Muslims in the Philippines

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At the outset, let me greet you Assalamu Alaikom, a Muslim’s way to wish an everlasting peace be upon us all. Eight years ago, I asked my father a question that aroused from my curiosity. I said, “Amacolay, what makes us different from them who you call Christians?” My mother was out there too listening to our conversation and all I’ve got was a stare from both of them. It took some while before they have come up with an answer to give me. Papa then said, “That piece of clothing covering your head is that which makes a difference.” I then hastily replied, “Nuns wear head coverings too right?” About five centuries ago, the people of the south, particularly the Maranao tribe, lived a healthy living. They have their own civilization. They call their chieftain a sultan. They were governed by their law called taritib and ijma. Taritib means law and ijma means consensus. Once a crime is committed, the legislative body called waqil will convene and the taritib is read. If the crime is not well defined in the taritib, a consensus shall be formulated and will be adopted. Not too long after these peace-loving people enjoyed the absence of much melancholy, this decent civilization had been, to a great extent, ruined by the foreign invaders. The gradual destruction of such very rich and colourful culture and literature of the Maranaos commenced during the coming of the Spanish, Japanese, and American intruders. In the years 1942 to 1945, there had been a mass destruction of lands and a mass killing of innocent people due to the heavy bombardment of the Japanese army on our agricultural land which is the main source of living of Maranaos. With this malady, the people of Lake Lanao started to migrate to different whereabouts throughout the archipelago. This explains why you can see them anywhere here in the Philippines. They sought for sustainable livelihood that could possibly uphold their family’s ruined status. With this, most of them had neglected their...
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