The Mohammedan Problem in the Philippines Author(s): John P. Finley Source: The Journal of Race Development, Vol. 5, No.

4 (Apr., 1915), pp. 353-363 Published by: Stable URL: . Accessed: 27/04/2013 21:23
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the RACE
Vol. 5



APRIL, 1915 No. 4

By Lieutenant-Colonel years Governor John P. Finley, of the District Philippine S. Army: for Moro of Zamboanga, Islands U. ten


One of the greatest of all the problems,
which it wishes the Moro. To most of the name people the non-Christian "Moro" tribes, the Jew means and the American to retain government stone the corner has of

in the Philippines
and freedom, solve, is that if of

to face,

is non-Christian The Moro a in the of being but he is not a Mohammedan, to the God of Abraham, He prays pagan. Isaac, and Jacob, but considers Mohammed and not Christ, the interpreter sense

picture is to place the Indian and are non-Christian. for both

but the nothing to so picture him in the same category,

of God's word; therefore he does not believe
and pino does even America There from Celebes, Philippine left vast left very abhors by not for any images ties of as

in the Trinity

necessarily the sake toward are

of worship. is not Fili? He symbols or religion, but it race, government, that he is a "dirty follow savage," of excusing of Spain and the attitude clear the as In some Palawan, evidences East the far as of a Hindu invasion Java, of the




through and Borneo, group, ruins. little, In

Indies, Sumatra, southern islands

of these,

unquestionably in the found ascertained,

except marks a Sanscrit Islands has

especially Java, they and Mindanao Jolo, they on the language, that show these Hindus Who origin. been present time, were to the related



at the not, the aborigines 353


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Negrito fifteen

at this invasion Ethnologists place peoples. or hundred ago. more, years, its wonderful advance the Moslem When religion began route One in every direction. it spread from Arabia,

taken by the Arab
India, same the Malay ground they

followers of Mohammed
and had the East previously

being through
Indies, gone. over the When

Peninsula, the Hindus and and

these Arabs
group, aboriginal

reached the southern islands of the Philippine
converted mixture intermarried the with progenitors this Hindu of the that seem with to which hundred formed

present Moro. bears them Their say, and history out, legends were This would the original Moros large people.

are of

in keeping with
large frame

facts as both Hindus
and stature. The

and Arabs



the Hindus

intermarried, if belonging to the Negrito

the hardships However, family, were small people. in the last three have been the Moros subjected and fifty years morally the would and account physically. for their mentally,


16th Jolo East. the

the Spaniards first came to the Philippines
people brave of the Islands the into on sea-rovers, their "praos" incursions of were the If " Norsemen" all the of Mindanao

in the
and of the of and as

century were strong, They

pushed and made archipelago also converted many They Mohammedan settlements

the waters settlements.

pagan Filipinos, as far north found the Spanish

and Manila. de Bay, Laguna for another had been postponed of the whole would archipelago as Islam, more his converted


they than the

are three coast

today hundred

the coasts years been have probably firmly for the Spaniard in Christian, hundred of years The mountain he was occupation, people and are only still

people. that

It his

is told name

of the Moro,

a pirate


the coasts of the other islands; probably
and "praos" of Drake, Raleigh, and George the Fourth. those should Cortez

he did.

If so

in history beside go down of Napoleon and the navies

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THE MOHAMMEDAN The The Koran teaches

PROBLEM thrift and

IN THE PHILIPPINES a reverence for the

355 soil.

every Moslem says before meals grace, is, "Oh us thee to bless this food and give strength God, we beseech to reproduce the coming Before of the Spaniards, it." are said to have the Moros lived in some degree of luxury; which they men from Indian of tilled the soil, and had and with the many servants. They were of strong physique their intercourse islands, not their and a degree of intelligence, gained of the other East the Arabs fact that the Koran had been


brought with
families, Datus have royal The Visayan different been own and family



kept written




family of Europe?or

the Sultans and Today as any as well histories recorded the D. A. R's. the of the pagan Filipinos were Malays and a very has never The Filipino when rice left to keep to his soul

Spaniards and Luzon


people a man of much He

groups. They from the Moros.


body together, of the medium of exchange and enough was reasons his For these conquest

or ability courage is happy with enough two cotton garments,

a fighting cock, to bet on the chicken. easy. The present re? than agi? a

himself ligion takes for

like his progenitor
and his care surroundings. of the future. are

is perfectly
His The no more Roman people

satisfied with
Catholic who are

Filipinos independence tating the politicos, is a Moor. from Granada Among Spaniard one man not is able to prove himself there is probably who are from one-fourth to nine-tenths They wholly Filipino. Spanish or Chinese. is simply easy repeated not now, Cacique now There an is no for sympathy between with

the im?

the mature cannot "tao"

(Filipino boss) and the common people.
and be are rights too often and most object before exploitation, This the law. it underlies been heard

To him
statement this whole

because have

problem of what
people man who is talking

to do with

the Philippines.

