Monthly Archives: September 2013

Mindanao CSOs offer dialogue between government, MNLF

September 28, 2013 (

ILIGAN CITY — You can talk through us.

This is the message of Mindanao civil society leaders to both government and the armed followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari who laid siege on Zamboanga City since September 9.

On Thursday, leaders of civil society organizations from various areas of Mindanao began streaming into Zamboanga City in a bid to open an alternative line of communication between government and the MNLF forces “so that a dialogue can be started and the crisis can be resolved soon.”

Cotabato City Coalition for Change launched

By Yusoph S. Lumambas COTABATO City (September 30, 2013) – The Cotabato City Coalition for Change (4C’s), a newly established network organization here in Cotabato City aimed at advancing collective efforts and strengthen community participation towards fostering peaceful communities through addressing election fraud and clan feuds in the city, was successfully launched last Thursday, 26

Kutawato Multimedia Network “Balitang Bangsamoro!” September 26, 2013

  Southern Christian College nagsagawa ng Peace forum upang maunawaan ng Mag-aaral ang MILF-GPH Peace process at FAB annexes By Lira Mae Pagco (ForumZFD/KuMuNet) Matagumpay na ipinag diwang ng Southern Christian College sa bayan ng Midsayap ang International Day of Peace noong Setyembre 21. Dinaluhan ito ng mga estudyante na nasa iba’t ibang departamento tulad

Krispy Kreme CDO: 7 things you will like #KrispyKremeCDO

Who doesn’t have a love relationship with Krispy Kreme? It’s the home of my favorite Original Glazed Doughnuts, good signature coffee and delicious chilled drinks. In other words, Krispy Kreme is the home of good stuff and good vibes. And for people in Cagayan de Oro, the good stuff and …

Seda Hotel CDO to offer buffet, unlimited beer for Oktoberfest

How does a buffet of Bavarian dishes, music from a live band and UNLIMITED BEER sound to you? Because that’s exactly what you’ll get when you celebrate Oktoberfest at Seda Hotel Centrio Cagayan de Oro! can also exclusively confirm that Seda Hotel CDO will go all-out in making the …

CONFIRMED: Shopwise Cagayan de Oro to open this November

AND IT’S OFFICIAL, FOLKS! SHOPWISE, a member of the Rustan’s Group of Companies (yes, the same owners of Rustan’s Cagayan de Oro), is set to open this November 2013. can exclusively confirm that Shopwise CDO will open on November 16, 2013, Saturday, at the East Wing Expansion of Lim …

Ramadhan Reflections Day 30

– i was as confused as anyone who was monitoring on facebook the date of eidl fitr.   – lets simplify things. Our Darul Ifta have spoken with the concurrence of the team from NCMF that the moon was not … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 29

– We are almost at the end of the Holy Month. After experiencing different emotions, events, and lots of sacrifices, on Eidl Fitr it will be a time for joy and accept that all things that happened in this world … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 28

– “We will rise up to face our destiny of becoming a greater Ummah. Allah (SWT) is without and we will make our place a peaceful, progressive, and pluralistic society. We will do this all together, Muslims, Christians, Mystics, and … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 27

– The last 10 days of the month of Ramadhan is believed to be the period of Laylatul Qadr. “Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر), “variously rendered in English as the Night of Destiny, Night of Power, Night of Value, the … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 26.

