Many happy returns of the day to the Honorable Mayor Juiapal “Jojo”Guiani Jr. and to Atty. Cynthia Sayade. Likewise, birthday greetings to Dr. Antonio Areola, Dr. Emil Caoagdan, Joseph Angelo Toquillo, Dionelyn Roche, Remnel Lim, and Linesa Saplot.
Small amounts of alcohol like 1/2 to 1 ½ ounces of alcohol (1 to 3 drinks) can act as stimulant which can make a person giddy and talkative and sometimes boisterous and violent, and this is where a possible “rumble” can happen among the drinking partners after a heated argument. Larger amounts of alcohol, however, can depress the brain function resulting in slowed, impaired movements, unsteadiness and sleepiness. So, people suffering from insomnia turn to alcohol in order to be able to sleep. There are also those depressed, who also turn to alcohol, but this is not correct because alcohol can cause more depression. Those with problems of whatever cause also turn to alcohol and sure, the pain may ease but when the effect of alcohol wears off, the problem still remains.
Earlier, I said that alcohol causes liver cirrhosis and this medical condition is irreversible and incurable.
Going now to each anatomic part of our body, the following are the effects of alcohol:
1. Brain---alcohol causes cerebellar degeneration, reduced coordination, poor short term memory, loss of contact with reality.
2. Esophagus (passage of food and liquid)---causes inflammation or the so-called esophagitis.
3. Nerves---can cause peripheral neuropathy, meaning, deterioration of nerves in the arms and legs that control movements. Reduced ability to walk.
4. Small intestines---alcohol can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and other nutrients.
5. Pancreas (lapay)---can cause inflammation called pancreatitis, low blood sugar, cancer.
6. Liver---aside from liver cirrhosis, alcohol can increase fat accumulation (fatty liver) and inflammation (hepatitis), cancer.
7. Blood---alcohol alters acutely the production of red cells causing anemia, and decrease production of white blood cells.
8. Heart---decreases heart contractility, abnormal heart beat, and heart failure.
9. Stomach---inflammation of the lining of the stomach called gastritis, ulcers.
10. Genitourinary---decreased sex drive.
11. Nutritional--- alcohol will cause low folic acid, iron, and niacin levels. These can lead fatigue, weakness, light headedness, birth defects.
12. Blood vessels--- can cause high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke.
Drinking alcohol may worsen existing depression, and alcoholics have a higher likelihood of becoming depressed than do nonalcoholics. Binge drinking often causes deep feelings of remorse during dry periods, alcoholics are suicide-prone even when they are not drinking. In pregnant women, alcohol use can cause severe birth defects in the developing fetus, including low birth weight, short body length, small head size, heart damage, muscle damage, and low intelligence or mental retardation.
Alcoholism leads to many destructive behaviors. Drunkenness may disrupt family and social relationships; married couples often divorce or get legal separation. Extreme absenteeism from work can lead to unemployment. Heavy drinking can produce an acute alcoholic myopathy characterized by painful and swollen muscles, high levels of serum creatine phosphokinase. Effects on the skeletal system include alterations in calcium metabolism with an increased risk for fractures and oeteonecrosis of the femoral head (long bone of the thigh).
As I close this article, I wish to give a little “consolation” for our alcohol drinkers. One to two drinks per day over long periods may DECREASE the risk of cardiovascular death, perhaps through an increase in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) which is the “good cholesterol.”
Dr. Ramon Rabago Jr. is the former Head of the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the then Cotabato Regional Hospital, Incumbent Head of the Dept. of Family Medicine (General Practice) of Notre Dame Hospital, and Principal of the Midwifery Dept. of the Southern Phils. College of Science and Health Education, Parang, Maguindanao.
The stuff of Life 6-15-13
For Father’s Day Celebration, we take a look at two sons, following in the footsteps of their famous fathers.
In far away Houston, Texas, a young man quit college at Oral Roberts Univ. to set up his father’s TV ministry and worked for him for the local Houston Ministry Show. He happened to be one of the 5 children of Pastor John Osteen, who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and set up with his wife Dodie, the Lakewood Church from an old feed store with a 234 seat capacity. These were always fully packed with parishioners in the vicinity.
