Sultan Kudarat, A Mindanao Hero, Mindanao’s Most Powerful Ruler

Sultan Kudarat, A Mindanao Hero, Mindanao’s Most Powerful Ruler

(Sultan Mohammad Dipatuan Kudarat)  

Nine years after the coming of the Spanish colonizer and Captain General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to the Philippines, precisely, in the year 1580, Sultan Mohammad Dipatuan Kudarat was born. This great Muslim leader ruled over his Sultanate of Maguindanao (now Mindanao) in a span of 52 years (1619-1671). His career as a ruler was considered one of the most colorful in Philippine history. He was married to one of the daughters of Sultan Mawallil Wasit of the Sulu Archipelago, who ruled over his sultanate during the early part of the 17th century. Sultan Kudarat was the contemporary of both Raha Bongsu and the latter’s son Sultan Salah Ud-Din Bakhtiar. Sultan Kudarat died at the ripe age of 91 years.

Sultan Kudarat’s domain was situated in the mainland of Mindanao covering what are now known as the three Cotabato provinces, the provinces of Bukidnon and the two Lanaos. Sultan Kudarat had also some ties with the Sulu Sultanate, he being the son-in-law of Sultan Mawallil Wasit. His prestige and influence was not only confined within his own domain. He was also widely known and respected in the ancient Sulu Sultanate as far as Sabah. He was mainly influential in creating a pervading consciousness of the Islam religion among the Muslim inhabitants of the different sultanates reaching as far as the Moluccas. Sultan Kudarat was also titled Nasir Uddin and in the 1650’s he was recognized as the most powerful Muslim ruler in the Philippines.

When Sultan Kudarat’s father, Sultan Buisan, died in 1602, he ascended to the power as Ruler of the Maguindanao Sultanate. During the reign of his father, Mindanao experienced the first attack of the Spaniards. Sultan Kudarat himself had armed encounters with the Spanish conquistadors who wanted to wrest from him the possession of his sultanate. He successfully repulsed them.

In the early part of the year 1637, Hurtado de Corcuera, Captain and Governor General of the Philippines, led personally the combined Spanish Indio forces and attacked the Muslim citadel at Lamitan near Lake Lanao. Sultan Kudarat with 2,000 native warriors met the enemy in what was considered as the bloodiest and one of the biggest battles of his career. The Muslim leader and his warriors including women and children, fought great vigor and bravery, many of them heroically dying in the struggle. Kudarat sustained a bullet wound in one arm, fought his way through the Spanish lines and escaped. His wife, clasping her baby at her breast, also ran through the Spanish lines, jumped over a cliff and eluded capture.

Sultan Kudarat rallied the other Muslim leaders to maintain their hold on the Islam Faith and to defend their respective enclaves from foreign incursions. When some of the Maranao chieftains collaborated with the Spaniards in the construction of a walled fort in the midst of the Muslim settlements, he convened them at a place and lectured to them emphasizing that they should realize the serious consequences of their collaboration with the Spaniards.

It was known that Sultan Kudarat, in his lectures to his countrymen, had the power to penetrate their innermost feelings. He said:

“What have you done? Do you realize what subjection would reduce you to? A toilsome slavery under the Spaniards! Turn your eyes to the subject nations and look at the misery to which such glorious nations had been reduced. Look at the Tagalogs and the Visayans! Do you think that the Spaniards would consider you of better stuff? Have you not seen how the Spaniards have trampled them under their feet? Do you not see how they are obliged to work at the oars and at the factories everyday with all their might and rigors? Can you tolerate anyone with a little Spanish blood to beat you up and grasp the fruits of your labor? Allow yourselves today and tomorrow you will be at the oars. I, at least, will be a pilot, the biggest favor they will allow in a ship. Do not let their sweet words deceive you. Their promises facilitate their deceits, which, little by little, will enable them to control everything. Reflect on how they dishonored even the minor promises they made to the heads of other nations until they had become masters of them all. See now what is being done to these heads and how they are being led by a rod!”

It took about three hundred years to pass before due recognition and honors were given to this very great and most valiant Muslim leader – Sultan Mohammad Dipatuan Kudarat. To honor and glorify him, President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared him a national hero to be enshrined in the National Hall of Fame side by side with the other great national heroes for all generations to emulate.

Philippine history : reassessed, Abeto, Isidro Escare, University of Michigan Digital Library

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Is China Embellishing its economy through despotism?

The Land of Dragon, propaganda and ulterior motives i.e. China has always been a part of discussions among countries across the globe. Some of these nations are rapidly becoming its ‘economical’ partners and few of them like USA, India,Japan and nowadays Australia (after knowing that Beijing is trying to influence their politicians) are speaking against it. The others are still deciding, Policies of Trump has shook their faith in USA but they do not trust Xi Jinping either. Speculations are rife that China is on the verge of becoming a Global force able to change the world order. Though, is this road made by supporting Dictorians and using the blood of innocents? To know the answer, we first need to peek inside China itself. Let’s start with its Achilles’ heel, East Turkestan.

