Interfaith Cooperation Forum National Coordinator; Assistant Professor of History, Mindanao State University
Tirmizy Esmail Abdullah is the current Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) national coordinator in the Philippines. ICF is an Asian movement for justice and transformation that is interreligious in nature, is regional in scope, focuses on marginalised communities, confronts the roots of violence and promotes justice in economic, political, and social spheres. He is one of the active resident resource persons and facilitators on Islam and interreligious relations in the workshops and training programs organized by ICF in different parts of South and Southeast Asia such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, East Timor, Thailand and Cambodia. He is also an assistant professor of history in the Department of History in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mindanao State University in Marawi City, Philippines. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history in Mindanao Studies at the same university. He is currently writing his dissertation for a doctoral degree as a Philippine studies major in Mindanao society and culture. In addition, he administers a local Islamic centre in his province that seeks to teach and train young Muslim students and youth about the fundamentals of Islam. Moreover, he is actively involved in different civic societies and non-governmental organizations working for interreligious dialogue, social justice, peacebuilding, nonviolence, environmental protection and human rights. His background as part of an ethnic minority (Muslim Moro) in the southern Philippines and the historical narrative and context of his area combined with his religious and academic background and his involvement in ICF inspired and encouraged him to work for interreligious dialogue as a tool for justice, peace and transformation. He believes that personal transformation is very crucial if one is truly serious in working for interreligious dialogue. Your self, he believes, is your strong message to the world. Furthermore, he believes that religion is a choice, i.e., every single individual has a choice to use their faith either to promote violence or peace. Tirmizy chooses the path of peace.