– What makes us human? We heard this over and over again, “if you want to serve God, serve humanity.” Let us try to reflect on this line of thought.   – We are born with a heart of compassion … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 25

– We are always reminded from the Holy Quran to live a life in accordance of Islam. In Chapter 3:102, “Die not except in a state of Islam.” (3:102)   – This has been in my mind ever since. But … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 24

– I guess today is the last Friday for this month of Ramadhan. I hope most of us could find time to pray in the mosques.   – Last night, I got a very sad news from a classmate in … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 23

– We are almost finished with the month of Ramadhan. Some of us are happy and some are sad. Others will just be “business as usual” and they are back to their old deeds. I have some Muslim friends who … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 22

– I receives txt yesterday about the possible attacks of the different armed groups in ARMM. According to the txt, they will attack major cities and will target civilian areas. I said to myself, “this is crazy!”   – Unfortunately, … Continue reading

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Ramadhan Reflections Day 21

– The Tahajud prayer started past midnight. I was fortunate enough to wake up just in time for this prayer.   – What is then the meaning of Tahadjjud? – Allah (SWT) in the Holy Qur’an has said, “And during … Continue reading

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Women Affairs Committee participates in FGD on FAB

By Farida P. Dalandan COTABATO City (September 23, 2013) —The Women Affairs Committee (WAC) of the United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc. (UNYPAD) participated in a Focus Group Discussion conducted by the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao, Inc. (AFRIM) last September 19, 2013 at the Kadtuntaya Foundation Incorporated (KFI) Conference Hall. “The output of


(This Aide Memoire is part of the forthcoming book by the author. All rights reserved. Copyright 2013)   I.  The 1976 ‘Tripoli Agreement’: The Mother of All Agreements  1968 In March 1968, at least 28 Moro army recruits were massacred in Corregidor Island. Later known as the Jabidah Massacre, the incident unleashed widespread Muslim indignation, drawing sentiments engendered […]

Zamboanga moro-moro ends

FROM: THE SETTING SUN Zamboanga Zarzuela Ends The Zamboanga zarzuela or moro-moro (Philippine traditional stage plays) finally ends its 10-day run in Philippine media. Well, it’s not yet really finished, but what is left is just the epilogue. On Sept. 9, 2013, the media reported that some 200 or 300 MNLF men loyal to Misuari attacked […]

Kutawato Multimedia Network “Balitang Bangsamoro!” September 19, 2013

Organization of Islamic Cooperation may intensyong tumulong sa pag resolba sa kaguluhang nangyayari sa Zamboanga By Lira Mae Pagco (ForumZFD/KuMuNet)   Nag-alok ng tulong ang Organization of Islamic Cooperation o OIC upang matugunan ang lumalalang sitwasyon sa Zamboanga City na kumitil sa buhay ng tropa ng pamahaaan, hukbo ng Moro National Liberation Front o MNLF

Shop at Ayala Malls and see the world via the Travel Asia promo

Do you frequently shop at an Ayala Mall in the Philippines? Why not turn your most recent visit into a FREE trip not only to local destinations but also to top Asian countries? Join the Shop Ayala Malls Travel Asia promo! All you have to do is shop, collect and …

JIHAD AL-AKBAR: A Catalyst for Proactive Change In Muslim Communities of Sulu

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By Warina Sushil A. Jukuy

A Catalyst for Proactive Change in Muslim Communities of Sulu

Posted July 29, 2003

Twenty-nine years ago, I understand the Sulu folks most. To be specific that was 1974. I was barely seven years old then. Nine years later, I perceived the island of my soul through the idealistic eyes of a sixteen-year-old. Twenty years later, to be specific, now in 2003, it has turned into a total stranger. The latter is my perception of Sulu as a 36 year old. At seven, I regarded myself as a Tausug Filipino. At sixteen, I regarded myself as a Bangsamoro first, and a Filipino next. It has only been two years that I regard myself as a Muslim foremost and nothing else. To the Supreme Creator belongs the world. The universal world that mankind has warped and perverted when it conceptualized territory, government, and sovereignty. The very same concepts that have deepened the diversity of human life far more than the complexity of Nature itself minus mankind, has ever done. Indeed, a concept of the people, for the people, and by the people. Ironically, each phrase is exclusive to people. Paradoxically, somehow somewhere in those concept must be the Almighty God. 

