from deviation and teachings of those who espouse violence as their way of struggle; and 5) Promote the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet and emulating his character.

The activity was supported by the City Mayor’s Office - Indigenous Cultural Communities Affairs Division (CMO-ICCAD, General Santos City Muslim Religious Advisory Council and Madaris Federation of General Santos City. 

Present in the event were Karl Vincent  Queipo, Chief Administrative Officer V of the City Mayor’s Office, City Councilor Jonathan Blando who chairs the Committee on Muslim Affair, Sheikh Ibrahim Andang, PCVE Adviser of the City Mayor’s Office, President of the Imam Council of GenSan and representatives of the security sector.

Col Hasbi Jamalol talked on the initiatives of Task Force Gensan in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. PMaj Ruelito Lumigid discussed Maintaining Community Peace and Order while Rod Savallo, Assistant Provincial Director of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency – Region 12, tackled Strengthening Civilian Cooperation and Unity.

Queipo cited the important role of leaders and community members in fighting the pandemic and maintaining peace and order of the city. He urged everyone to do their part in efforts to overcome the challenges being faced by the city. 

Jocelyn Lambac-Kanda, Head of CMO-ICCAD, presented the programs and projects of the city government for the indigenous cultural communities particularly the Blaans and Muslim tribes. 

She reassured that the city government shall be implementing responsive programs for all based on needs of the people. 

She said CMO-ICCAD is willing to provide recognition of community-based schools as long as the requirements are complied with. 

Some participants also conveyed their fear to men in uniform as they heard from other places that subjects are killed by law enforcers during raids. 

Major Lumigid assured that their troops heed the proper operational procedures in conducting raid. “If you do not do anything illegal, you should not be afraid,” he underscored. 

Administrators of the Qur’an learning schools said they are open for visitations to their facilities to show that they are not hiding any illegal activities.

The event ended with the signing of peace covenant inked by the Muslim leaders manifesting their willingness to cooperate with the government in the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, criminalities and terrorism.