Despite the lack of theological education, Joel took over the ministry after the demise of his father. He became very popular and convincing televangelist, trailing only Billy Graham. Oprah professed that Joel’s sermon at one time “changed the way I see my life”. His services border on non-sectarian, there are no crosses in evidence. His first book, “Your Best Life Now” sold millions of copies.
He does not share in the tithing received by his church yet earns a whopping 43 million dollars annually from the proceeds of his books. He was chosen as the most influential Christian in America, and today, there are 48,000 members of Lakewood Church; 7 million viewers weekly in the US and 100 other countries. (Count me as one of his avid followers; since I got hold of his book, “Your Life Everyday”, I personally live by “I declare”-a compilation of Declarations for the day to day challenges.) His message of faith and hope is embodied in his inspirational praise “anything is possible if you have the faith to believe it”.
It is not fair to compare him to his Dad. Times are different, the needs and means of improving oneself and ones relationships have changed. While John Osteen refers constantly to Biblical Passages, Joel chooses stories from the Bible to deliver as encouragement and inspiration. Such as, what was David thinking when he engaged Goliath in a fight?
Another son of a famous father right here in Cotabato City is Dr. Ramon Rabago Jr. The following story is his testimony. “Being a son of a doctor made me proud and I feel safe since medical attention is readily available. As a proof, I remember when I was 6 years old, I got seriously ill with malaria where I nearly lost my life. But since my father was a doctor, (may he rest in peace), I completely recovered even when I was not hospitalized.
When I became a doctor myself, I worked in his clinic where I was able to learn his old methods (which are now obsolete) of treating patients. Being a new graduate, in his clinic I was completely dependent on him for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases except major surgeries. Most of all, I was able to learn the medical terms in the Muslim dialect. After one year, he sent me to the Cotabato Regional Hospital for further training and I felt bad because I would be far away from my private consultant and tutor. But later, I did not regret because I learned to operate all major surgical cases. My father then became proud of me because I showed him the specimens that I operated on and at one time, I saw him shed tears when he was listening to me as a Guest Speaker in one of their gatherings.
My father placed 7th in the Medical Board examinations. I passed it with only a grade of 81, a far cry from his 7th place. I did not bother to ask him what his grade was, but anyway, 7th place, is 7th place, right?
My father was very active with the Phil. Medical Association (PMA). In fact, he was elected Vice President for Mindanao, I outdid him in being elected to a national position eight times, unprecedented in the history of the same PMA.
My father founded the Cotabato City Medical Society in 1966 and again, not to be outdone and following his footsteps, I also founded the Cotabato City Chapter of the Phil. Academy of Family Physicians, a Specialty Society of the PMA. Fifteen years later, I became the president of this Society he founded.”
TRUE TO FORM 6-15-13
IN FAIRNESS, a dog to many is still man’s best friend. Recently their good attributes as exemplified in a canine named Kabang got worldwide attention for saving her master’s kids from being rammed by a speeding motorbike in Zamboanga City late last year. A heart-warming series written by an INQUIRER colleague Julie Alipala spread like wildfire as it also went viral in social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The dog’s daring stunt to shield the would-be victims from harm had caused serious damage to her face. The dog tale touched human emotion as it generated donations here and abroad amounting to about a million pesos for her medical treatment. Seven months after the dog’s confinement at a California veterinary hospital in the United States, she’s back home, showered with a hero’s welcome on Saturday, four days ahead of the nation’s 115th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence.
From the Spanish era all the way down to the American and Japanese occupations, the Philippines seems to have not been liberated as the same issues and concerns are still the very call of the day among fellow nationals in government and the private sector. While we succeeded in driving away foreign colonizers, we are confronted with the same problem that made President Manuel Quezon’s valedictory address prophetic -- `I would prefer a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by Americans.’
Remember that the tongue is powerful and hard to control. Whatever one speaks from the heart may come to pass and we now reap the sown-seed. Be it known that no man can tame the tongue, for it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men. Thus, perhaps man’s change of affection has turned to animal pets with the scientific belief that we, too, belong to the animal kingdom. But God emphatically declared that man is the most precious among all His creations, contrary to atheists’ insistence that we originated from apes. Man is so special in a way that God gave His only begotten Son to die and redeem us from our iniquities. But such manifestation of Christ dying on the cross so others may live was witnessed in Kabang hoping not to demean the noble purpose of doing good. If dogs can do it, why can’t humans? As the late Senator Benigno Aquino once said, `Filipinos are worth dying for’ was another prophesy-fulfilled when slain by a gunman at the Manila International Airport, returning from his US exile just to meet destiny in exchange for the restoration of democracy.
