‘Diverse interpretations good for Islam’

Two men do repair works on the minaret of a mosque in Barangay Mapandi, Marawi City on Tuesday (8 May 2018). Majority of the mosques, buildings and houses in Marawi were damaged after the five-month fighting between government troops and the ISIS-inspired Maute Group last year. MindaNews photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/9 November) – Whether followers of Islam should adhere to one interpretation or be given freedom to interpret the faith as they please became a point of discussion during the Bangsamoro visioning exercise held here on November 5-7.

The discussion stemmed from a proposal to impose a particular school of thought of Islam in madaris (Islamic schools) to address the phenomenon of violent extremism.

However, it was pointed out that in other countries Muslims are following certain ethics on disagreement about how Islam should be interpreted.

A participant said that while “the processing of primary sources [about Islam] is problematic. Differences [in interpretation] will always be there, and it is positive. Diversity, not unity of knowledge about Islam, will help us.”

Participants to the visioning session, who came from Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, considered violent extremism a pressing problem in the Bangsamoro.

They said the problem has remained despite the military defeat of Islamic State-inspired militants who laid siege to Marawi City last year.

They noted that many people would be duped into joining extremist groups espousing violence in the name of religion due to economic reasons such as poverty. (MindaNews)