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Davao City, Philippines

NICA partners with GenSan Madaris to fight violent extremism

October 20, 2020 - Tuesday 4:10 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Eduardo Marquez, director of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA)-Region 12 (Soccsksargen) has partnered with the Madaris or Muslim schools here to counter teachings propagating violent extremism in local communities.

Eduardo Marquez, NICA-Region 12 director, said Tuesday they are working with concerned stakeholders to promote the proper teaching of Islamic values among Muslim youths and children.

He said the initiative is undertaken with the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan and the Indigenous Cultural Affairs Division (ICAD) of the city government.

Marquez said they initially gathered last week the members of the city’s imam council, religious advisory council and Madaris federation to tackle the problem.

He said they invited prominent Islamic scholars and discussed efforts by certain parties to promote violent extremism using “wrong interpretations” of the Qur’an.

“Our goal is to counter the efforts of some people (who) use the Qur’an to lure youths in joining terrorist groups,” he told reporters.

In coordination with the ICAD, the official said they are planning to hold more awareness activities in the coming weeks to cascade the initiative to the community level.

He said they will also push for the strengthening of the city’s Madaris program amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The local government is supporting at least 44 community-based centers within the city’s 26 barangays that serve under the program.

Lawyer Jocelyn Kanda, ICAD head, said it is important to sustain the operations of the Madaris to continue the education of Muslim youths and children.

“It is important for them to have proper knowledge about Islam so they will not be easily recruited by people with violent leanings,” she said.

The Madaris, which is supported by the Department of Education’s Madrasah Education Program, offers Arabic literacy and Islamic values education to Muslim youths and children. Richelyn Gubalani