January 1981 Vol. II, No. 2
10 July 2022
The Muslim community is rich with traditions–products of how their culture and religion developed through time. Stewart’s and Tamano’s accounts only provide proof to such a fact. In “History and Culture of the Maguindanao,” Stewart elucidates how ideologies and practices have emerged in the region, before and after the introduction of Islam. It sheds light on power and the role of ranks, social ties, norms like marriage, community organization, among others. It also shares some accounts on the livelihoods and economic relations of those in Maguindanao, particularly how they survived the lower standards of living plaguing the region. In a nutshell, Stewart shares how Maguindanaoans live their lives, what they are accustomed to, and why they do what they do. Moreover, he articulates the cultural and stark differences before and after Islam was integrated into the Maguindanaoan life. On the other hand, in “The Muslim Community in the Philippines: Problems and Recommendations,” Tamano explains how being the minority is also inherent in this culture. The article points out how the Philippine umma or Muslim community is so deprived of economic opportunities and how separate it is from industry. While the rest of the country has already thrived in industry and services, Muslims are left behind as evidenced by the fact that they are still living in an agricultural economy–one where farmers are poor and hungry. This only confirms how the community was not part of the structural transformation that transpired in the country–no systemic changes have occurred because their economy did not grow. Tamano also provides recommendations as to how these problems can be resolved. In conclusion, this journal illustrates the cultural, sociopolitical, and economic structures that are distinct in the Muslim community, and how reform is much needed.
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