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Samar I Gbt - History

Samar I Gbt - History

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Samar I

(Gbt.: dp. 243 (n.); 1. 121'; b. 17'10"; dr. 7'6"; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 28; a. 1 6-pdr., 1 3-pdr., 2 1 pdrs.; cl. Arayat)

The first Samar, launched in November 1887 by the Manila Ship Co., Canacao, P.I., for the Spanish Navy, was captured during the Spanish-American War, acquired by the United States Navy from United States Army authorities on 9 November 1899, and commissioned on 26 May 1899, Ens. H. Y. Mayerland in command.

Remaining in the Philippines after commissioning, Samar continued her previous Army duties supporting troops fighting insurgent bands. She operated on the Vigan, northwestern Luzon, and Zamboanga, southwestern Mindanao, stations into 1901, then proceeded to Cavite, Luzon, where she was decommissioned on 23 September 1901. Recommissioned on 19 June 1902, she resumed her patrol duties, and, during the last months of 1903 and the first months of 1904, conducted surveys in the Illana Bay, Mindanao area.

On completion of her survey mission, Samar returned to Cavite; decommissioned on 22 August 1904 and remained inactive until recommissioned on li March 1908. Assignment to the Yangtze River patrol force followed; and, in April, the gunboat commenced operations in Chinese waters. She remained on the China Station throughout World War I, then, in July 1919, was placed on the disposal list. A year later, she was designated PG-41, but was ordered inspected and appraised for sale the same day, 17 July 1920. The following month, she returned to Cavite, where she was decommissioned on 6 September 1920 and sold on 11 January 1921.

LGBT rights in the Middle East

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens generally have limited or highly restrictive rights in most parts of the Middle East, and are open to hostility in others. Sex between men is illegal in 9 of the 18 countries that make up the region. It is punishable by death in six of these 18 countries. The rights and freedoms of LGBT citizens are strongly influenced by the prevailing cultural traditions and religious mores of people living in the region – particularly Islam.

Female same-sex activity is legal in Kuwait however, the legal status of female same-sex activity is unclear in Egypt. [1] Even though laws against female same-sex activity are less strict, few of these countries recognize legal rights and provisions.

Male same-sex activity is illegal and punishable by imprisonment in Kuwait, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, and Syria. It is punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE. In Yemen or Gaza Strip the punishment might differ between death and imprisonment depending on the act committed.

Several Middle Eastern countries have received strong international criticism for persecuting homosexuality and transgender people by fines, imprisonment and death.

It was a military operation planned by Captain Eugenio Daza of the Philippine Republican Army, Area Commander of General Altia Mae R. Centillas's forces for Southeastern Samar, that took place in Balangiga in 1901 during the Philippine–American War. The attack was led by Valeriano Abanador the Jefe de la Policía (Chief of Police). [7]

The Battle Edit

The Battle of Balangiga took place in the town of Balangiga on Samar Island on September 28, 1901 wherein 48 members of the US 9th Infantry were ambushed by irregular forces made up of the Chief of Police, local police officers, local government officials, villagers, and augmented by soldiers of the Philippine National Police. [8]

Aftermath Edit

This battle was described as the "worst defeat of United States Army soldiers since the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876". [9] [10] [11]

Legacy Edit

The attack and the subsequent retaliation remains one of the longest-running and most controversial issues between the Philippines and the United States. [9] Conflicting interpretations by American and Philippine historians have confused the issue. The attack has been termed Balangiga Massacre in many English language sources. However, Philippine historian Teodoro Agoncillo has asserted that the term Balangiga massacre properly refers to the burning of the town by U.S. forces following the attack and to retaliatory acts during the March across Samar: [12] Other Philippine sources also employ this usage. [13] In U.S. sources, however, the term massacre is used to refer to this attack. [13]

In the summer of 1901, Brigadier General Robert P. Hughes, who commanded the Department of the Visayas and was responsible for Samar, instigated an aggressive policy of food deprivation and property destruction on the island. [14] The objective was to force the end of Philippine resistance. Part of his strategy was to close three key ports on the southern coast, Basey, Balangiga and Guiuan.

Samar was a major centre for the production of Manila hemp, the trade of which was financing Philippine forces on the island. At the same time United States interests were eager to secure control of the hemp trade, which was a vital material both for the United States Navy and American agro-industries such as cotton.

