Muslim pride: first-timers, topnotch leaders

A Palanca awardee predicted that with the positive response from the reading public, the work may garner a National Book Award.

Teng is also doing the sole film biography on Bangsamoro icon and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) founder Hashim Salamat which will have an international release soon.

Harvard graduation speaker and lawyer Adel Fadel Tamano is a Maranao. Anointed speaker of the Genuine Opposition (GO), he reinvented himself by being appointed as the president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), with more than 10,000 students in Christian-dominated Manila. The first Muslim to be appointed in a large university in the capital, Adel with his boyish looks, also entered the film industry by playing a cameo role as a barangay captain in Katas Ng Saudi.

With his constant guestings on TV, many are predicting that Adel might very well be elected to the Senate, to become the lone Muslim senator. The last Muslims elected to the Senate were Santanina Rasul (in 1987 and 1992) of Sulu and Mamintal Tamano (in 1987) of Lanao del Sur.

Islamic Studies student Shahana Abdulwahid is a Sama from Zamboanga City. With her proud hijab on, she made history as the first Muslim woman to be elected president of the student council of the premier state campus, University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman, with almost 20,000 students.  

Shah added a feather to her cap when she was recently unanimously elected as the Student Regent of the UP System. She takes on the task with professionalism, balancing studies and activism, fighting tuition fee increases and lobbying for more support to state education.

All three belong to families with elite connections but they would downplay this. Teng is the son of a former undersecretary of education, Gutierrez Mangansakan. Adel is the son of the former senator, also a lawyer. Shah is the daughter of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Hakim S. Abdulwahid.

The Muslim young generation is seeing exceptional talents rise above the poverty and displacement in the Muslim hometowns in the South. Conscious of their identity and yet wanting to integrate, many of these young Muslims continue to fight stereotypes in the workplace, media and campuses as minorities.

This discrimination foisted on them will hopefully transform them to become better individuals, who can succeed despite the obstacles they encounter. (Samira Gutoc/MindaNews)