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Real threat — ‘Wahhabism’


Erik Espina

Erik Espina

By Erik Espina


The danger of terrorism has been openly admitted by President Rodrigo Duterte in several speeches to warn the public in various occasions. The state response has been the unleashing of the “dogs of war” on the Abu Sayyaf, notorious for its gruesome beheadings. The last I viewed via Internet, was the heartless fate of a German national, in his last throes of life gargling, as his throat was slit.

The nation has witnessed the expanding attempts of the group to sow havoc in Bohol, timed with the ASEAN conference, to plant bombs and kidnap foreign targets. Cebu-based Catholic Archbishop Jose Palma hosted a “Social Dialogue for Peace” with other archbishops attending, regional PNP, Central Command (Centcom) government agencies, and yours truly as member of the Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board of the Centcom with Secretary Michael Dino invited as the presidential assistant for Visayas.

The hightened threat, however, is not confined to local armed terrorist groups courting ISIS, by claiming to be Islamic. The Abu Sayyaf is kidnap for ransom gang which has earned hundreds of millions of pesos to buy their guns, ammunition, and boats as they play cat and mouse games with authorities, during negotiations. The Maute group survives on the drug trade. The Raha Sulayman are former communists employing red tactics for extremist recruitment.

Most subtle, but worrisome, is the unseen hand of religio-ideological teaching of Wahhabbism (founded by 18th century Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhabi) aimed at enlisting more acolytes into this extremist strand of the faith, including, radicalizing the moderate majority of Sunni Muslims in the Philippines. The erosion is ongoing, Filipino Muslims are getting influenced by the puritanical teaching of this brand of Islam without their knowing it. In brief, the doctrine calls for “Al-tasfiyah wa al-tarfiyah,” meaning purification and education” and views other faiths and beliefs as “infidels.” It advocates a return to the original ways of the “Salafal-Salih” (pious ancestors), to “Tahwhid,” oneness/unity of God and transcendence of God.

The propellant to the burgeoning problem is in the unmonitored “Balik-Islam” of OFWs and religious scholars returning from the Middle East to the Philippines and foreigners cloaked as tourists proselytizing in identified breeding grounds, e.g., universities, prisons, Maddrassah Islamic schools spewing Takfiri terrorism which see other faiths as “enemies,” declaring some Sunni practices as “Takfir” (unbelief), aimed at establishing a country, and state of their own. This is the real threat in our midst, “Isis thinking.”

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  • tarikan

    I think it’s time to abandon the Christian dogma of “turn the other cheek when slapped”. Damnit, if they (Wahhabis) consider the other faiths as “infidels” by god we also must brand them as such. We must try to defend ourselves (this is allowed by our god), not just sit back and relax while they slit our throats. No more nice guys when the bad guys are after your head.

    • Muhammad Jamil

      Good riddance, I suggest reject the compilation or library of books.
      There was 66 books authorized by King James in 16th century rejected 7 books of the 73 books compiled 325 C.E., or almost 300 years after ascension of Christ Jesus, authorized and compiled by men.

      They forgot the prophecies inside those books.

      There is but One Book, the Mother of all Books certified 100% perfect = Al Qur-an.

  • Muhammad Jamil

    Way back in 1992, during a Silsilah Islamic Christian Dialogue, Bishop Capalla was asked about Conversion to Christ. He was unable to explain and even added it is a question that even the Pope (Vicar of Christ) has no answer.

    Thus, maybe the birth not of Converts to Islam but Revert to Islam or Balik Islam.

    Yet it is Neither Convert nor Revert or Balik Islam.

    Those who testify that there is One God and Muhammad is The Messenger of The God is a Muslim. No need to add an adjectival word or phrase.

    Those who add such adjectives had other intent that isn’t pure which are only known by The Unseen.

  • Muhammad Jamil

    Ibrahim or Abraham the eternally covenanted one of The God was called by God “Muslim”
    Chapter (22) sūrat l-ḥaj (The Pilgrimage)

    Sahih International: And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper.

    Pickthall: And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right. He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time and in this (Scripture), that the messenger may be a witness against you, and that ye may be witnesses against mankind. So establish worship, pay the poor-due, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper!

    Yusuf Ali: And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector – the Best to protect and the Best to help!

    Shakir: And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving a is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you an hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!

    Muhammad Sarwar: Strive steadfastly for the Cause of God. He has chosen you but has not imposed on you hardship in your religion, the noble religion of your father, Abraham. God named you Muslims before and in this Book, so that the Messenger will witness (your actions) and will be the witness over mankind. Be steadfast in your prayer, pay the religious tax, and seek protection from God; He is your Guardian, a gracious Guardian and Helper.

    Mohsin Khan: And strive hard in Allah’s Cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and with all your efforts that His Name should be superior). He has chosen you (to convey His Message of Islamic Monotheism to mankind by inviting them to His religion, Islam), and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship, it is the religion of your father Ibrahim (Abraham) (Islamic Monotheism). It is He (Allah) Who has named you Muslims both before and in this (the Quran), that the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) may be a witness over you and you be witnesses over mankind! So perform As­Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), give Zakat and hold fast to Allah [i.e. have confidence in Allah, and depend upon Him in all your affairs] He is your Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.), what an Excellent Maula (Patron, Lord, etc.) and what an Excellent Helper!

    Arberry: and struggle for God as is His due, for He has chosen you, and has laid on you no impediment in your religion, being the creed of your father Abraham; He named you Muslims aforetime and in this, that the Messenger might be a witness against you, and that you might be witnesses against mankind. So perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and hold you fast to God; He is your Protector — an excellent Protector, an excellent Helper.

    Regardless, of tribe, blood, nation-state, One that testify the Oneness of God and Messengership of Muhammad is a Muslim.