That fateful bloody event that sparked People Power in 1986 brought to mind another story of a loyal dog loved by a caring couple, who entrusted their newly born child asleep in a crib to the pet animal while out for a grocery routine. Upon arriving home, they opened the door and fresh blood littered the floor up to the room where the infant was, and saw the dog’s blood-spotted mouth. The husband outraged by what he and his wife saw, got hold of a rifle and killed the pet dog. When both rushed to check the crib, the baby was alive awaken by the gunburst, and saw a smothered Python lying dead. In disgust, the couple wailed in remorse for having killed the dog that saved their baby child from an intruding snake. What lesson can be drawn from these dog tales? If animals, like dogs can be loyal to their masters, why can’t men do the same? To do good is trusting God, and not to lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways, we should acknowledge Him to direct our steps. Do we need dogs to show us the way to our heavenly Master? Like the poor family of Rodolfo Bunggal, who’s askal Kabang has transformed the family to better life, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat gladly provided the dog’s master a house and lot worth P140,000 with a condition that the occupants would take good care of the hero in them, that according to our friend Julie has turned into an `ambassador of dogwill.’ But as God’s envoys, first and foremost, we were told not to trust a friend, nor put our confidence in men; for the son dishonors father, daughter rises against her mother, for a man’s enemies are men of his own household. So, seek the Lord and fear Him (Micah 7:5-7) for not all good deeds of men are pleasing Him. My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither My ways are your ways, says the Master (Isaiah 55:8).
MATH AND SCIENCE 6-15-13
This will help us imagine how strong or weak an earthquake is when it happens to our area or in other places.
The size of an earthquake is referred to as its magnitude on a scale from 1 – 10. Magnitudes as low as 1 are measured in mines due to rock bursts and the maximum magnitude possible is less than 10.
For every unit increase in magnitude, there is roughly a thirty-fold increase in the energy released. For instance, a magnitude 2.0 earthquake releases about 30 times more energy than a magnitude 1.0 earthquake, while a magnitude 3.0 earthquake releases 900 times (30x30) more energy than a magnitude 1.0.
In Australia, seismologists (people who study earthquakes) prefer the use of the moment magnitude scale, which calculates the magnitude of an earthquake based on physical properties such as the area of movement (slip) along the fault plane.
The table below outlines expected impacts of earthquakes. Damage to buildings will depend on how they were built. For locations near the centre of the earthquake the following impacts may occur: Causes extensive damage - waves seen on the ground’s surface, objects thrown into the air; when causing significant damage, most buildings collapse.
=(Magnitude 9.0 Japan 2011.) (8 and over) causes extensive damage, waves seen on the ground’s surface, objects thrown into the air.
=(7.4 – 7.9) causes significant damage, most buildings collapse.( Magnitude 7.1 Christchurch 2010)
=(7.0-7.3) serious damage to buildings, bridges twist, walls fracture, many buildings collapse
=(6.2. 6.9) Significant building damage, houses move on their foundations, chimneys fall, furniture moves.
=(5.5 -6.1) Some damage to buildings, plaster cracks, bricks fall, chimneys damaged
(Magnitude 5.4 Moe 2012) (Magnitude 5.6 Newcastle 1989)
=(4.9-5.4) Felt by everyone, dishes break and doors swing, unstable objects overturn.
(Magnitude 4.6 Korumburra 2009)
=(4.3 - 4.8) Felt by many people, windows rattle, dishes disturbed, standing cars rock.
(3.5 - 4.2) Felt by people who are indoors and some outdoors. Hanging objects may swing.
=(4.3 -4.8) Felt by people who are indoors and some outdoors. Hanging objects may swing
(Less than 3.4) Usually felt by only a few people near the earthquake’s origin. These sized earthquakes are common in Australia and cause little to no damage. (Google, Earthquakes Facts)
Reminder: Knights of Columbus members and officers of Council 6591 of Our Lady of Holy Rosary Parish this city are reminded of their 6 0’clock AM mass and fraternal meeting after the mass at the KC hall, back of the church.
