The 21st Century Phenomenon




* Hashim Salamat was born on 07/07/1942 in the South Philippines. He came from a Muslim religious family. At the age of six Hashim  Salamat started formal education; he finished his elementary education in 1954 with honor and his secondary education in 1958 also with honor.

In 1958, Hashim  Salamat joined the pilgrims from the Philippines for a Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He took this opportunity to stay behind for Islamic studies in Mecca where he enrolled at the Madrasat as-Sulatiyah ad-Diniyah.

A year later, in 1959, Hashim  Salamat went to Cairo, Egypt, which at that time was the centre of political activism in the Middle East. There, he enrolled at Al-Azhar Islamic University. He graduated from Al-Azhar in 1963, then Hashim  Salamat enrolled al-Azhar’s college of Theology for a bachelor’s degree and graduated in 1967 and his master’s degree in 1969. He completed the academic requirements for a doctor degree, but was unable to write his dissertation because he had to return to the Philippines by then to organize the Moro (South Philippines) revolutionary movement.

In Cairo Hashim  Salamat was a member and later the chairman of the Organization of Asian Students in Cairo and the undeclared leader of the Muslim students from the Philippines. He was also deeply influenced by Sayyid Qutb.

When Hashim  Salamat returned to the Philippines he began to organize the infrastructure of what became, in 1973, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF became the main militant and terror organization fighting for Muslim statehood in the Muslim predominate in the South of the Philippines, in Mindanao and its archipelagos. Hashim  Salamat – the Amir (leader or commander in Arabic) was a pioneer in involving Muslim women, aside Muslim men, in many of the military activity of MILF. Hashim  Salamat general approach toward Islam was moderate and he preferred to give way to negotiation rather then military conflict. In 1996 Hashim  Salamat, indeed, signed a peace agreement with the Philippines regime but the agreement was only partially implemented.

CNN claims that the network has a copy of a conversation, which occurred in 1999, between Hashim  Salamat and Osama Bin Laden in which Hashim  Salamat looked for the possibility to organize training camps for MILF volunteers in Afghanistan. There is no proof that, eventually, such camps were set up.

In 2003 Hashim  Salamat announced that his organization suspended its guerilla and terror activity in order to give way for political negotiation. Soon after, on 07/13/2003, Hashim  Salamat died from heart attack. Hashim  Salamat was replaced as MILF leader by Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim.  


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