The Filipino
from; the a Filipino. He is the element


is a Mestizo

is not and loudest or politico, but this never has been.

that would
is not

control the destiny of the Islands.

The Moro

a politico


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of this subject generally we entered the Islands,
we and It able came who is he to help. derived also who

lost sight of, is the fact that when it was the Christian Filipino that
he, who benefit most claimed from our and our attention here. being unreason?

It was the most has been


in the demand of what

appreciation so with the Moro. measures health. their own for his The

as well as lacking in for independence, Not American rule has done for him. He to all public cheerfully in the matter of public and Kalibugans have long pursued of changed health element against quarantine their habits officials. to any extent. races out? with

responded even protection,


smallpox to meet Neither His

effective methods very and cholera, and willingly requirements has the Moro of American the Mestizo


forbids indiscriminate religion crossing are Moros, so called but not Moslems, side of Islam. There who wear the fez and assume the garb of the Mohammedan, or other purposes for political, to themselves, of profit but that has should come not lead to the mistaken in the last three idea, that the Moro,

like the Filipino,
in contact Spain When insisted them.

is a mixture

of everything with which he

ligion The Moro

upon forcing The Spaniards as we and worship refused has to do stood

hundred years. the Moros, she conquer the Roman Catholic upon religion re? said, "You must give up your do or be driven and his out of existence." hundred to has and take and home. for three

fifty years He has had no on the amenities before thing, the that

either, at bay, defending time for improvement, of civilization. of the hand

religion no chance

Everything destroyer, is dearer

ruthless this

to a Mohammedan

In ligion. any solution other life, as struggle strong through recognized the

it is well connection, of the Moro problem, by the American, must count this element upon government, largest the Moro factor has in the equation. In this who It retrogressed; to withstand such that, after there was certainly, influences? a lower

except than life, his re? to remember that or any of his constant of us is a well had come of morals is

gone the one

enough fact

the American

the Civil War,

people standard

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THE MOHAMMEDAN and nation, fought an undercurrent that took four years; of




brutality, throughout of to overcome. peace years that by a hundred, multiply

the whole We had and where


our boasted


be today?
the Philippines,


the time
Spain was

the American


The Spaniards had tried fighting the Lake Lanao Moros. to build a road through that district and the Moros were
in arms soldiers Spain them. against and maintained in defense This by road was finished the very Moros by American who had fought

of their was



the beginning

of the war with
not aware of


the United
of any fact was

government in Mohammedans discovered Oscar bilities survey sought Hamid, S. and


this the Philippines. When in Turkey, to our Ambassador communicated saw once the possi? of New at Straus he York, lay before situation, gained requested Caliph and an us he a careful of a holy war. After action felt the need of prompt

which of the and and

on his part, in behalf of the United
audience him, was

States; consequently he
with the of of A Abdul Sultan, re? the Moslem such to a body of ascertain

as Caliph not aware took

ligion to act in behalf of the followers of Islam in the Phil?
The ippines. Mohammedans whether elicited siderable Moros Mr. never his IX immediately they visited Mecca. the fact, that they not only numbers but that at that or not Sulu was in the Sacred with armed steps to Mecca telegram in con? visited Mecca very time there were of

from Strauss been

City. the



1796 with Tripoli,
successor, reads :

then an independent nation, which
in which Washington George Article concurred. II,


abrogated, John Adams


As the government is not in any sense States of the United as on the Christian in itself no charac? has founded it religion; of Mussel ter of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquihty men; and as said states never have entered into any war or act it is declared by the of hostility nation, against any Mahometan no shall ever that from pretext arising religious opinions parties the two of the harmony existing between produce an interruption

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358 In 1806, statements treaties to with all after were

JOHN P. FINLEY the war reiterated our with the Barbary by Jefferson. the same States, have We various

the Ottoman

1875, showing the Mohammedan toward After due caused a message

from that time Empire, extending lack of unfriendliness absolute religion. of these to be sent the Sultan, facts, to the Mohammedans as


Caliph hostilities ference can it is not

of the Philippine
against their with As

Islands forbidding them to enter into any


as no the Americans, inter? inasmuch Ameri? under be allowed religion would than that, have never the Moros asked more that agents, they at refused the time all overtures of letter had If the of made, Filipino thanks and at to said, least will of the but


by Aguinaldo's insurrection. President Mr. Straus

sent McKinley for the excellent had

a personal he work field.

