KIDAPAWAN CITY: Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong Jr. on Wednesday condemned religious extremism in Muslim Mindanao that could escalate into armed movement.
“We certainly cannot allow religious extremism to escalate into armed movement,” the governor said in a statement furnished to The Manila Times, referring to reports that some 100 fanatics in Marawi City pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Adiong has confirmed the gathering and is now looking for an “initial peaceful and persuasive efforts to deal with the ideologues”.
He said law enforcer authorities “could not take punitive action” against this group as they were “unarmed” and had conducted the convergence peacefully.
Adiong said he would consult with moderate Muslim clerics for a possible formation of a group that can deal with the local fanatics in “peaceful and persuasive” negotiations.
The governor was in Manila when the oath-taking happened and he also received reports from his employees and other concerned residents about photos showing masked men holding black flags of the ISIS with the participants, it was learned.
On September 19, around 100 local residents joined the mass oath-taking at the Masjid Islamic Center to support the Islamic caliphate that had controlled large swathes in Iraq and Syria headed by self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Without providing further details, both the military and police have also confirmed the gathering, which was organized by “unarmed” supporters of the Islamic caliphate [English term of Khilafah Islamiyah] in Iraq and Syria.
The mass oath-taking in Marawi City followed the oath of allegiance or bai-ah of local extreme jihadists in the country that was available on social media websites.
Local residents are also strongly opposing the self-proclaimed caliph al-Baghdadi and the ISIS’s ideology that are misleading the true teaching of Islam.
In Islam, there four anointed caliph by the prophet Mo-hammad (peace be upon him) were Abubakar, Omar, Ali and Uthman. According to Muslim scholars, there can be no other caliph after the four successors of the last prophet.
The Khilafah Islamiyah movement is aiming to re-establish the Islamic State caliphate governance that was last seen during the Ottoman Empire in Turkey.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) opposed the IS’s ideology, even branding it as “virus” that should be prevented.
The MILF and the Philippine government have signed a peace pact which is at the final stage of realizing the establishment of a “democratic” Bangsamoro government.