The Province of Sulu of the Southern Philippines is dominantly Muslim. The natives therein are called Tausugs (meaning People of the Current) regardless of religion they profess. Sulu, a component of the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) is comprised of 18 municipalities. The highest official of the land is the Provincial Governor, and under him are the 18 municipal mayors.
In 1450, there existed a Sulu Sultanate; and 71 years later the Spanish colonizers came and occupied Las Islas Filipinas but not Sultania de Jolo. By virtue of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Sulu Sultanate was ceded by Spain to the Philippine territory through American colonial rule of the archipelago. This is a historical blunder that America needs to rectify in the interest of justice.

Forty-eight golden years of sovereign power under a sovereign Sultan ruler must not be unjustly effaced to oblivion by a treaty to which the Sultanate of Sulu was never a party. Foreign transgressors grossly violated a sovereign right and such violation must be redress and shall be righted.

The dissolution of the Sultanate consequently dissolved the sovereign rights and powers of its constituents. They have been marginalized and been reduced to a minority in their own ancestral homeland. This is tantamount to genocide of their indigenous soul.

Now, I, Warina Sushil A. Jukuy, as a struggling and straggling Muslim and a Tausug individual who belongs to one of the 13 ethno-linguistic groups of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao, Philippines, do hereby dedicate this column, Jihad-al-Akbar, as a humble initiative by way of the pen and paper. I have no weapon, no wealth and no power to wield. All I’ve got for weapon is my pen; for wealth is my humble ilm; and my power as a human being emanates from Him, Ya Rabb.

I am highly motivated to explore the possibilities of empowering the concept of Jihad-al-akbar as a dynamic medium for an impetus towards whole-rounded developmental change in every Muslim’s life; and using the mimbar/pulpit as a venue for proactive change.

Consequently, by using the mimbar as a medium to generate consciousness, the Qur’an and the Sunnah as the fundamental guidelines within our din or way of life (Islam) shall be essentially re- interpreted and thus re-applied to meet the contemporary challenges of our times. Probably, the interpretation and application of it might in the future transcend beyond the Islamic doctrine but shall imbue into every aspect of our practical lives. Insha’allah.

In this millennium, the term jihad is provocative that even its mere utterance will generally put the speakers in “surveillance spotlight,” and the listeners to such spoken term in a “state of paranoia,” so to speak. Consequently, the famous quote of “Either you are with us or you are with them,” will hound either speakers or listeners.

Lately, jihad has been attributed myopically and indiscriminately to suicide bombers, terrorism, Al-Qaeda Network, Jamaah Islamiyaah, to name a few of those notorious extension terms, and most unfortunately, to Islam and its followers, the Muslims.

The misconception, however inadvertent it may be, is quite appalling; especially as Islam’s root word and conceptual meaning is essentially PEACE. Muslims or not, the term jihad has been established to connote and denote holy war. Historically, the term “holy war” came to being in Europe during the Crusades, the latter to mean as “war against Muslims. Holy war in such Crusades’ context has no counterpart in Islamic glossary.

“Jihad means striving. In its primary sense it is an inner thing, within self, to rid it from debased actions or inclinations, and exercise constancy and perseverance in achieving a higher moral standard.”( )

Jihad is the struggle of a Muslim by way of his niyat or intention, by way of his hand, or by way of his speech. However, what is disheartening is the fact that Islam and Muslims have been perceived by the world generally to be associated with jihad or holy war, bloodshed and violence. This is an unjust misconception of what Islam and being a Muslim stands for.

On the other hand, it is disturbing that most Muslims in the Philippines understand most the concept of Jihad as a mode of defense through fighting (Jihad al asghar, the lesser jihad or bunu qital) in the name of Islam. Understandably, Muslims are under obligation to defend Islam as this can never be dissociated from the totality of his life because Islam is more than a religion as it is a comprehensive way of life. What is perplexing is why the concept of the greater struggle which is Jihad al akbar (the Greater Struggle against the Self and all other forms of nafs or appetites) is not as deeply ingrained in the system of the Muslim Filipinos.