There is a famous Chinese proverb, A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections. East Turkestan is just that for PRC,an Imperfect Diamond. It was occupied by them in October 1949.This realm is home to Millions of Uyghurs who are a Turkic ethnic group. Alas, its name was changed to Xinjiang, means new territory. Uyghurs never liked the communist regime and after their nation’s accession. There was nothing common between both the regions. From Turkish traditions to their belief in Quran. From the songs they sung to the pictures they painted. From their food to the clothes they wore. Even their Names, language and games were different from that of Chinese. One can understand these disparities by a single fact that Uyghurs have a religion while China believes in atheism.

The above Dissimilarities were always dealt in a harsh manner. The PRC put unthinkable restrictions on Uyghur community. No one was allowed to practice Islam or study Quran. Their farmlands and ancestral homes were being snatched away. The influential leaders, nationalist scholars and artists were all being hanged to death. People even came out on streets to save East Turkestan but they were butchered by military. Basically, anyone who uttered a single word against China was behind the bar. Then came the cultural revolution by Mao, only the mention of this incident and one can recall all the horrors of that time. During this incident too, Uyghurs remained the main targets of Maoists. In spite of being poles apart and its unlikeliness for the people, China occupied East Turkestan.

Till this day, Uyghurs are suffering in the hands of communist regime as it desperately tries to hold on this territory but Why????

At present, East Turkestan is the largest Chinese occupied division and the eighth largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million km2.. Not only this,the most well-known route of the historical Silk Road ran through the territory from the east to its northwestern border. In recent decades, abundant oil and mineral reserves have been found here, and it is the largest natural gas-producing region for Beijing. Traditionally an agricultural region, East Turkestan also has large deposits of minerals and oil including abundant reserves of coal, crude oil, and natural gas. 

Ripping off the Uyghur land of its resources,the oil and gas extraction industry in Aksu and Karamay is booming, with the West–East Gas Pipeline connecting to Shanghai. Over a fifth of China’s coal, natural gas and oil resources came due to the invasion of East Turkestan. And today it plays a vital role in Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. He is leaving no stone unturned to exploit Uyghurs and suppress their voice of freedom.

Though it is not only the people of East Turkestan who are being punished for their natural wealth. If we take a look at the countries who think China as their ally, we will find that those Governments are themselves wolves in sheep’s clothing. A large number of investments made by Beijing have been in conflicted zones with an authoritarian Government. Countries like Maldives,Philippines, Cambodia, parts of Africa, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc. have one thing in common and that is lack of freedom. The common people in these countries are already suffering and by filling the pockets of corrupt politicians, China is making sure that the situation remains the same.

This attitude of a wannabe super power is due to one reason, Economy. China wants to increase and expand its economy by Hook or crook.”

The economic interests of Beijing has always overshadowed the Humanitarian issues all over the world and recent Rohingya crisis is a testimony to this fact. China’s reaction to it has uncovered its true intentions. Millions of Rohingyas were left without homes, many died and children were orphaned but PRCsupported the Myanmar Government. All of this because of a pipeline which will let Beijing acquire 200,000 barrels of crude a day. It is no coincidence that the areas of the pipeline passing through Myanmar’sRakhine states includes ethnic cleansing ofthe Rohingya. 

Same is the case in other countries. Beijing’s giant state corporations have invested billions of dollars in dams, oilfields and mines to dominate theCambodian investment landscape. In Maldives, it has given Huge loans to the corrupt PPM Government and investing in infrastructure projects like Hulhumale Housing schemes, bridges etc. It has influenced the Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte so well that he is supporting Xi Jinpingin claiming most of the South China Sea. China has also set up funds with the UAE and Qatar worth a total $20 billion to invest in conventional energy. It extended its contracts to buy oil and half of Beijing’s oil imports originate from the Middle East. The Governments of these countries are either too weak or draconian in nature.

According to Xi Jinping or any Dragon leader it isn’t worth one’s while if millions of people are dying or living in horrible condition. They will keep ignoring Rohingya Genocide, imprisonment of Human Rights activists and journalists, murders of politicians, bloggers being flogged 100 times or Millions forced to step on Land Mines until they hinder China’s growth. They will keep flourishing an economy on the cost of Human lives and pave its way amid corpses. Its been more than 60 years since Uyghurs are suffering and now the Dragon is trapping other countries too.

According to Mao Zedong, Political power grew out of the barrel of the gun. Following his leader, Xi Jinping is growing Economic power too from that same barrel of gun.

Originally posted on Turkistan Times