The Abu Sayyaf: terrorism in Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines or a convenient presence?

East, Bob (2009) The Abu Sayyaf: terrorism in Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines or a convenient presence? Journal of Globalisation for the Common Good (Spring). ISSN 1931-8138

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[Abstract]: The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a fundamentalist Muslim resistance movement in the southern Philippines, has been strongly associated with terrorist activity in the predominantly Sunni Moslem Sulu Province of the Philippines, by the Arroyo Government and the USA Bush Administration. This paper examines the violence now occurring in Sulu in the context of the social and political changes occurring in that province. The paper argues that the existence of the ASG in Sulu is questionable, although it does exist as an organised fundamentalist Muslim resistance movement in other parts of the southern Philippines such as Basilan and Zamboanga. The paper further agues that the ASG in Sulu is a convenient name given to political opponents of the Arroyo Administration and to local banditry. The violence is not associated with any transnational or global violent Islamic fundamentalist struggle. Rather, it is based in local issues, not the least being corruption. As well, the violence now occurring in Sulu provides a reason for the Arroyo Administration, with the support of the USA to conduct military operations against political opponents in the guise of being part of the so called Global War on Terror. Because of the precipitate actions of certain members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and of evidence of corruption and collusion with some bandit groups, innocent civilians are often victims of unlawful killings. Three conditions for a return to peace are proposed: first, the withdrawal of USA armed forces from Sulu; second, the cessation of military actions by the AFP in Sulu; and third, the empowerment of local officials and municipal administrators to pursue economic, political, and religious reform in Sulu.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Free and open access.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2009 05:31
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2014 04:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abu Sayyaf Group; terrorism; Philippines
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified

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