Whilst I expounded on my previous post about my article on the collective character of the Bangsamoro Muslims, I forgot to accentuate on one major point that has to be considered when addressing the Mindanao conflict.
The struggle of the Muslim Filipinos did not sprout out of unity but of the opposite. The shout for justice in the Moro homeland came from sectoral disparity, however, the prevailing sentiment then succeeded to convey a determined political message to the central government.
There were two sectors which advocated for radical change in Mindanao since the 1960s to abandon Datuism in the modern Islamic society-- the group of young Muslim reformers on one hand and the young Muslim militants on the other hand.
The reformers desired a radical political change by approaching it in two ways: warfare and political immersion.
Within the nucleus of reformers surfaced another division by the so-called moderates who did not go against the existing political structure, and those who did not ally with the system nor with the militants as well.
The Philippine government then exerted its influence and succeeded to isolate the militants but it failed to quash the burning idealism of the brilliant Muslim reformers who were united in their strong religious adherence.
This was the consequence brought about by the usurpation of rights of the Bangsamoro people in their homeland. The Moros felt threatened by the continued expansion of non-Muslims into southern Mindanao and the continued militarization in their midst.
The people of Mindanao, particularly those who are fighting to pursue their rights and identity preferred to be called as "Bangsamoro Muslims" for it connotes UNITY or COLLECTIVITY in their struggle.
The struggle though varied in approach yet still spells out one cause and that is to achieve justice for all the people of Mindanao.
As a Muslim, I see no problem of co-existence nor opening Mindanao to other religious sector if it could strengthen interfaith coordination between Muslim and Non-Muslim Filipinos.
I define Mindanao development not on the basis of religion but on the peaceful co-existence of all its inhabitants provided however that the basic rights of the Muslims must not be relegated to the backseat.