Hataman to AFP: Madrasas are peace and learning institutions, not breeding ground for terrorists

Deputy Speaker and Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman said on Friday (Oct 16) that Madrasas are “institutions of peace and learning,” and are not breeding grounds for violent extremists and terrorists.”
This was Hataman’s response to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay who said that the security forces are looking into the possibility of radicalization in madrasas that could explain the growing number of suicide bombers in the country.

“While I also share the deep concern of the Armed Forces on the existence of Filipino suicide bombers at present, I would not go as far as to associate these terrorists to our madrasas,” Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said.

Instead of making sweeping generalization against Islamic schools, Hataman suggested to AFP to file cases against persons involved.

“Like the police profiling issue involving Muslim students in Metro Manila early this year, associating madrasas with terrorism is the kind of act that makes terrorists, not prevent them,” he said.

“We are only encouraging disillusionment instead of enlightenment among our young. Kaya ito delikado,” Hataman added.

Madrasa centers are found in Muslim communities all over Mindanao and the island provinces. 

Mostly are holding Saturdays and Sunday classes teaching Muslim youth on Islamic values, Islamic history, Islamic jurisprudence, reading and understanding the holy Qur’an, and the tenets of Islamic faith.