Gensan Muslim leaders urged to help in PCVE advocacy

The Regional Director of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in Region 12 urged Muslim religious and organizational leaders in General Santos City to help in the advocacy on preventing and countering violent extremism.
“Let us help in informing the Muslim communities that the goals of the ISIS group do not conform to the Qur’an,” Regional Director Eduardo T. Marquez said during the symposium on preventing and countering violent extremism.

The activity, held on October 15 at TFG Headquarter was spearheaded by NICA Region 12 in coordination with Task Force Gensan (TFG) and City Mayor’s Office Indigenous Cultural Communities Affairs Division (CMO-ICCAD).

It was participated by selected Imams, Madaris PTCA Officers, Madaris school heads, and administrators of Qur’an Learning Centers.
Marquez underscored the important role of Muslim religious leaders to reach out the grassroots communities in preventing and countering violent extremism.

He stressed that the best people who can protect the city are the constituents themselves.

Col. Eduardo Gubat, TFG Commander, in his message related by Lt Col Datu Hasbi Jamalul, said he is happy that for two years of his stint, there has been no untoward incident that happened in the city.

In his lecture, Ustadz Moctar Alangan, emphasized that peace is the message of Islam and that the Almighty Allah forbids any actions that will deter the attainment of peace such as injustice or terrorism.

“Islam’s goal is to give value to the life of the person,” Alangan, president of Gensan Madaris Federation, underscored.

Sheikh Abdul Fatah Zacaria, Vice-President of Gensan Muslim Religious Advisory Council (MRAC), discussed the roles and responsibilities of Muslim communities in a diverse society in addressing violent extremism.

He related the last sermon of Prophet Mohammad highlighting the line “Do not therefore, do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not go astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”

Zacaria said Muslims must be wary that extremists use verses of the holy Qur’an and they should seek interpretation from qualified and legitimate Islamic scholars who can explain well its meaning.

Sheikh Ibrahim Andang, Chairman of MRAC, explained that Islam is based on wisdom, reality, compassion and welfare of humanity.
He urged the Muslim religious leaders to help portray Islam in its right image and suggested to them to be creative in propagating their faith.
“The Holy Prophet did not want Islam to be misunderstood,” Andang added.

In her message, Jocelyn Lambac-Kanda, head of CMO-ICCAD, emphasized that addressing violent extremism requires ‘whole of nation approach’ and that every stakeholder has a part to play.

She said though there are reports that alleged Madrasah centers in other places are breeding grounds for violent extremism, Gensan Asatidz (Madrasah teachers) and LGU Gensan firmly believe that these Madrasah centers are avenue to develop and educate Muslim children to become better citizens of the nation. 

LGU Gensan supports the operation of Madrasah centers to ensure that quality education are delivered to the young Muslim learners of the city.

Madaris teachers in Gensan are wary of the false indoctrination undertaken by extremist groups through social media and other possible means.