This article will talk about the real conditions of Filipino Muslims in the Philippines, and whether they are oppressed or not. This is a response to the claims of some terrorist groups and violent extremists that Muslims are continuously being persecuted in their respective countries by non-Muslims and man-made governments.


Muslims in the Philippines are hand in hand living peacefully with the Catholic majority. From Mindanao as the place of origin, some Muslims migrated to Visayas and Luzon to seek business opportunities and education. Because of peculiarities in religion and culture, some Muslims were discriminated. It goes without saying that discrimination against Muslims are not entirely perpetrated by the government alone. More often than not, it is individuals that perpetuate this divide. As a matter of fact, the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines criminalizes certain acts that violate religious freedom including Article 132 or the Interruption of Religious Worship and Article 133 or Offending Against Religious Feelings. Some other regions and cities in Metro Manila also imposes local laws to prevent religious discrimination in employment. Presidential decree 1083 also known as the Code of Muslim Personal laws was signed in to law to allow Muslims in performing some of their religious practices. Currently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) resulting in the creation of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).


These evidences show that Filipino Muslims are not oppressed in the Philippines contrary to the propaganda of terrorists. The government has been promptly addressing issues and challenges faced among the Filipino Muslims.  


Moreover, Filipino Muslims are not exempted to Philippine law when committing a crime and the government has the authority to maintain peace and order in the country. Muslims are generally obliged to abide by the laws of the land in the country they live in, whether it is a Muslim country, or non-Muslim country as long as they are not ordered to practice something against Islam. If they are forced by the law to commit a sin, then in such a case, it will not just be unnecessary, but irresponsible to abide by said law.


However, some Muslims were convicted of committing a crime including terrorism. It is necessary to highlight that they are being punished in prisons not because of their religion but because they committed terrorist activities. Supporting them is haram or forbidden, and this also gives  justice to all the victims.


“Indeed, Allah commands justice, grace, as well as courtesy to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.” (An-Nahl 90)


Keeping them in prison is not a form of oppression but protection of society. It has never been singled out by the government that Muslims should be put in prisons but it is clear that those who are put in jails have committed a crime.


Let this article be a clear reminder to all Filipinos of the real situation of Filipino Muslims in our country.