STUFF OF LIFE June 7, 2
My summer season’s preacher Joel Osteen, wrote in his widely subscribed book “I Declare” , for Day 3 of the said book:” I declare I have the grace I need for today. I am full of power, strength and determination. Nothing I face will be too much for me. I will overcome every obstacle, outlast every challenge, and come through every difficulty better off than I was before. This is my declaration.”
Mornings at home are leisurely moments where the hubby and I take time to sip our coffee, share boiled candaba or some root crop. I would check my mail, facebook and some news, while the hubby goes over the day old papers. We take time until our precious Gina, our housekeeper for the past 15 years, serves breakfast. She is married to Richard, the baker who works for our neighbor. They live a few houses from us, so Gina can easily come for work.
This Monday morning, the hubby and I were going over what needs to be accomplished at work this week. Gina comes in daily without fail by 7. At 8:00 a.m., no Gina was around. Then came her husband, telling us Gina was knocking at our door as early as half-past 6 but presumed we were not yet up and left. Today being first day of school, Gina’s child, who lives with her mother, was going to school for the first time; the names in her certificates and other documents do not match - there was a need to fix these as early as now, before it’s going to complicate matters when the need arises. So, in a rush, off Gina went home to Lebak.
That leaves me to get the breakfast ready. That should be no sweat. I raised 3 daughters and fed a finicky life partner, what could go wrong? How did Joel Osteen predict my current predicament? “I declare I have the grace I need today.” It’s been years since I actually, really got inside my kitchen. After all, Gina ruled over it since she had been trained all these years.
Joel Osteen says, I should declare “I am full of power, strength and full of determination. Nothing I face will be too much for me”. Still disorientated, I repeated the words over and over, more so because I wondered when this kettle was going to whistle. I know I bought it because I was told when the water inside was boiling, the kettle would whistle; the hubby likes the water for his coffee scalding hot, but blows the water to cool before taking it in. While getting the water boiling, I rush to set the table. Now, what set of plates do we usually use for breakfast? Does that matter? Yes to us, we like florals, yellows to start up a good day. What do I serve?
“I will overcome every obstacle” encouraged Joel. I have forgotten how the rice dispenser works; when finally I got to open it, there was only a few cups of rice left (got to ask Myrna to send a sack pronto). How many cups do I prepare for just the two of us? The greater obstacle is: the rice cooker does not heat-up. I managed to get us a decent serving of rice, enough to last us 6 meals. So discouraged was I, my next declaration was: “Robert, I give you permission to divorce me!” Breakfast that morning consisted of left over fried chicken, badly scrambled eggs and a can of pork and beans. Is there a can-opener for lefties? Because I barely managed the can-opener. The next challenge was “what’s for lunch?” and dinner? What else but, take lunch and dinner out.
On the second day of Gina’s absence, “I will outlast every challenge” Joel inspired. No longer so disorientated, and a stranger in my own kitchen, I got breakfast ready in no time, after all, there was ample day old rice to make garlic rice, more left over from dining out. It got so monotonous, heating and re-eating left- overs, the dog is having a feast. Now I understand why my aunt who lived in the States advised for me to just go visit, but not stay: while a friend had returned to retire in the Philippines because “he did not want to wash dishes to his dying day.” With regards to washing dishes, if Gina does not return tomorrow, somebody is going to eat from paper plates for sure.
Until tomorrow, I quote Joel again “I declare I will come through every difficulty better off than I was before”. This is my declaration. So help me God.
Thinking Aloud 6-8-13
June 5, Wednesday, was World Environment Day.
The United Nations Environment Program website describes WED as an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round and climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.
The World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
This year’s theme for World Environment Day is “Think. Eat. Save.”
A look at global food statistics would help explain why.
According to the World Food Program website, 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. This number has fallen by 130 million since 1990, but progress slowed after 2008. The vast majority of hungry people (98 percent) live in developing countries, where almost 15% of the population is undernourished. Asia and the Pacific have the largest share of the world's hungry people (some 563 million).
A few years ago, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization commissioned a study on food global production and consumption. In a document entitled Global Food Losses and Food Waste, the study revealed that approximately one third or some 1.3 billion tons of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted.
The study also bared that consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food yearly (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons). The amount of food lost or wasted yearly is equivalent to more than half of the world's annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tons in 2009/2010).
