Increase in Muslim - Inquirer, Philippines
- Increase in Muslim
Posted: 6:11 AM (Manila Time) | Mar. 23, 2004
By Vincent Cabreza
Inquirer News Service
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
Wahab said new Muslim voters were trying to outgrow
the racial stigma that made many of their elders shun
"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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