During the interactions and ‘Question-and-Answer’ portion (Q&A) of the OMPIA Youth Alliance Assembly recently, I was tasked to talk on Youth Role in Nation Building where I highlighted the role of Arabic-speaking Ulama in achieving the so-called Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
I named two top founders who were all graduates of Cairo-based Al Azhar University, Sheikh Salamat Hashim and Abdul Aziz Mimbantas, as live testimony that Ulama are qualified to run a major organization like MILF without insisting the civil service eligibility.
My argument is that the existing CSE will only accommodate those with Western education background in BARMM and would prevent thousands of graduates from not only local madaris but also those who obtained various degrees from Arab countries.
The assembly was mainly attended by young graduates Ulama from both local and foreign universities and professionals to discuss various pressing issues including anti-terrorism law and election code. Islamic Banking and Islam, democracy and moral governance were also presented
BARMM Minister Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra was among the top speakers who dealt with Islam, democracy and moral governance. While he was responsible for settlement mainly housing, he also discussed jobs opportunity providing that applicants should undergo strict screening procedures citing verses from the Holy Quran emphasizing that Islam is stricter than other relevant systems.
Alhamdulillah for the very brotherly exchange of productive ideas.
With regards to civil service eligibility that Bangsamoro should undergo as part of the agreement between national government and BARMM.
According to a reliable source, before the creation of ARMM there was already a system, Cultural Community Officer (CCO) to cater to the needs of Bangsamoro in job opportunities as exceptional case designed to accommodate Muslim community especially Arabic-speaking graduates in the government agencies including BARMM without imposing CSE.
We insisted that under existing CSE or the proposed stricter approach, the century struggle in the empowerment process will not be solved. It will leave thousands of our young people jobless. BARMM is to answer our long clamors to have our own resources and make our people important part in building our homeland to make them productive citizens regardless of their educational background.
The national government design is intended for Filipinos and BARMM is an entity to cater to the Bangsamoro needs including job opportunities.
(Abdul Hannan Magarang Tago is at present Amanah Islamic Bank Director, Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Bangsamoro Federal Business Council (BFBCI) and Mndanao State University (MSU) System President Consultant. He writes regularly with the Philippine Muslim Today.)