Almost 600 years of intermittent war and peace have remained chronicled in the hearts, minds and souls of the Bangsamoro people in their struggle for right to self-determination. Bangsamoro elders, leaders and intellectuals have tried to transcend beyond the trappings of the invincible sovereignty idealism all in the name of Agama (Islam), Hulah(Territory) and bangsa (Nation), to no avail. History has proven consistently that sovereignty issue is far superior from issues of human rights, liberty and dignity of man.

Peace processes thru 1976 Tripoli Agreement, (Organization of Islamic Conference) OIC-GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines), 1996 SPCPD (Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development) that led to the contemporary ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) have been tried and tested to give life to peace and development in the Southern Philippines. Presently, Balikatan 03-1 that involves US-RP Joint Military Exercise looms in Sulu in the name of peace and development. However, peace and development have frozen in the chambers of polemics, and have been reduced to mere euphemistic verbal artifact. No conscious and decisive effort is made to solicit the real meaning of peace and development from the stakeholders of Sulu.

The Muslim folks known collectively as the Bangsamoro people are vigilant in defending Islam and the Muslim communities from any form of unjust aggression but it seems that we are NOT as vigilant in upholding the true meaning of Islam and the real essence of being a Muslim. In layman’s term a Muslim’s duty in this lifetime is to enjoin good and forbid evil. Graft and corruption not only in the government but even in private and public life is ingrained in every aspect of a Filipino life, be he Muslim or not.

Enjoining good and forbidding evil is to put Allah in the center of one’s life. Such goals need not be actualized through autonomy or through secession. A Muslim can enjoin good and forbid evil wherever he is. This goal must start with the self and this is where the Struggle Against the Self and all other forms of nafs or appetites known as Jihad al Akbar comes in. Jihad al Akbar can be a catalyst for holistic change in Muslim Communities. Jihad al Akbar can be inculcated in the Muslim communities of Sulu in order for peace and development to be achieved. Jihad al Akbar teaches that the real enemy is not from without but from within.

The advocacy of Jihad al Akbar in Sulu is timely and relevant. As a proponent of said concept I have implemented this advocacy as an NGO worker in my capacity as publisher-editor of Jihad al Akbar, a Tausug-English Weekly magazine, bearing the slogan: “The catalyst for Proactive Change”. Said magazine 12 pages 11 X 17 came off the press on its maiden issue last Eid ul Fitri of 2002. It consists of 3 sections: Agama, Hulah, and Bangsa.

This magazine can “somehow” clear local and possibly global misconceptions about Jihad, Islam and Muslims among Muslims and non-Muslims alike. If Islam can properly and meaningfully be inculcated through Jihad al Akbar then Muslim communities in the Philippines and the rest of the world can actually benefit from its universal practical teachings within Islamic perspective by upholding al-Qur’an and Sunnah.

“Conquering the self” might prove to be financially advantageous to world economy; a huge bulk of military budget allocations could be apportioned to basic social services.

The mimbar and madaris will be the media of instruction to promote peace and development of one’s self among the jamaah (congregation) via Jihad al Akbar as a catalyst for proactive change.

The Muslims and non-Muslims in Sulu shall understand the practical meaning and application of Islam as a way of life via Jihad al Akbar. All levels of the Sulu strata shall benefit from Jihad al Akbar (Struggle via Self-Purification), government officials, ARMM officials, military, academe, NGOs/People’s Organizations and or civil societies, barangays, families, youths, and jamaahs in Sulu, spiritual leaders and the madaris.

It shall serve as impetus for subsequent in-depth studies on the merits of Jihad al Akbar on one’s personal life regardless of race, creed or religion.

The Greatest Struggle Against the Self and all other forms of Nafs or Appetites
Tausug-English Weekly Mag
The Catalyst for Proactive Change
Jolo, Sulu
telefax:992-63-65/992-66-85 Zamboanga City

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