(Publisher's note: This article is taken courtesy of www.mindanews.com and can be viewed from the site using this URL: http://www.mindanews.com/2006/05/21nws-islamicu.htm.)
OIC: okay to Islamic U in Mindanao
By Carolyn O. Arguillas / Mindanews / 21 May 2006
DAVAO CITY — A proposal to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao met favorable reaction from the visiting delegation of the Organizaiton of the Islamic Conference (OIC) whose head of delegation said many Filipinos who studied in Saudi Arabia can serve as the teaching corps.
The proposal was to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao was aired by Salam Demuna of the Learned Kagan Muslim Foundation, Inc. (LKMFI), during the OIC delegation’s “interaction with civil society” late Friday night at the Marco Polo hotel.
“As we talk peace and development, our people cannot appreciate because we have to go back to the basic: we have to educate our people. That is why we are asking the OIC, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to establish an Islamic University in Mindanao just like the International Islamic University in Medina because we think this will sustain our peace and development.”
Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process did not reply to the appeal for an Islamic University but cited the distribution in Marawi City the day before of thousands of books from the Islamic Society in Libya.
He said the Libyan group turned over the books and will continue to print more educational materials in the effort to providing educational needs on Islamic values and Isalmic way of teaching.
The response of Ambassador Sayed El-Masry, Adviser to the Secretary-General of the OIC and the head of delegation of the OIC visiting Mindanao to look into the implementation of the nearly 10-year old peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MNLF, drew applause and chants of “Allahu Akbar.”
El-Masry noted that the OIC has four universities in the world, four belonging to the OIC. “I think we are ready to propose to the Secretary General the idea of having to establish an Islamic university in Mindanao,” he said. The predominantly Moro crowd applauded and chanted “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.”
“Of course, provided the request will come from the government of the Philippines. I don’t think there will be an obstacle,” he said.
El-Masry added that many Filipins from Mindanao have studied in the Middle East and they can form the core of teachers.
“The teaching corps is already available,” El-Masry said.