Philippines: Christians Subjected to Shari'a

Monday, August 10, 2015

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - In the wake of public alarm over the imposition of shari'a upon Christians caught in the newly proposed Islamic sub-state of Bangsamoro, the Filipino Congress has introduced House Bill 5811.

According to Barnabas Aid, HB 5811 sets limits to the authority of the semi-independent entity of Bangsamoro over its citizens living on the southern island of Mindanao.

Although HB 5811 specifically states that shari'a is only applicable to Muslims living in Bangsamoro, there are inherent differences between Islamic law and international human rights. For example, HB 5811 provides for the legal equality of both men and women while shari'a considers the testimony of women to be of lesser importance than that of men.

Further, in addition to an Islamic system of justice, HB 5811 provides for an Islamic banking system and a halal certifying body.

A 2010 census of the Bangsamoro area registered a population of 3,450,000; the mostly Muslim majority includes several rebel groups that had fought a decades-long insurgency for an independent Islamic state in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.