Muslim spiritual leaders in Mindanao imagine they’ll “reform” surrendered members of the Abu Sayyaf terror group.
Alih Sakaluran Aiyub, secretary-general of the Ulama Council of the Philippines, mentioned efforts have been already underway to rehabilitate former members of the Islamic State-affiliated organisation.
“We will mainly help in the debriefing process and re-education,” he informed Catholic information web site ucanews.com.
He mentioned they might give attention to the “aspect of psychological” wants of those that surrendered, including that the mechanisms that they might use wanted to be “subtle”.
“Our approach is not terrorising the terrorists,” mentioned Aiyub, one of many organisers of a Muslim summit in Cotabato City this week.
The assembly, organised by the Darul Ifta of the autonomous Muslim authorities of Mindanao, mentioned the specter of terrorism within the area.
The spiritual leaders agreed that former terrorists — at the very least 50 have surrendered in current months — might help to persuade energetic fighters to surrender.
“They can be very effective,” mentioned Aiyub, including that, “we have to win their hearts and minds.”
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, welcomed the initiative.
“It would be a great help if the Ulama can reorient and refocus the malign and distorted reasoning of the terror groups,” he mentioned.
He additionally highlighted the “need to unite all our efforts to win the war against Islamic extremism and terrorism in our region.”
After the three-day assembly ended on Sunday, the clerics and students issued a declaration condemning terrorism, saying that it’s “forbidden and unlawful to use Islam to justify or legitimise violent extremism and terrorism.”
They additionally admitted that it had turn out to be a problem for Muslim spiritual leaders “to re-educate our constituents to rediscover our Islamic faith for justice, compassion, harmony, and peace.”
Aiyub admitted long-term resolution to the issue of terrorism within the southern Philippines can be difficult. “We have to counter them ideologically. We cannot argue with them directly if they are armed,” he mentioned.
MORE ON ABU SAYYAF AND TERRORISM IN THE PHILIPPINES:
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