posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 12:54 AM
A region steeped in conflict for generations, the Phillipines is often ignored by the headlines. The islands have seen a marked increase in violence
since 2000, yet few people understand the situation. In light of the recent prison riot that claimed at least 22 lives, there has been an increased
push to understand the motivations of all the sides involved.
The southern Philippines has a long history of conflict, stretching back to the arrival of Islam in the 14th Century. The region was then colonised,
first by Spain and then by the United States.
The BBC News website looks at the main rebel factions now operating in the area.
Click on the links below for more on each group.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Iraq may capture most of the headlines, and Iran may be the next target of oppurtunity, but let's not forget about the conflict in the Phillipines.
They are dealing with the exact same issues as the rest of the Hot Zones in the world, and so understanding their situation might lead to more
successful resolution of the problems plagueing other nations.
The Phillipines government, or rather territorial authority, is a power sharing system that has been in place, in one form or another, since Muslims
arrived on the island and destabilized the balance of power between tribal and religious authorities. There are many different factions, and each
have their own distinct agenda. The Phillipines is in many ways a microcosm of the rest of the world.
In order to learn to better live together, we must educate ourselves about the root causes of these religious conflicts. I hope this article by the
BBC has helped some people understand the motivations of those who make war around the world. It's easier to just call them terrorists, but perhaps
we would be better served by understanding their cause, and relating to them as fellow human beings.