MNLF-MILF = FATAH-HAMAS?

I may be stretching their similarities a bit, pero these four organizations do lend themselves handily to attempts at comparison by wannabe politico-cultural analysts like your truly (emphasis on the “wannabe” hehe…)

fatah.jpg vs. hamas_flag.jpg

Apart from their all being Islamic organizations, the two latter groups — the MILF and HAMAS — also both emerged from the wake of the two previous, and according to their respective critics, less-militant organizations (read: they entered into compromises with the enemy — MNLF signed the 1996 Peace Agreement with the Philippine Government in exchange for rulership of the ARMM. FATAH recognized the existence of the Israeli State in exchange for legal status with the international community). After these perceived “selling out,” it became obvious where the more radical (and younger) Muslim Mindanaoan and Palestinian militants would gravitate towards.

The MILF, of course, is almost universally regarded in the Philippines as being the most asteeg Islamic political force (the Abu Sayyaf, although more radical in its activities, has no credible ideology to speak of. But that is another story…). The MILF has relatively more men and women (and children?) under arms; has more areas under its control; and has forced more concessions from the government in the various “peace talks” that have come and gone.

mnlf.jpg vs. milf.jpg

The MNLF, on the other hand, has integrated many of its armed units into the Philippine Army and Police and, sometimes, engages its erstwhile comrades in the MILF in combat (we also see the same internecine violence happening between FATAH and HAMAS forces today, albeit at a much deadlier degree). But this isn’t to say that the MNLF has become a government front; far from it — MNLF commanders loyal to their jailed Chairman, Nur Misuari, have, on occasion, launched armed insurrections in protest against government’s shabby treatment of their leader.

In Palestine, HAMAS, is almost single-handedly continuing the armed struggle against Israel, and on two fronts at that — the West Bank and Gaza. Asteeg din, di ba? And the ironic thing is that it was FATAH (of the PLO) that began the organized uprising in the 1960s. HAMAS came into prominence when, after the death of PLO Chairman, Yasser Arafat, it began winning seats in earnest in the Palestinian Parliament, finally wresting power from the ruling FATAH Party in 2006.

Like the MILF, which advocates for Bangsamoro’s secession from the Philippines, HAMAS espouses a similarly radical ideal — the establishment of an Islamic State in Palestine (present Israel included). This makes HAMAS a definite “terrorist organization” in the eyes of many western nations (USA, EU, Canada and other like-minded countries).

Not surprisingly, the MILF is likewise branded as a “terrorist” organization. But so are the MNLF and FATAH. Hmmm… what does this tell me? Simply this — it doesn’t matter if you compromise with the powers that be, if you are a Muslim organization and Armed, you’ll probably still be regarded as a terrorist group 😦

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MNLF-MILF = FATAH-HAMAS?

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