Aggressive and Violent Islamic Expansionism
Poses Threat to World Peace
…a caution to the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
There is nothing wrong with all kinds of religion or cults, for as long as tolerance and respect among the faithful are observed. If there is no violent or aggressive attempt of conversion, I do not think that animosity shall be developed among the parties concerned. Conversion should be done “indirectly” – through convincing actions by the advocates, to show others that indeed, their religion is worth embracing. People should be given a liberal option as to what faith they should follow. They should not be intimidated by force, or threatened with the nozzle of a gun.
Special reference is being made to the religious polarization of the world between Christian and Islamic faiths. Tension between the two has slackened after the Crusade era. But, it seems that even religion is following a cycle or giving truth to the adage that history repeats itself, as lately, an aggressive Islamic expansionism is on the rise, spearheaded by its extremist advocates. There is a global attempt today for the “restoration” of Islam as supposedly the world religion, and even an aggressive “expansion”, which to the layman could mean “mass conversion”.
Hugging cyber news pages are European countries that are under the pressure exerted by the influx of Muslim immigrants, purportedly victims of persecution in their countries of origin, particularly, Syria. And, there is even an appeal by the United Nations to the far-off Asian countries to “adopt” some of them. Some European countries, being nearest to the origin of these evacuees were the first to offer succor and accommodated the refugees. Unfortunately, these generous countries are now being rocked with unrest by the same beneficiary of sympathy, in the name of the latter’s Islamic faith. There is even a bold threat by a group of Muslims in Denmark that their host shall become the “first Muslim country in Europe”.
The extremist ISIS group has done more than enough destruction to the historic and Biblical countries that they occupied and fear to the rest that they plan to overrun. Will Europe suffer the same fate, as there could be Islamic terrorists who may have successfully melded with the so-called “refugees” who have been accommodated by sympathetic European countries? From Europe, will masquerading terrorists who may have successfully blended with authentic refugees creep their way towards Southeast Asia to muddle the harmonious and peaceful co-existence of Christians and Muslims?
While the Muslims are aggressive in their attempt to convert others, none of such drive can be observed among the Christians, especially, the Roman Catholics. The publicities being enjoyed by the Vatican because of the controversial new pope, Francis, should not be taken as an attempt to convert. In fact, there is an ongoing cleansing within the Roman Catholic community, as shown by the purging of erring church leaders, as well as, vehement reminders of the pope for his flock to follow the “Christian way”. Nothing about converting Muslims, Protestants, etc. is being done in any way. On the other hand, if the effort of the new pope is viewed by skeptics as a convincing “Christian act” of a Roman Catholic, it is up to them to decide if they want to jump over the fence and join the flock of Jesus.
In the Philippines, particularly, Mindanao, the Muslims and Christians are enjoying a harmonious and peaceful co-existence. The call for autonomy which many Filipinos deemed long overdue is more political and not a matter of religion. In fact, it is expected that the same clamor for political autonomy shall be raised by the rest of the regions as the system has been proved to be effective in the Cordillera Region, although, deemed necessary in the first place, due to the archipelagic make up of the country.
The Philippines is a clear manifestation of harmony if tolerance and respect among people with diverse culture and faith, are observed. In view of the threat that is now rocking some European countries due to aggressive religious assertion by Islamic fundamentalists, Filipinos should be more vigilant and help each other in maintaining a steadfast resistance against any religiously-hooded incursion that could be tainted with evil intent. Filipinos have stood united on a foundation of strongly- welded brotherhood that not even the corrupted political system failed to shake. This fervent show of steadfast conviction should send a warning to the evil-minded around the world, that the Philippines is not a breeding ground for unrest under the cloak of religion that the misguided extremists plan to foment…as such attempt shall never and ever be tolerated!