• ISIS surge raises fears of Sharia law in Bangsamoro

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    THE surge of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sometimes referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has made it worthwhile to worry about Sharia Law and the non-Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao (and in other areas that could fall under the Bangsamoro substate). What will be the effects of the imposition of Islamic Sharia law on the non-Muslims, the Christians and Lumads (ethnic tribal Filipinos), in the large combination of provinces that the Aquino administration wished to surrender to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that it has signed?

    The latest news is that the ISIS or ISIL appears to have taken over most of Western Iraq. Its armies are closing in on the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The United States has sent an aircraft carrier to the area. But many expert Americans have warned President Obama against getting the US involved in propping up the Shiite-dominated and Iran-friendly government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    The al-Qaeda related Sunni ISIS/ISIL armies are well-equipped. When they were just among the many insurgent bands fighting Iraq’s national government, these Sunni fighters did not have the materiel and armored vehicles they have now. This is because their numbers and armory have swelled as Sunni officers and soldiers in the Iraqi military defected to join and surrender their posts and eventually entire cities to their co-religionists in the ISIS/ISIL.

    Among the experts trying to persuade US President Obama not to aid the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister al-Maliki are former officials of the Iraqi government, Sunnis, who could not stomach the government’s policy of advancing Shiite Iraqis against Sunni Iraqis.

    While the Shiite clerics and government officials themselves are strict enforcers of Islamic law, including the Sharia law that governs family and personal relations, it is what the ISIS/ISIL have done as they took over Sunni provinces and cities that have evoked fears.

    Media organizations covering the ground in Iraq have reported that ISIS/ISIL forces have carried out mass executions of Shiites and other persons they label as infidels. In past conflicts, Shiites also did mass-liquidation of Sunnis and even Christians.

    Muslim-Christian marriage forbidden
    A recent case in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, illustrates what could happen under Sharia law to Christians. Last week, the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum expressed “deep . . . disappointment” over the case of a Sudanese wife and mother, Mariam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, who was condemned by the Islamic judge to be hanged to death for apostasy.

    Mariam Ishag’s father was Muslim. She was sentenced to be executed by hanging after she married Daniel Bicensio Wani, a Catholic. They have a 20-month-old son, Martin, and a daughter who was born during Ishag’s incarceration.

    Mariam and Wani were first arrested on September 15, 2013, on adultery charges because Sharia law forbids marriages between Christians and Muslims. But these charges were eventually dropped.

    Although Mariam’s father was Muslim, she was raised under her mother’s Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church because her Muslim father had abandoned their family. She converted to Catholicism shortly before her marriage to Wani. Mariam in fact did not abandon the Muslim religion because since childhood she was not a follower of Islam. But with the Sharia court judge’s recent decision, the only way she could be saved and remain married to Wani is for her to renounce her Christian faith, and for her and her husband to divorce, then for her husband to convert to Islam and then for them to be married again under Islam.

    But Mariam would rather die than turn her back on the Catholic Church.

    Cases like this are common in Muslim majority countries where Sharia law applies. The non-Muslims in the proposed Bangsamoro substate in Mindanao could end up having problems like Mariam and her husband Wani.

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    7 Comments

    1. Of course Shira law will be imposed on the inhabitants unlucky enough to live in the CAB area, which is yet not defined. The only real question is: Will Sharia law be imposed before or after the the Bangsamoro government submits its declaration of independance from Manila, which of course they will eventually do. Woe be to the non Islamic Philippine citizens in Mindinao.

    2. Sharia could become a significant problem for all the Christians, and indigenous people under the Bangsa Moro regime unless protection is assured both by the government and the Bangsa Moro Entity prior to the implementation of Sharia. Perhaps a committee of people, members outside of the Muslim religion must be established to look into how this group of people can be protected against the impact of Sharia law in their lives, while the Basic Law of the Bangsa Moro is being reviewed and discussed in Congress.

    3. Eddie de Leon on

      Sharia law has caused a lot of pain to Christians in the ARMM provinces too, where the officials have been geneuinely Holy Koran following Muslims who believe in solidarity between Christians and Muslims. In Pakistan, Nigeria, Malaysia Christians suffer when Shairia law is applied to their situations.
      The MILF leaders are known to be fundamentalist Muslims, which is why they broke away from the more tolerant MNLF.
      The Aquino Government and the Philippine Cpngress better watch out about this angle in the misguided Aquino kowtowing to the MNLF!

    4. Anyone who harbors fear , violence, kidnapping for ransom to others has only one motive, Greed , divide and conquer for self-gain.

    5. Bangsamoro Basic Law is not necessary to live in peace in Mindanao . Filipino-Muslims and Filipino- Christians have lived together harmoiously whether they live in Manila or any parts of the Philippines. and need not be armed to maintain peace. Filipino Muslims like the other Christian faith have liberty to worship in their Mosque, just like Iglesia ni Kristo who have their own church anywhere in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanano. BBL will only create division, loss of freedom and promote sectarian self-interest which Iraq and other Midddle Eastern countries are now suffering from. There are outside influences that have promoted destabilization of our Phil democracy created by radical Islam militants which BBL more likely subscribe to its purpose which MILF cannot deny.

    6. Now!!!! is the time to put the full concentration of the Filipino Government and the Armed Forces…to completely oust the Islamic Militants…before it spreads any further…a blind man could see what will happen…if Islamic extremism and Sharia law is allowed to take hold of that region! It will slowly spread further North…The Government has a duty to the Filipino people to have a life without fear …a freedom to marry whomever you wish…regardless of religion…a right to go to any part of the Islands without fear…and it has a DUTY…to protect foreigners who come to the Philippines whether they be on vacation or on Business…freedom to express one beliefs is a wonderful thing…but NOT when those beliefs are forced upon others!

    7. Pete Gabriel on

      The Muslim and Christian faith are just too far apart to think that it is possible for the two to co-exist. In my opinion the Christians are just too accommodating to the Muslims, but if the Muslims have the numbers Christians beware because all of a sudden you are an infidel and should be put to the sword. The Aquino government are living a pipe dream, to even think that it is possible to have peace in Mindanao. The sharia law is so ancient and archaic, and really does not have a place in todays Philippine society. On the other hand the Philippines government is so corrupt that it will make promises it can never keep. What ever happened to the separation of religion and state?