With the recent plight in Marawi, faculty and students convened in a symposium at 8F Community Center last June 30, activity period.
The forum, dubbed as “Terror in Marawi: Looking through Different Perspectives”, was organized by the Social Sciences and Education (SSE) Cluster, University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), and Center for Political and International Affairs.
Speakers were invited in order to give discourse on the several elements that comprise the crisis. Mansoor Limba, PhD, from the Islamic Studies Department, gave a Derridean reading of concepts surrounding the crisis by scrutinizing the terms “extremism”, “religious extremism” and “terror”.
Limba discussed how extremism pertains to holding a different view, and that there is nothing wrong with religious extremism as as there is no violence or forceful imposition of beliefs on others.
He also stressed on the misleading use of the term ‘religious extremism’.
“Instead of ‘religious extremism’, an alternative term that we may consider [while referring to Marawi] is ‘violent extremism in the name or under the guise of religion’,” Limba said.
Dennis Coronel from the Sociology Department talked about the prospect of peace amidst the ongoing war.
“I would like to emphasize on the whole prospect of peace. We cannot just give or erect walls around Marawi, and the prospect of peace is something we need to start talking about even if amidst violence,” Coronel stated.
Coronel also emphasized that everyone shares accountability for the crisis.
“The war that erupted is not just between the military and Maute. It is also a war that we are all guilty of. That is the point there. We are all guilty–what we call as the ‘guilty bystanders’. By not doing anything, we contributed to the fact that they were able to play their game.
Diana Taganas, CPA, MA, from the Economics Department, tackled on the primary and secondary impacts of the Marawi crisis.
She listed that the primary impacts included damages to lives and properties while the secondary impacts were economic destruction and lost of confidence.
Taganas also stated that what the Maute Group gained from the siege was publicity which enabled them to gain favor and be identified with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
An open forum followed the presentations of the speakers where students were given time to raise questions and clarifications.