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Real threat – ‘Wahhabism’

THE danger of terrorism is openly admitted by President Rodrigo Duterte in his several speeches to a conglomerate public in various occasions. Manifest state response is the unleashing of the “dogs of war” on the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) notorious for its gruesome beheadings. The last I watched via internet, was the sad fate of a German national, his last throes of life was a gargled sound, as his throat was slit.

Of late, the nation, particularly the whole of Visayas has witnessed the expanding attempt of said group to sow havoc in Bohol, timed with the ASEAN conference, to plant bombs and kidnap foreign targets. Cebu based Archbishop Jose Palma hosted a “Social Dialogue for Peace” with other Mindanao Archbishops attending, Regional PNP, Central Command (CentCom), other government agencies, and yours truly as member of the Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board of the CentCom with Secretary Michael Dino invited as the Presidential Assistant for Visayas.

The heightened threat however remains unconfined to local armed terrorist groups courting ISIS, by claiming to be Islamic. The ASG is a KFR (Kidnap for Ransom) gang preying on violations of national policy regarding “non-negotiation and non-payment of ransom with terrorist”. They earned hundreds of millions of pesos to fuel their guns, ammunition, with cat and mouse games with authorities, spreading their profit to “official” personalities. The Maute group survives on a drug trade.

The Raha Sulayman are former communists employing old tactics for extremist recruitment. Most subtle, but worrisome is the unseen hand of religion-ideological teaching of Wahhabbism aimed at radicalizing the moderate majority of Sunni Muslims in the Philippines. The key is unmonitored “balik-Islam” OFWs/scholars returning, foreigners cloaked as tourists, universities, prisons, to the loose regulation of Maddrassah Islamic schools spewing Takfiri terrorism which see other faiths as “enemies”. Declaring some Sunni practices as “Takfir” (unbelief), and to establish a country and government of their own. This is the real threat in our midst.
(Erik Espina)