Dr. Guimba Poingan, a noted professor at the Mindanao State University (MSU) revealed this observation during a peace-building seminar and interfaith dialogue sometimes ago, co-sponsored by the Muslim Organization of Government Officials and Professionals (MOGOP) and the Australian Government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Poingan recalled that the Muslim issue was a persistent problem decades ago and study conducted in the 60s revealed that education was the solution as Muslims then were less-educated.
“Education was seen as the best solution,” he said, “and Muslim leaders in the government such as the late Senator Domocao Alonto worked hard for the establishment of MSU.”
Poingan said that the very objective of MSU was to provide education to the Muslims and other cultural communities and to preserve their cultural heritage. It was also for this reason that the Maranao in Marawi donated their 1000 hectares of land for MSU to be established.
Since its conception, he added, “MSU has not provided better education to the Muslims, much more preserved their cultural heritage.”
To prove his point, Poingan cited data indicating that out of the 7,150 graduates from 1964 to 2000, majority were Christians, only 30 percent were Muslims, and of this percentage, only 40 percent were graduates of degrees.
As regards to its mandate of preserving Muslim cultures, Poingan said what MSU did was to create the Darangen Dance Trouope and the Sining Kambayok which he jokingly said was sometimes referred to as Sining Kambayota.
He stressed: This did not only corrupt our culture; they destroyed it. They incorporate un-Islamic concepts such as backless dancing which is purely un-Islamic and alien to our culture but they present them as Muslim’s.”
Poingan also considered MSU to have failed in the research and extension services.