Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Manila, January 28 –Debate rages on as members of the Ulama League of the Philippines. Ulama disclose findings of bidaa or innovations of faith committed in the handling of peace process in Mindanao. A confidential report circulated in the gathering of 200 Muslim religious leaders cited serious accusations to Muslim personalities including the host of the National Ulama Summit being held in Manila today.
Ulama lambasted the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID) in its declaration of principle that only solution to the peace problem in Mindanao is meaningful democracy. In a counter-proposal, Ulama affirm Islam as the solution to the peace problem in Mindanao saying that the PCID declaration has put a parameter of dialog not acceptable to the Muslim rebels.
Ulama emphasize that the Muslims are not against the rule of democracy in the Philippines. They said that they are enriching democracy by the exercise of their true faith in Islam. National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales on the other hand had earlier appealed to Muslim religious leaders to ensure that the “correct version” of Islam is taught.
Ulama also criticize some colleagues issuing statements for the peace efforts but closing door for dialog at the same time. It cited a particular statement by an officer of the Muslim World League Elias Macarandas declaring Commander Bravo of MILF a terrorist despite findings of his innocence.
Ulama also accuse other Muslim representatives in the Bishops-Ulama Conference to commit serious lapses in principles and organizational protocols which have resulted negative implications to the Ulama in the country.
Excerpts from a statement by the Ulama:

A Critique to the PCID’s Principle of Meaningful Democracy
For submission to the 2nd National Summit of the Ulama in the Philippines
January 26, 2009

The contentions highlighting disunity among Ulama should not supersede the positive dynamics of various groupings in the Ummah under the wide bounds of Halal. First, Allah (s.w.t.) has mentioned this in the Qur’an and that implies about the band of people among the Ummah who will excel in inviting what is good and forbidding what is wrong. The law of contradiction has affirmed to this organizational dynamics that raise people and society into higher level. In the Ummah, it raises us to further purification of our theory and practice in Islam.
For instance, many of our concepts has transcended from the bounds of Halal as we compelled ourselves to express Islam in non-Islamic context. The declaration of “meaningful democracy as the only solution to the peace problem in Mindanao” is a farce! Democracy by itself is ruled by man-made laws or a “rule of majority” which is directly inconsistent with Islam. If we use this as parameter in peace process that involves the Bangsamoro struggle, we are just curtailing them from the very foundation of their existence as Muslims. Will the peace effort we assume still be feasible by this precept?
Democracy by the way, is a constricted equivalent of freedom which is actually rich in an Islamic society. Islam has all the meaningful contextual expressions that the so-called civilization of today has yet to discover and benefit. We should not be deceived by the western semblance of Arabic terminologies abound to ploy the real and encompassing meanings it had.
Furthermore, this very Summit by itself has contended to undermine the existence and contributions of the Ulama League of the Philippines being a national organization in the country by claiming that no other Ulama organization ever exists and therefore it is then imperative to organize an umbrella organization. These contentions are in effect has capitalizes the federated provisions in the By Laws we supposed to ratify today. By the mandate of a ratified By Laws, this Federation will become a supreme clearing house for all major and strategic transactions representing the Muslims in the Philippines locally and abroad. Essentially, this set-up is contrary to their public declarations. This will eventually put to death the positive and complimentary dynamics of existing Ulama groups in the country.
Besides, a Federation adapting open-ended provisions in a By Laws prone of abuse is dangerous enough. With due respect to some colleagues, our statement releases with the BUC for the past months have to some extent committed lapses in principles and organizational protocols seriously implicating officers and members of the organization. Binding ourselves in an umbrella federation is putting our participation and affirmation to its declarations and actions which may have negative implications in the immediate or strategic time.
With these in light, an alternative set-up should be defined as follows:
1. Instead of creating an Umbrella Federation, this National Ulama Conference of the Philippines or whatever organization' s name we may agree upon, should be a Consultative Assembly or an annual developmental summit of the Ulama in the Philippines;
2. Its Constitution and By Laws should only serve as ground-rules of the Assembly limiting powers to the Board of Trustees as Institutional working body playing the rule like an NGO serving its PO’s;
3. The Assembly should not be a regular organization in authority over individual members but an open assembly of Muslim groups, clerics and leaders convening in a conferential, consensual and recommending forum;
4. Whatever it may resolved should have its executory programs both and according to the level of the national conference and as well as on the level of member groups and individuals.
Claims madaris used to recruit extremists

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:16:00 01/09/2009

MANILA, Philippines — National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales appealed to Muslim religious leaders to ensure that the “correct version” of Islam, centered on peace, is taught in their schools or madaris (plural of madrasah), some of which he claimed are used to recruit extremists.
“What government is appealing to Ulama is for them to have a little bit more responsibility in making sure that our Muslim groups in the Philippines are taught the correct version of the Islamic faith,” Gonzales said at a news forum in Manila on Friday.
“We are not asking them to shape their faith into being loyal to the government…authentic Islamic teaching, as far as we understand, is about peace,” he added.
Asked if the madaris were being used to recruit extremists, Gonzales replied: “Totoo yun [That's true].”
Gonzales said the government has intensified its dialogues with Ulama or Islamic religious leaders, asking them to distinguish between “responsible” and “irresponsible” members, while making it clear it was not meddling in their religion.
Source: http://salmanranaw.blogspot.com
For reaction, email at salmanranaw@yahoo.com.ph

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