Ateneo de Davao University

Ateneo de Davao


Challenges to Filipino Muslim Identity

Mussolini S. Lidasan
Ateneo de Davao University


This paper presents the challenges to Filipino Muslim identities after the events of September 11 and their implications to the Bangsamoro nation as well as the Filipino nation as a whole. In pursuit of the answers to the above problem the Al Qalam, Institute for Islamic Studies, Interreligious Dialogue and Muslim Identities undertook a combination of qualitative fieldwork and documentary research. Extensive interviews were made of pertinent organizations that are considered partner agencies of the Al Qalam and a series of roundtable discussions were held in three Ateneo universities in Mindanao: Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City, Ateneo de Zamboanga and Ateneo de Davao. More than a hundred young Muslim Filipinos participated in these discussions. The participants came from various Muslim groups in Mindanao: Iranun, Kalagan, Sama and Sangir. The findings can be summarized into the following themes: emergence of Islamophobia and awareness of discrimination, concept of morohood, its benefits and limitations, redefinition of the concept of Islam, the secularization of the west and its spread through globalization, and the emergence of political Islam as an alternative way of life. Recommendations based on the results of the study included proactive responses such as the active involvement of Muslim Filipinos with the government, academe, and civil society organizations in the quest for sustainable peace and development.

The Normative Grounds of the Moro Struggle and the Framework of Agreement on the Bangsamoro

Renante D. Pilapil
Ateneo de Davao University


The decades-old Mindanao conflict has claimed 120,000 lives and displaced more than two million civilians (Shiavo-Ocampo and Judd, 2005, 5). Such conflict, waged by Muslims in the Philippine South, has its earliest beginnings in the period of Spanish colonization and which continued until the 21st century. Various attempts were made in order to find a solution to the conflict, but each time an agreement is reached, it is found to be inadequate as it addresses only one group of Muslim rebels. An example of which is the 1995 Peace Agreement, which only addressed the claims of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) but not those of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – two of the major Muslim rebel groups operating in the south. Consequently, the Philippine Government was forced to engage in a separate peace talk with the latter beginning in 1997. Recently, after fifteen years of tumultuous negotiation, surmounting legal, political and ideological differences, an agreement called the Framework of Agreement on the Bangsamoro has been reached, hailed by many sectors of Philippine society as providing the ultimate solution to the Mindanao conflict.

Envisioning a Perfect City: An Introduction to Al Farabi’s Political Philosophy

Acmad Toquero Macarimbang
Research Institute for Islam and Malay Affairs, Singapore


This paper focuses on Al-Farabi’s political philosophy. It addresses specifically his thoughts on the following issues: first, the qualities of the ruler, second, the difference between Excellent City and Ignorant City; and last, his concept on how to attain happiness. Before proceeding into these issues, the paper provides an account of his life. During Al-Farabi’s time, a perfect city was a just vision, and the wisdom of perfectly achieving it was close to impossible. Even so, this is perfectly true in today’s society. However today, Al-Farabi’s political thoughts, especially on the type of ruler who should lead the community will hopefully inspire Muslim leaders to live and lead nobly. Of course, attaining the philosopher-king state of leadership is also close to impossible even today. Moreover, it is my hope in this paper for the Muslim communities to look back into what the classical Muslim philosophers like Al-Farabi were saying on the characteristics of a ruler and what a city should look like. Eventually, his political thoughts will inspire Muslim community on the importance of a city being ruled and guided by a genuine happiness.

For purposes of clear discussion, the word “City” refers to a state or a city-state. Al-Farabi’s “Ara’ ahl al-Madinah al-Fadila” translated by Richard Walzer (1985) in his book On the Perfect State of Al-Farabi, is used as the primary source. His “Tahsil al-Sa’adah” translated “Directing Attention to the Way to Hapiness” by Jon McGinnis and David C. Reisman (2007) in their book Classical Arabic Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources is another important source.

Conceptualizations of Environmental Security among Selected Women in Maguindanao

Araceli B. Naraga
Mindanao State University, Cotabato City


Today, there is a need to give high priority to local government units to address environmental risks. A local study on the recent flas floods at Barangay Dalican in Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao revealed that the threat of floods is real and the recent five floodings in the last decade clearly indicated an uptrend of its intensity… Wastes that are improperly discarded on the rivers were identified as one of the causes. It is in this context that a campus attempt to look into the various conceptualizations of environmental security and practices among the women residing in Barangay Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao was deemed necessary to guide the community in planning its extension activities.

This paper is both a quantitative and qualitative research. It is quantitative since it involves a descriptive survey among the respondents. It is also qualitative because some other data are gathered through in-depth interviews with the respondents.

The study generated the following major findings: Ninety percent (90%) of the respondents conceived environmental security as an environment where people are free from illnesses with safe drinking water; 98% admitted that there are threats to environmental security such as the problem on waste management. Ninety-eight percent (98%) answered that they are in fact helping keep the environment clean and ninety-six percent (96%) answered that they are going to be activists on environmental cleanliness to promote eco-friendly society by letting people know of the consequences of littering and by promoting clean and green program.

Indeed, the women in Dalican, DOS, Maguindanao have much to say on environmental security and could play a very significant role in environmental security by promoting an eco-friendly society.

The Al Barka Story and the Al Qalam Institute: A Conference Report

Jamil Matalam
Ateneo de Davao University


The paper is a conference report about the Al Barka Story and a reflection about what transpired in the said conference and the possible critical direction the Al Qalam Institute may take. The report itself is primarily based on the full transcript of the conference but restructured to provide a narrative about it. The paper is essentially divided into two parts, the first one deals with the conference, the other one is a brief reflection about the content of the conference. In the reflection it basically points out an important lesson in the gust speaker’s talk, that is people should speak more about good things in Mindanao rather than those sad and deplorable events that Mindanao has notoriously been associated with; and that the Al Qalam could provide a critical role in the achievement of development and peace in Mindanao.