Muslim peace partners and advocates of the preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) from December 2022 to 10 January 2023 conducted a series of surveys in Sulu and Basilan which aims to come up with a paper on the Role of Muslim Mothers in PCVE. The survey questions, which were answered by 24 random women in Basilan and Sulu, consists of the respondent’s perceived influence on their husband and their husband’s influence over them, ascendency towards children, knowledge and perception of ASG, and suggestions in countering violent extremism.

During the interview, the following were revealed by the respondents:

  1. As a wife, majority of them believe they have a strong influence over their husbands because their husbands: (a) asks for their advice for family matters, and the husband follows the advice; (b) give them their entire salary; and (c) authorizes them to be sole disciplinarian of their children. Likewise, they also perceived their husband to influence them as they considered themselves submissive wives;
  2. They firmly believe that they can protect their husbands from joining the ASG (a) by telling them not to engage with ASG because of their evil doings, and (b) by helping them to find a good and legal job;
  3. As a mother, majority of them believe that they have a strong influence over their children because their children: (a) asks for their advice regarding personal matters, (b) obeys their guidance/instruction all the time, and (c) always ask permission from them in everything that she does;
  4. They firmly believe that they can protect their children from joining the ASG by (a) cultivating their Islamic faith through Islamic education, (b) teaching them good deeds to keep them away from ASG’s, (b) always talk to them and give them advice on what is right and wrong, and (c) do not allow them to be with their friends who wander around;
  5. Majority of them perceives ASG as both bandit and terrorist and believes that they ruin Islamic belief. According to them, the reason why ASG exists is due to (a) principles that they think are right and they fight to prove it, (b) ASG parents that influence their children to join the ASG, and (c) and poverty; and
  6. When asked how they can protect themselves from ASG, they often avoid places where the group might be staying or living.

Overall, the respondents made the following impressions and recommendations on government’s peace-building efforts:

  1. There is a positive change toward the peace of Sulu, although the case in Basilan is different. In Sulu, the number of violence decreased, although the ASG still commits crimes in some localities;  
  2. The respondents reiterated the importance of peace talks to stop the dispute between the Government and ASG;
  3. The respondents ask the Government to continue offering jobs to prevent its citizens from joining ASG; and
  4. The respondents request to condemn ASG for using the doctrine of Islam in pursuing their false political ideology.