While food wastage is more of a problem in rich or industrialized countries, food loss hounds poor and developing ones. Food loss, according to the FAO, occurs at the production, harvest, post-harvest and processing phases primarily as a result of poor infrastructure, low levels of technology and low investment in the food production systems.
The report noted that food losses during harvest and in storage result to lost income for small farmers and to higher prices for poor consumers
What needs to be done to reduce food waste and food loss?
The report offered several practical suggestions.
In the case of food loss in developing countries, strengthening the food supply chain by assisting small farmers to link directly to buyers could be done. The private and public sectors should also invest more in infrastructure, transportation and in processing and packaging.
On the consumption end, the study proposes changing attitudes. Avoid buying more food than you need. It is best to plan food purchases properly. And always keep in mind: throwing food away needlessly is unacceptable.
This writer joins the Catholic Faithful in the celebration of the Year of the Faith and in commemoration of the solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ). Birthday greetings to one of my most helpful friends, Mr. Marlon Tumimbang.
Most people including doctors advice their patients/friends to drink moderately but what is moderate drinking? Some men say drinking ten bottles of beer is moderate. Frankly speaking, moderate drinking means no more than 2 drinks for women and no more than 3 drinks for men per occasion. One drink consists of 12 oz. of regular beer, 5 oz of wine or 1 ½ oz of distilled spirit (80% proof). Binge drinking on the other hand means an intake of 5 or more drinks in succession. I hope this is clear to my ardent readers.
Most people know only that excessive alcoholic drinking will lead to liver cirrhosis but little do they know that liver cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer. Liver cirrhosis is the destruction of normal liver tissue that leaves nonfunctioning scar tissue surrounding areas of functioning liver tissue. The liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol is labeled as Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis (ALC) in contrast to those who developed cirrhosis not due to alcohol which is called Non-Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis (N-ALC). Alcoholic cirrhosis is the most common bad effect of alcohol. Another effect of alcohol is what we call Chronic Alcoholism which can cause “Chronic Alcohol Brain syndrome” which causes memory and recall problems, emotional instability and difficulty in maintaining balance with the behavior being erratic. The victim of Chronic Alcoholism can develop high blood pressure and Coronary Heart Disease that may lead to heart attack.
However, in my subsequent issues on this topic, I’ll mention that some experts say that alcohol can lower the risk of heart disease.
Excessive alcohol drinking can lead to numerous accidents, vehicular or otherwise, injuries such as falls, sexual molestation, crimes, mental and physical problems and office and school performances are affected. During my college days, I learned from our class in Legal Medicine that one of the defenses of an accused in sexual assaults who was under the influence of liquor would claim that he did not know what he was doing being drunk at that time the crime was committed. I wish to rebuke this claim in that even a drunken person perfectly knows what he is doing but the only thing lost in him is inhibition, meaning, he loses his control of himself so the defense that “hindi ko alam ang aking ginagawa ” is without basis.
What about red wine or the so-called “Ladies’Drink”? Even red wine have different strengths of alcohol. Some have 4.5 vol. %, some have 11 vol. %, and some even reach 18 vol. %. Even the priest wine, “Mompo” has 18 vol.%. So, excessive drinking of these wines can also lead to drunkenness. At this point in time, I wish to share my personal experience when I ate a lot of imported seedless grapes in one of the Christmas parties I attended. After consuming about a plateful of grapes, I felt groggy and drunk although I have never experienced being drunk since I am not an alcohol drinker and truthfully, there is no single drop of alcohol in my blood. This goes to show that even raw grapes when digested in our gastrointestinal tract can become alcohol in our blood, hence, it can make you feel drunk.
To be continued to Part 4 for more bad effects of alcohol.
MATH AND SCIENCE 6-8-13
Carmen, North Cotabato, is in fear of possible eruption of Mt. Apo due to the frequent jarring of the earth with intensity 5 more or less.
Carmen is at the foot of Mt. Apo, known as the highest volcano in the Philippines. It is possible they remember Mt. Pinatubo in Central Luzon. According to new reports, then, after sleeping for 600 years, Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 suddenly opened up and blasted the provinces of Pampanga, Talac up to Pangasinan, and with hot lahar and mud buried thousands of people, buildings and all within the circumference of hundreds of kilometers away. Its cloud of dust reached Manila and even darkened the sky around the word.
