3 July03

Akbayan Rep. Mario “Mayong” Aguja today issued a stinging rebuke against US Sen. Guy Glodis for the latter’s leaflet suggesting that Muslim extremists be buried with pig entrails as a deterrent against terror attacks. “What a disgusting, idiotic thing for a senator to say,” Aguja commented.

Aguja, a native of General Santos City and an expert on the Mindanao Peace Process, criticized Glodis’ ignorance about Islam and terrorism. He explained that the Muslim concepts of martyrdom and jihad are bound with ideas of justice and retribution. “No amount of pig entrails can discourage a Muslim who is willing to offer his life for a cause that he believes is just. To suggest such acts of defilement will only provoke would-be terrorists,” Aguja said.

Aguja likewise condemned Glodis’ advocacy to replicate in Iraq the exploits of Gen. John Pershing in Sulu in 1913. “General Pershing was a murderer who massacred Filipino Muslims resisting American invasion,” Aguja stressed. He cited the massacres of Bud Dajo in 1906 and Bud Bagsak in 1913 as examples of Pershing’s handiwork. “Those were not Muslim ‘extremists,’ but ordinary people defending their homeland from brutal invasion,” Aguja pointed out.

He added that while terroristic acts must be condemned, simplistic and ignorant solutions like those of Sen. Glodis must likewise be rejected because they would only spark outrage among Muslims and deepen the misunderstanding between religions. He also suggested that the context of terroristic acts and suicide bombings be examined before strategic solutions can be devised. “The juramentados of Sulu were also suicide commandos in a way: they attacked rifle-armed American troops using only bladed weapons. But can we blame them? Did they have a choice?,” Aguja asked.

Aguja challenged fellow-legislator Glodis to apologize. “On behalf of the Moros and in defense of Philippine history, I demand that Sen. Glodis apologize publicly to all Muslims and Filipino Muslims in particular for these gross insults and malignant recommendations,” Aguja concluded.