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PEACETALK. A Prayer for Tausug Brothers (and People) in Sabah

SANTA CRUZ, California (MindaNews/06 March0 –Salaam! Peace!

For days now, I’ve been feeling sad about the unnecessary sacrifice and loss of lives of our Tausug brethrens in Sabah.

I grew up idolizing the Kiram brothers in the game of basketball back in the 1970s: they were such excellent and smooth players with good grasp of the fundamentals of the game back then.. Before Michael Jordan was doing the split, one of the Kiram brothers (the Captain ball of the Sulu High School Basketball Team in the 1970s, before the War) was already doing it with wonderful finesse.

In the 1960s, as I was going through the elementary at Lapa, Maimbung, Sulu, Abraham Idjirani was also my idol; he graduated as a Valedictorian of his class. I was probably Grade III then. Such intelligence I thought. My point is this: Well-thought-out advice—exhausting peaceful means — should have been given to the Honorable Sultan; for him to do his claim through the (international) Court of law (I’ve been away from the academe for so long; I don’t know which court of law at this point). Times have already changed…; we can no longer do things the old-fashion way.

Last week a Brittish-American lady (a property owner) was coming back to Santa Cruz, CA to retire. She wanted to evict an old lady from her property. She asked me about her options. I told her: You know that you can never move this lady out of your property if she has no place to go, especially if she’s paying her rent on time. The Sherriff’s Office will not put her out… You could probably give her a “60-Day Notice to Move Out” and file the case with the Court after the Notice has expired. But there is essentially nothing else you could do to throw her out. Worse comes to worst, you could give her a rent-increase notice…

As a Tausug Muslim, I value life (and peace) so much that it pains me to know about senseless death like this again, especially after my horrible experience in Jolo in 1974—the grieving families, the children losing their fathers, relatives, the pain and anguish of dying in foreign land…Oh my God!

It’s time for us to shift our attention away from war, from fighting, from making use of our glorious history the wrong way.

Instead of glorifying our culture of war and guns and wrong-headed courage, we should re-direct the same courage to: education, peace, open-mindedness, science, growth, development, tolerance… These are the new challenges in our lives now in which we can teach our kids to be brave and courageous and fearless like those lost Tausug warriors in the past; but blaze a new trail (using the same bravery) to achieve exceptional heights in socio-economic and educational development.

Instead of using our money to build an army, we should put up scholarship funds and build public libraries and parks instead — so our new generations of Tausugs could grow strong and intelligent and bold in the pursuit of peace and love and development.

Magsukul! Salamat! Thanks!

A very sad Tausug brother, Morsidy

(PeaceTalk is open to anyone who wishes to contribute his/her piece on peace in Mindanao. Morsidy Husin, a Tausug Muslim, who used to work as Committee Secretary of House Committee on Muslim Affairs, is an advocate of peace, tolerance,  and socio-economic and educational development for Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. He is now based in Santa Cruz, California. He posted this letter to the kusog mindanaw e-group. He gave MindaNews permission to reprint)

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