SOMEWHERE IN MAGUINDANAO (MindaNews / 28 Aug) – The breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) announced today they are joining forces with the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group.
But BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama, during his group’s announcement in a secluded area in the province, assured Christians in Mindanao they have nothing to worry.
“Christians, don’t be afraid,” said the bespectacled Mama, a pistol tucked on his waist and fellow BIFF members with long arms around him.
Mama said they are fighting the same cause as the ISIS. “What they are fighting for is the establishment of an Islamic government,” he pointed out.
He said that the mujahideens are like one body, united even if separated all over the world. “Kung masaktan ang kalingkingan ng isa ay nasasaktan ang buong katawan,” he said. (Even if only the little finger is hurt, the whole body feels the pain.)
The Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria which has origins to the Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has gained notoriety lately as the most violent Muslim extremist group in the Middle East, claiming that they have religious authority over all Muslims in the world.
News reports say the Islamic State has been killing Christians and beheading children. It grabbed the limelight when it released a video as the group beheaded American journalist James Foley.
Mama said that two months ago, Sheikh Ismael Abubakar, vice chairman for political affairs of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement, and Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi have agreed to join forces.
He said, however, that the BIFF has not yet sent members abroad for training or to join battles, contrary to reports. But Mama said that should the Islamic State request the BIFF’s reinforcement, then they are ready to send people.
The Abu Sayyaf has earlier announced it is joining forces with the Islamic State.