Legislator wants Moro history taught in schools

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A MEMBER of Congress pushed Wednesday for the inclusion of Moro history, culture and identity in the curriculum of schools nationwide, amid protests against a controversial anti-Islamic film.

Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education, sought for the immediate approval of House Bill 270 or the "Moro History, Culture and Identity Studies Act."

Muslim groups in Mindanao recently joined the worldwide protests against the anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims," burning huge replicas of American and Israeli flags during a rally in Marawi City.

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"While we cannot take down this anti-Islam video, it is high time we start teaching our youth about our Muslim brothers and sisters so we could prevent our own children from doing similar attacks," said Angara, who authored the bill.

Angara's proposal provides that the basic curriculum should include an understanding of the so-called Moro problem, which is the historical and systematic marginalization of Islamized ethno-linguistic groups

The bill is currently pending with the House committee on basic education and culture.

"Education will always be an effective tool against extremism. Only by understanding the root cause of what divides us can we actually foster peaceful relationships with each other - across religions, across ethnicity," Angara said.

Lanao del Sur Representative Pangalian Balindong, meanwhile, made a renewed appeal to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban the film, which insults Prophet Mohammad.

"This movie is totally unacceptable, and goes far beyond all reasonable boundaries of the freedom of opinion and expression. It is a blatant affront to religious sanctities, and offends and provokes the sensibilities of Muslim believers," he said in a statement.

Chairman Grace Poe-Llamanzares said earlier that the MTRCB has no jurisdiction over the video-sharing site Youtube, where the controversial video was uploaded.

The violence prompted by the film has caused the death of Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, and three other American citizens in the eastern city of Benghazi. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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