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Increase in Muslim - Inquirer, Philippines

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  • Zafar Khan
    Increase in Muslim voters noted Posted: 6:11 AM (Manila Time) | Mar. 23, 2004 By Vincent Cabreza Inquirer News Service
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 23, 2004
      Increase in Muslim
      voters noted
      Posted: 6:11 AM (Manila Time) | Mar. 23, 2004
      By Vincent Cabreza
      Inquirer News Service

      http://www.inq7.net/brk/2004/mar/23/brkoth_1-1.htm

      BAGUIO CITY -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's
      continued support for a US-led invasion of Iraq has
      spawned "a genuine Muslim Filipino vote" because
      younger Muslims want to influence how the country and
      the world should view Islam, Islamic leaders and a
      party-list group said here over the weekend.

      Bedejim Abdullah, a Baguio-based Islamic scholar of
      the Darul Hijra Foundation, said the new voters'
      registration conducted by the Commission on Elections
      for the May 2004 polls drew an unprecedented increase
      in Muslim Filipino registrants.


      But a solid Muslim vote still has to be coaxed out,
      said Wahab Guilal, top nominee of the party-list
      group, Suara Bangsamoro, and president of the
      Left-leaning Muslim Christian People's Alliance
      (MCPA).

      Wahab said new Muslim voters were trying to outgrow
      the racial stigma that made many of their elders shun
      politics.

      "Many Muslims outside Mindanao fled to the north to
      escape the war and the politicians who drove them to
      war. So many asked, 'Why should we vote? Nadala na
      kami diyan sa pulitika (we have already been burnt by
      politics),'" he said.

      The latest Pulse Asia survey placed Sura Bangsamoro as
      the ninth ranking party-list group people would vote
      for, he said.

      Wahab also spoke before a forum in Baguio on March 20,
      designated by anti-war activists as "the Global Day of
      Action Against War and Terrorism."
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