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Iqbal. (davao today file photo)

‘Injustice to Moro people breeds extremism’

DAVAO City — A top leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said the standing injustices committed globally and domestically against the Moro people are luring the young Muslims to embrace violent extremism.

“There is a continuing risk of youths being enticed by violent and extremist ideologies and join local ISIS-inspired groups as a result of existing global and domestic injustices,” said Mohaqer Iqbal, chairperson of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel in a statement.

The lack of political settlement to address the clamor of the Moro people for autonomy is one reason which the MILF sees as fuel for discontent among young Muslims.

“The passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the implementation of the signed peace agreements are examples of concrete steps that can provide long-term solutions against violent extremism,” Iqbal said.

The BBL was not included among the list of priority bills of Congress last month, athough the government assured that the BBL is still a priority of the government.

The MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces is currently launching tactical operations against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-inspired members of a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Maguindanao.

Iqbal stressed that violent extremism is unaccepted in Islam. But he clarified that an armed approach is not the only solution to address the problem.

On Aug. 2, Abu Toraife’s Jamaatul Mujahiren Wal-Ansar “declined and opened fire at the emissary sent by the MILF for a peace negotiation” in Barangay Pusaw, Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Maguindanao, Iqbal said.

Toraife’s group is a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

This prompted the MILF to defend its communities against violent extremism.

But Iqbal clarified that there are no joint operations between the BIAF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Marawi and Maguindanao.

“Officially and formally, there is no such thing as joint operation to be conducted by the MILF forces and government forces in Maguindanao,” he said. (davaotoday.com)

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