A Welcome Address during the International Conference on Interfaith Perspectives on Peacebuilding, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the U.P. College of Law and the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy held at the Case Room, Henry Sy Bldg., University of the Philippines-BGC Campus, Taguig City, on February 12, 2020
By ATTY. NASSER A. MAROHOMSALIC
Convenor and Vice President
Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy
The subject of our colloquium, Interfaith Perspectives on Peacebuilding, interests us immeasurably, given the prevalence of political conflicts in our country, including the insurgency of the Bangsa Moro in Southern Philippines that resembles a recrudescent cough through the centuries.
As you know, one of the mainstream rebel organizations, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has chosen the parliamentary path to advance the cause for self-determination of the Bangsa Moro after a peace deal between them and the government forged into a law in 2018. Generally, the Bangsa Moro cheered out their agreement. However, there is that lingering fear among the Moro populace that the peace settlement might get gnarled out of line along its implementation and goad enough the MILF to ride back the saddle again. Though weak and ragtag and splintered, the recalcitrant among the revolutionaries still kick against the pricks, so to speak.
In a way I am a prepper and so do the Bangsa Moro born into a cultural heritage that puts premium on the ideals of freedom and self-determination.
But, as Muslims we become a creature of peace, our faith preening us up to. Nature also does its mark in us to go for the way of peace.
We know that peace is a by-product of an ethical imperative which comes by as the Golden Rule, an Ethic of Reciprocity that says, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you,” which moral principle finds expression in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Confucianism, among others.
Undoubtedly, the moral principle pervades every one’s personality. But as the title of the conference suggests, there’s more in the social teachings of religion on peace than what social psychology posits on the matter.
And our honored experts today will walk us through the paradigms of peacemaking or peacebuilding as articulated in the different religious faiths or, at the very least, according to the standpoints of their religious affiliation.
For certain, we will be enriched intellectually with their research and scholarship, and thereby get us boned up on the art and skill of peacemaking, which prowess is a much-needed competency in our social environment.