Here are some signs when a volcano is about to erupt. It is based on what I remember about Taal Volcano in Batangas.
I was studying in Manila then. People heard rumbling sound of the earth. Animals and birds were restless; dogs howling day and night. Fishermen had scarce catch.
According to reports, the one in Carmen is tectonic. Here is a simple explanation. There are several plates or big chunks near the surface of the earth. Each chunk is called a plate. These plates are separated by fault line. When two or more plates bump each other the impact causes a vibration. By law of Physics, the bigger the plates colliding each other, the stronger is the vibration and the higher is its intensity. Therefore it is possible that the one in Carmen is called tectonic in origin.
Using this theory of Physics, the one in Cotabato City in 1976 that caused wide destructions and death of thousands of those living along the shore have been done by the colliding of two big plates along the fault line near the shore of Kusiong.
Why are these plates moving? According to Physics again, the center of the earth is very hot that even rocks melt. These melted rocks are called magma. Like boiling water, the body of magma is a current of different directions causing plates to move. Some plates bump each other and cause vibration or shaking of the earth. We call this earthquake. (Like what I see in the internet, I would like to ask my readers to help me explain more about this.)
Attention: (1) Officers and Members of the Retirees Association are reminded of their monthly meeting this Saturday, June 8 at the Regional Office of Civil Service Commission, Cotabato City. It is more fun in the Retirees monthly meeting. Let us go.
(2) Knights of Columbus who are members and officers of Bishop McSorely Assembly will have their monthly Mass and fraternal meeting at the Cathedral and KC hall Cotabato City this Sunday, June 9.
In case you missed the issue last Saturday, we are publishing the puzzles again.
Let us stretch our mind on mathematics to do away the humdrum of election matters. Try solving the puzzle, find the triangles in the figure.
How many triangles are there in the figure?
Explain well your solution so that we can follow it with ease. Send your answer to this paper, the Mindanao Cross and get your prize of P100 if it is correct. If more than one gets the correct answer, we raffle their names to pick one to get the prize.
A NEW study by the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. finds that the “most adherents” (to Islam) of the world’s Muslims are “deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape, not only their personal lives, but also their societies and politics.”
According to the study made available to US Press on April 30, 2013, majority of Muslims in 39 countries “say that Islam is the one true faith, leading to eternal life in heaven and that belief in God is necessary to be a moral person.”
“Many also think that their religious leaders should have at least some influence over political matters, and many express a desire for sharia (Muslim law) to be recognized as the official law of their country.” But the percentage of Muslims who say they want sharia to be “the official law of the land” varies widely, from eight percent to near unanimity in Afghanistan (99 percent).
At the same time, the survey finds that even in many countries where there is strong backing for sharia, most Muslims favor religious freedom for people of other faiths. In Pakistan, for example, three-fourths of Muslims say that non-Muslims are very free to practice their religion, and 96 percent of those who share this assessment say it is “a good thing.” But 84 percent of Pakistani Muslims favor sharia for an official law.
Pew Research explains that “these seemingly divergent views are possible partly because most supporters of sharia in Pakistan – as in many other countries – think Islamic law should apply only to Muslims. “Moreover, Muslims around the globe have held differing understandings of what sharia means in practice.”
The new survey report also provides some room for comparison with previous Pew Research Center surveys on Muslims in the United States. “Like most Muslims worldwide, U.S. Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.”
As a visiting journalist covering for the Foreign Press Center in Washington D.C., I attended the Pew Research Center’s presentation of its first study on the US Muslims in autumn of 2011. According to this study, “American Muslims are much more likely than Muslims in other countries to have close friends who do not share their faith, and they are much more open to the idea that many religions – not only Islam – can lead to eternal life in heaven.”
“At the same time, U.S. Muslims are less inclined than their co-religionists around the globe to believe in evolution; and on this subject, they are closer to U.S. Christians.”
The study titled, "The World’s Muslims: Religion," Politics and Society is based on individual interviews with 38,000 self-identified Muslims in 39 countries and territories, and had been conducted in more than 80 languages.
