As part of the Initiatives for International Dialogue’s commitment towards preventing and countering violent extremism, its work on conflict transformation is instrumental in facilitating social stability and peace. Upon its enactment, R.A. No. 11054 or the Organic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has heightened polarizing views in defiance against this victory. Circulation of hate speech in cyberspace aimed at demonizing the plight of Moros warrants for collective mitigation and reconciliation of differences to arrive with a peaceful transition and normalization of the situation.
Hatred and intolerance concerning a particular group, in this case the Moros, based on their religion, or any other factor, produce not just discrimination but rather the likelihood of action and incitement to violence. The use of derogatory and demeaning rhetoric, oftentimes online, further aggravates the conflict on the ground. In return, this exacerbates the division and alienation of the struggle of the Moro people from the mainstream.
Proliferation of pejorative narratives on social media against Muslims in Mindanao not only worsen their condition, but to a great extent, generate an intensified and organized mobilization targeted against them. The United Nations further reiterated that “hate speech is a menace to democratic values, social stability and peace”.
Consistent with these efforts is safeguarding progression on social healing, right to self-determination, participatory governance in a deliberative society, addressing historical grievances and atrocities of land dispossession. With this transition currently taking shape, the mandates on transitional justice must commit in campaigning against the escalation of hate speech online and incitement to violence against Moros. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, put into words the meaning of transitional justice as the “full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale abuses committed in the past, in order to achieve accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation”.
At present, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), together with the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), aimed to provide policy recommendations towards the normalization of the situation in the region. Consistent with these efforts is safeguarding the progression on social healing and reconciliation, a rights-based approach in addressing historical grievances, participatory governance in a deliberative society, attainment of human security, sustainable and community-based livelihood, and addressing historical injustices and atrocities of land dispossession.
The Initiatives for International Dialogue stands firm that transitions are periods that may be unsteady and uncertain but these are also moments of possibilities and opportunities for change, healing, and peace.