CHALLENGES TO FILIPINO MUSLIM IDENTITY
Mussolini S. Lidasan
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 of young Muslim Filipinos participated in the 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 benefets 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.