The survey was conducted in two phases. Fifteen sub-Saharan African countries with substantial Muslim populations were surveyed in 2008-2009, and some of those results were previously analyzed in the Pew Research Center’s 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Twenty-four more countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe were surveyed in 2011-2012; results regarding religious beliefs and practices were first published in the Pew Research Center’s 2012 report “The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity.”
The new report, focusing on Muslims’ social and political attitudes, incorporates findings from both phases of the survey.
A part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, the study is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation to analyze religious change and its impact on societies around the world. Additional findings include:
• In most countries surveyed, majorities of Muslim women as well as men agree that a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. At the same time, majorities in many countries surveyed say a woman should be able to decide for herself whether to wear a veil.
• At least half of Muslims in most countries surveyed say they are concerned about religious extremist groups in their country, including around two-thirds or more of Muslims in Egypt (67 percent), Tunisia (67 percent), Iraq (68 percent) and Indonesia (78 percent). On balance, more are worried about Islamic extremists than about Christian extremists.
• Support to making sharia as the official law of the land tends to be higher in countries like Pakistan (84 percent) and Morocco (83 percent) where the constitution or basic laws favor Islam over other religions. The full report, including a link to the new Global Religious Futures website, is available at pewforum.org.
TRUE TO FORM 6-8-13
AN ARMY TRAINING officer to some 7,000 militia men in Central Mindanao cautioned local journalists in covering terror plots and explosives find, to ensure civilian safety and self-preservation. “As media practitioners you should be aware of the various types of bombs and their characteristics,” said Lt. Col. Bernie Langub, commander of the 38th Infantry Battalion, whose headquarters at Semba in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao hosted reporters to a crash-course on bomb classification, its destructive effect, and a marksmanship fun-shooting activity among peers. He urged media to alert police and military authorities of suspicious-looking left-behind belongings to ensure that these are properly disposed of; and that often times, responding anti-bomb squad uses K9 dogs for safe detection. Langub explained that in times of war the use of land mines are prohibited when its type and lethal-effect becomes indiscriminate, regardless of its target. The training lecture, was also meant to protect journalists against threats from would-be assassins of which they are vulnerable because of their critical reportage, said Col. Dickson Hermoso of the Fourth Estate, that has been acknowledged as peacekeeping partners of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Speaking for the Sixth Infantry division, Hermoso assured those present to provide media necessary security within its coverage area that includes, Maguindanao, part of Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and the cities therein. He said Division commander Maj. Gen. Romeo Gapuz’s directive for media protection came about following reports of practitioners being killed or under serious threat. “We don’t want a repeat of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre,” said Hermoso of the incident that killed 32 media workers blamed to a prominent political clan that reportedly utilized militia gunmen to carry out the carnage. Colonel Langub said the incident has served the military a lesson to reorient the training of paramilitary forces, like the Cafgu and CVOs, not to be used by unscrupulous politicians.
To strengthen AFP-media partnership in peace-building, the 6th Infantry Division formally organized the Kampilan Press Corps, Inc. by inducting its officers led by its president-elect Manila Bulletin correspondent Ali Macabalang. Army brigade commander and Inducting officer Brig. Gen. Ademar Tomaro who read the speech of Division commander Brig. Gen. Romeo Gapuz. He congratulated and enjoined media officers and members to continue with their role as fiscalizers, especially in pushing for the promotion peace and law and order. Macabalang, for his part, thanked the establishment for the common endeavor of working for development and public welfare. He assured the media organization would remain the `public eye’ against abuses and other unlawful acts.
In the same vein, ARMM caretaker and now governor-elect Mujiv Hataman thanked media, military and the police for the generally peaceful conduct of the May 13 polls. He was saddened, however, for the untimely demise of First Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, whose sudden earthly exit, at 53, is a great loss not only in the AFP, but to ARMM where he devoted most of his military career. Like Hataman, the Kampilan Press Corps also grieves the loss of the gentle and kind-hearted Army officer, said Macabalang. Hataman was candid to express his whole-hearted gratitude for the effective implementation of the administration’s reform agenda in the five-province ARMM, thus his election along with the other allies in the ruling Liberal Party. The fresh mandate will serve as inspiration to continue treading President Aquino’s `straight path’ in transforming ARMM into a peaceful, progressive, and eco-tourism haven, in time for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Political Entity by 2016. But like David, the prophet of old, anything good can only be attained through Him, as shown in his supplication: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in the smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:11-13).