its accomplishment thousand twenty pause lions to consider


the United in men

done, States the and also

in the troops what this means


the mil? piece

he will in money, in diplomacy, averting agents the

Aguinaldo^ near Moros offered their

appreciate a holy war. were repeatedly

this wonderful sent

coasts, yet in aid services with

they not only of the United of Sulu facts. in his says:

among stood fast,


In our

subsequent dealings we seem to have lost

the Moros

and Mindanao, report of 1902,

sight of these General Major George W. Davis, of the problem after a careful study

to at conversion and attempts But they are Mohammedans, if made, would result, as have all other Christianity probably failure. to proselyte these people, viz. in a complete attempts A prominent priest of the Jesuit order, who had spent twenty of Mindanao, years of his life in contact with the Mohammedans inmaking had yet succeeded said to the writer that no missionary in this or any other coun? converts among adult Mohammedans, to are sent among them, they are doomed If missionaries try. their religion would any interference with failure, and besides, Our gov? as an insult and resisted to the death. be resented them in the practice of their ernment will not, of course, molest our govern? our laws. But so long as they observe religion ment should not permit others (any persons) at least at present, to attempt their conversion to Christianity.

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THE MOHAMMEDAN Here religion is the had crux of

PROBLEM the whole

IN THE PHILIPPINES matter. If have


the Moros' been easy.


respected, know one not that;

all else would

The Dutch

in the East

Indies, with

their 35,000,000
and France recognize


Mohammedans, it. To go back that the Moro they could insurrection

England when Aguinaldo's to the Moros persuade

found agents join them and

some of these men in the remained failed, the of and under country guise friendship?pro? to poison the United ceeded the Moslems States against was the c?dula When government. increased, they said, "The Some to become to force you is to be used money to give you a better It is not government." of the Moros stories and resisted believed these the un? a was It tax little their lives. with (c?dula) extra that because missions, it gave as color allowed such, were to the stories told added in them their by

Christians. head

fortunate, country the Christian the able labors It was

and Filipinos, of the government

than to, rather for their betterment. governor,

aided, was

as the writer, several years before to gain the confidence of these strange reason was for this being, that his attitude persons, viz., that came, when was published



Province/' men wrote most intelligent ernor Finley, in which he the and not government said it must have done and

only they were " Law for the Moro the Organic in their dialect and one of their a very respectful letter to Gov? of the kindness remarked upon so much for the Moros trouble

One people. that of many The "savages."

in taking would be a good thing, or the Americans took time and much all this work that

of the sentence the crowning then he added learning; to send it to the people whole beseech "We you letter; was a bolt we from a for who need do not." That it, sure so were not did these clear they Why people sky. need What tions this had that law, they no savage that took ever penned of the place such it? an assertion? were We all ques? an began and found : a Bible of law,

investigation first of all, for learned

themselves. instantly presented if possible, to ascertain, these that men

things which was not they had the Koran, to dispute over, but a plain book

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360 that


act of a Mohammedan's every guides life, toward his his his family and himself. government, God, neighbor, a careful care? After and an equally study of the Koran, we ful inspection of their were found that teachers, they not being religion bodied teachers of Sulu in accordance with the doctrines of their taught em? in the Koran. laid down We thereupon our a request next in for Mohammedan report, as

of accredited and The rank. Sultans learning and many and Magindanao, of the leading men at once what such a request meant, and were recognized as overjoyed, because, they said themselves, they recognized was great and imperative, that their need in this direction was if progress to be made. the year we embodied Every same for in our reports and the Moro waited thing the consummation of this wish of their and prayed fathers and

years every ence, while

And here is the
the caciques and were wished of


All deadly parallel :"
Filipinos were




step of progress, the Moro leaders

insisting asking from to

their independa upon that the United States the

be government that while ing they here, which

and stat? Islands, true they Mohammedans, to be loyal Americans; also wanted and it was just we that to the intolerance Americans added with we had our own Indians, treated the sister sin of be We because that reading hesitated they to aid these to people in these their and chil? objected sending a cut that forever taught language the Koran, which is in sacred Arabic,

not withdrawn

indifference. desires, to dren them


off from

we blamed them. We failed at first to appreciate this need and did not aid them in learning this sacred language;
forgetting our hands the dangers that over of we the an roll our saintliness unknown and eyes heavenward clasp of the Pilgrims, who braved the rigors sea, and endured

of New England winters, in order that their children might not forget the faith of their fathers and the language
learned is a most at their mother's curious life in a foreign country. knee, old world, and one of its most This curious


is our attitude

toward the "other
our standpoint. What


if he

to view

is a virtue,

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THE MOHAMMEDAN in a man who does who not. sees




the world


sin in the one

In the organic
Government States, ise to July the Moros

law of the Philippine

of 5. solemn


Act, approved by the Congress we make the following 1, 1902) and Filipinos. (Section

the United prom? Guaranties

of personal


That no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble to for redress of grievances. the Government petition no law shall be made an establishment That of respecting the free exercise thereof and that the free religion or prohibiting of religious profession exercise and enjoyment and worship, with? out discrimination, shall forever be allowed.

