COTABATO CITY: Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Monday led the turnover of an Islamic school building worth P20 million to the community of Sumisip municipality in Basilan.
This is part of an ongoing ARMM program to help curb the spread of radicalism and to propagate the true teachings of Islam in conflict-torn areas in southern Mindanao.
“The infrastructure will not only be used to impart the correct teachings of Islam, but will also function as a reformation center, particularly for out-of-school youth who are the potential recruits of terror groups. They should be brought to this kind of school,” Hataman said.
Building more madaris–an Arabic term for Islamic educational institution– is one of the initiatives to address misinformation about Islam, said the governor who — along with Islamic scholars — has been in the forefront of the fight against extremism and radicalism.
“We have discussed this with the Ulama Council in Basilan and have agreed with them that as part of the anti-terror campaign, the building of formation centers in Islamic schools will help counter the propaganda of terrorist groups,” Hataman said.
The newly built Islamic school is located in the coastal barangay (village) of Buli-Buli, the town center of Sumisip south of Basilan.
The school occupies a one-hectare compound with more than 10 classrooms that could accommodate 1,000 tertiary and secondary students.
At least 16 Muslim clerics regularly provide Islamic instructions, particularly Islamic theology in the school.
The school also has guest instructors from nearby Isabela City to teach special Islamic subjects.
It will also offer vocational and agri-fishery courses.
“This is not a simple school, but also a reformation center in Sumisip,” Hataman said.
“This will be replicated in the cities of Lamitan and Isabela, and also in the other ARMM provinces,” he added.
Abdulmuhmin Alyakanie Mujahid, vice chairman of the Basilan Ulama Council, said they welcome the establishment of the new facility, adding that this will boost the ulamas’ campaign to stop the spread of extremism and radicalism.
“The inauguration of the madaris undertaken by Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman is very much welcome and highly appreciated by the Basilan Ulama Council and the Regional Darul Ifta of ARMM since madrasa education
is one of the most effective approaches to save our young people from ignorance and the crudeness of extremism and terrorism. Therefore, we urge our leaders to do the same with Governor Mujiv’s initiative in their areas,” Mujahid said.
Part of the objectives in establishing the school is to standardize the curriculum of Islamic studies.
“In June, there will be a Madaris Summit in Basilan. The purpose is to gather more than 1,000 Ustadz across the island province to talk about the curriculum and module that will be used in their teachings,” Hataman said.