The most recent wave of Islamic revivalism began in the second half of the twentieth century as a nonviolent movement of expressing ideological differences and discontent with the political, economic, and social condition among Muslims and inspired a reformation of the Muslim identity. Today, contemporary radical Islam, with militancy and
terrorist tactics as its cornerstone, has all but overshadowed the call for a nonviolent struggle and has permeated several internal conflicts across the globe.
The Muslim separatist movement in the southern Philippines is one such conflict. Following decades of discontent and sporadic violence, armed conflict broke out in late 1972 when the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) launched coordinated attacks against the government. Following a failed peace agreement in 1976, divisions began to form within the MNLF and in 1984 the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was established. The MILF, as the name indicates, placed more emphasis on Islam. In 1991, the radical Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) broke off from the MNLF claiming as its main purpose the establishment of an Islamic state. By the mid-1990s, what had originated as a nationalistic struggle advocating the concept of the “Moro” identity, had evolved and produced two increasingly radical
After conducting a diachronic comparative analysis, this thesis concludes contemporary radical Islam in the southern Philippines is a fusion of both traditionalism and globalization. Furthermore, the causal factors evolved with respect to each group’s ideology, objectives, and tactics. Whereas the MILF was more representative of the legacy of traditional Islam, the ASG was much more a product of globalization. Read Full Article