Camp Rajah Muda, Pikit, Cotabato—Bangsamoro leaders pay tribute to the 19th year of the martyrdom of the late Sheikh Salamat Hashim, who died in Butig, Lanao del Sur on July 12, 2003.
Hashim fell ill after a series of air attacks on his base in Buliok in Cotabato, and in Camp Bushra in Butig, Lanao del Sur.
The leaders sang the Lupang Hinirang for the first time after many years as dissidents.
It was the opening hymn after the traditional du’a rendering (supplication) in every Muslim occasion. But this time, the Philippine National Anthem was followed by the Bangsamoro Hymn in its marching tempo, and lyrics that depict fulfillment in a broad atmosphere of peace.
Some 300 women widowed by wars in almost 50 years of armed Moro struggle in recent history were also gathered here on a Wednesday appointment to be recognized by officials and receive aid from the government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al-Hadj Murad Ebrahim recalled that Hashim in 1962 started for the Bangsamoro the Islamic movement during his early student years in Cairo, Egypt. In 1968, the Moro armed struggle was triggered by the Jabidah Massacre in Corregidor on March 28 of that year.
Hashim was far from being an extremist and was in fact a moderate Muslim in his religious practices and undertakings, recalled BARMM Chief Minister Abdulraof Macacua, who replaced Ebrahim as chief of the staff of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) military wing, after Hashim passed away on July 12, 2003.
The legacy and leadership characteristics of the man “we must emulate,” said Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo of the BARMM Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
“BARMM is institutionalizing the leadership that the founding chairman of the MILF was known for.” The Salamat Excellence Award for Leadership (SEAL) is awarded annually by the MILG-BARMM to deserving local officials merited as having had the impact of leadership from established criteria in Hashim’s character as a leader.
On several occasions in other parts of the world, Hashim was the architect of unification of Islamic groups that had otherwise opted to split ways, as it was in the case of building peace in Aceh in Indonesia, recalled Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga..
Hashim was among the international revolutionary figures consulted by former President Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia on the Aceh peace process in 1999. Abdurrahman and Hashim were college buddies being schoolmates at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Bangsamoro Member of Parliament Abdullah Hashim, the son of the late MILF leader, recalled that his father’s revolutionary thoughts were shaped and partly inspired by Pakistani journalist and critic Abdullah Maududi and Sayyid Qut’b, an Egyptian Arab poet and revolutionary writer.
“The government has barely changed; and the struggle in the arena of the governance has just started and we still have a long way through a jihad that is hardly finished. Indeed, the BARMM governance is the continuity of the jihad (struggle),” Ebrahim said, explaining that jihad is the struggle for perfection of human affairs.
Ebrahim remembered that Hashim introduced to the Moro movement the ways of collective and consultative decision-making in leadership, which is still applied up to now in the MILF leadership and even in BARMM governance.
Chief Minister Ebrahim said the leadership decisions that these organizations make, do not really come from him alone and not from any one person but were formed by consensus of leaders.
The BARMM officials, he said, are bound by oath of (upholding) a moral governance. “The late Salamat Hashim (Allahu Yarham) was best remembered for personally leading the jihad in the principle of ‘Lail Kalimatillah’.” –which means the Law of Allah should be above every human endeavor.
Macacua urges MILF critics to refrain from using Hashim’s name in vain, and even warns that the Moro people would have to deal with any group that uses the late chairman’s good name in dividing them. Hashim’s coming home in 1992 truly mobilized the jihad (struggle), Ebrahim recalled of his predecessor.