In the Treaty
Spain, provides

of Peace between
on December

the United
10, 1898,

States and
Article 10,

at Paris signed that:

of the territories over which Spain relinquishes The inhabitants or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion. Our cause ernment with that sin against the the Moro basic is all the more grievous which the be?

of:?first, of the United religion; the


upon principles not to States is founded, that we assured the Moros second,

gov? interfere through

the head of the Moslem
this was anxious to become


the Sultan

of Turkey,

case; third, and remain

that whenever States; fourth, for his improvement had any measure sinister motive of divorcing him from his accepted Moros it. were In the Lake Lanao of our

was the Moro, himself, a good citizen of the United he became that convinced, not behind it the he readily religion, we inherited the country

trouble from the Spaniards.
fully cognizant

If we had waited
intentions, not




fere with their religion, the road could have been built without the slightest objection on their part. But they
had not before absolutely of that the no way of knowing the Spaniard. They began. that were our so attitude remote was from

Sulu, they had failed to receive the message

of the Caliph,

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362 When had the writer and

JOHN P. FINLEY went among the Moros, over whom there was he no

any measure, fully explained on their part after he had shown them that he objection or case to do so, could in of failure faith with kept them, so a reason him for it. trusted fully that they They give in him honor their and made conferred every power, upon him their Ambassador and to the Caliph, with true to inform him, the Caliph, that States of Islam, but also loyal citizens of the United to be taught to remain and wished so; and that they wished But why Mo? their duty to their God and to their country. Because the Koran and teachers? hammedan they know teachers followers the the be His nence life and sacred purposes Arabic, Moslem to the prayers is too well a petition they were




of the Prophet, and are familiar with and forms of worship. in his to armored religion, He has the same God. absti? things. and inculcates prayer, in all and temperance

converted Koran from

Christianity. constant teaches all intoxicants


lives by faith and his God

is an Entity

not a Person.

no Sunday to prayer. because every day is devoted reasons He for rejecting the Trinity, definite has very a are not to be argued he is which away. Yes, polygamist ?and the both out an Oriental latter explains to the days back harking the former. This question and educational as old grounds. as Abraham, which after of Solomon? of polygamy

is being solved by both the Turk and by the Moro,
economical of an Oriental resort It is not


creed of Islam that is to blame for it, but the following
custom to and which

still manifests
clandestine primal of civilization If we governing to embrace white man wish the

itself among

the Christian


in the


concubinage, of Natural that Selection, to cover. is not yet thick enough the honor and of life. the Moro satisfaction have It the of we must

all may be the veneer

the Moro

his viewpoint to interpret unless taken with he this most the Moro

successfully and skill patience is very difficult for the of view.

impossible Having to advance

lives with

point the Moros

important along the

Wholly for many years. step, we are prepared line of his own culture.

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religion neglect,


ridicule, the way pointing own system. Such confidence, insure peace Why to the attain of not

all without them laws, carrying or while contempt violence, continually to higher results ideals and better in his a course will remove suspicion, resistance, neutralize in leadership and by aiding beget and

promote loyalty, and progress. show our qualities of the Moros ideals? the Moro adopt will

prayers their best

by responding to fully them

If those ideals are finally found to be below the standard
the white man and is not be the first to realize the man shortcoming a course the another course. If the white but

is loath to abide this test he is unfit to lead the way.
compromising of consistency highest qualities show the white feather regarding and toleration patience confidence, resistance in the Moro. He to the Christian and our we judges ideals cultivate us toleration. by

exhibits If we refusing

and life.

contempt keenly by our

ideals and especially by their exemplification
Our zation not sion assumption is good that for to the because Christian a conception it must He

in our daily
and its reali? be

necessarily the motive

good for the Moro,
conclusive that and ultimate

and that he must
the Moslem.

finally adopt

it is

of the scheme, the conclu? purpose to is his faith, another under way change plan cases most and A demonstration in he is right. of our to get his view point. failure

questions and draws

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