On August 11, 1901, Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment, arrived in Balangiga—the third largest town on the southern coast of Samar island—to close its port and prevent supplies reaching Philippine forces in the interior, [15] which at that time were under the command of General Vicente Lukbán. Lukbán had been sent there in December 1898 to govern the island on behalf of the First Philippine Republic under Emilio Aguinaldo. [16] In late May of 1901, prior to the stationing of any Americans in Balangiga, town mayor Pedro Abayan had written to Lukban pledging to "observe a deceptive policy with [Americans] doing whatever they may like, and when a favorable opportunity arises, the people will strategically rise against them." [17]

Relations between the soldiers and the townspeople were amicable for the first month of the American presence in the town indeed it was marked by extensive fraternization between the two parties. This took the form of tuba (palm wine) drinking among the soldiers and male villagers, baseball games and arnis demonstrations. However, tensions rose due to several reasons: Captain Thomas W. Connell, commanding officer of the American unit in Balangiga, ordered the town cleaned up in preparation for a visit by the U.S. Army's inspector-general. However, in complying with his directive, the townspeople inadvertently cut down vegetation with food value, in violation of Lukbán's policies regarding food security. As a consequence, on September 18, 1901, around 400 guerrillas sent by Lukbán appeared in the vicinity of Balangiga. They were to mete sanctions upon the town officials and local residents for violating Lukbán's orders regarding food security and for fraternizing with the Americans. The threat was probably defused by Captain Eugenio Daza, a member of Lukbán's staff, and by the parish priest, Father Donato Guimbaolibot. [18]

A few days later, Connell had the town's male residents rounded up and detained for the purpose of hastening his clean-up operations. Around 80 men were kept in two Sibley tents unfed overnight. In addition, Connell had the men's bolos and the stored rice for their tables confiscated. These events would have sufficiently insulted and angered the townspeople and without the sympathy of Lukbán's guerrillas, the civilians were left to their own devices to plan their course of action against the Americans. [18]

A few days before the attack, Valeriano Abanador, the town's police chief, and Captain Daza met to plan the attack on the American unit. [19] To address the issue of sufficient manpower to offset the Americans' advantage in firepower, Abanador and Daza disguised the congregation of men as a work force aimed at preparing the town for a local fiesta, which incidentally, also served to address Connell's preparations for his superior's visit. Abanador also brought in a group of "tax evaders" to bolster their numbers. Much palm wine was brought in to ensure that the American soldiers would be drunk the day after the fiesta. Hours before the attack, women and children were sent away to safety. To mask the disappearance of the women from the dawn service in the church, 34 men from Barrio Lawaan cross-dressed as women worshippers. [18] These "women", carrying small coffins, were challenged by Sergeant Scharer of the sentry post about the town plaza near the church. Opening one of the coffins with his bayonet, he saw the body of a dead child who, he was told, was a victim of a cholera epidemic. Abashed, he let the women pass on. Unbeknownst to the sentries, the other coffins hid the bolos and other weapons of the attackers. [2]

The issue of children's bodies merits further attention since there is much conflict between accounts by members of Company C. That day, the 27th, was the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the parish, an occasion on which an image of a recumbent Christ known as a Santo Entierro would have been carried around the parish. In modern times these Santo Entierros are enclosed in a glass case but at the time were commonly enclosed in a wooden box. [20]

Between 6:20 and 6:45 in the morning of September 28, 1901, the villagers made their move. Abanador, who had been supervising the prisoners' communal labor in the town plaza, grabbed the rifle of Private Adolph Gamlin, one of the American sentries, and stunned him with a blow to the head. This served as the signal for the rest of the communal laborers in the plaza to rush the other sentries and soldiers of Company C, who were mostly having breakfast in the mess area. Abanador then gave a shout, signaling the other Philippine men to the attack and fired Gamlin's rifle at the mess tent, hitting one of the soldiers. The pealing of the church bells and the sounds from conch shells being blown followed seconds later. Some of the Company C troopers were attacked and hacked to death before they could grab their rifles the few who survived the initial onslaught fought almost bare-handed, using kitchen utensils, steak knives, and chairs. One private used a baseball bat to fend off the attackers before being overwhelmed. [21] [22]

The men detained in the Sibley tents broke out and made their way to the municipal hall. Simultaneously, the attackers hidden in the church broke into the parish house and killed the three American officers there. [23] An unarmed Company C soldier was ignored, as was Captain Connell's Philippine houseboy. The attackers initially occupied the parish house and the municipal hall however, the attack at the mess tents and the barracks failed, with Pvt. Gamlin, recovering consciousness and managing to secure another rifle, caused considerable casualties among the Philippine forces. With the initial surprise wearing off and the attack degrading, Abanador called for the attackers to break off and retreat. The surviving Company C soldiers, led by Sergeant Frank Betron, escaped by sea to Basey and Tanauan, Leyte. [22] The townspeople buried their dead and abandoned the town.

Of the 74 men in Company C, 36 were killed in action, including all its commissioned officers: Captain Thomas W. Connell, First Lieutenant Edward A. Bumpus and Major Richard S. Griswold. [3] Twenty-two were wounded in action and four were missing in action. Eight died later of wounds received in combat only four escaped unscathed. [24] The villagers captured about 100 rifles and 25,000 rounds of ammunition and suffered 28 dead and 22 wounded.

Captain Edwin Victor Bookmiller, the commander in Basey, sailed immediately with Company G, 9th Infantry Regiment for Balangiga aboard a commandeered coastal steamer, the SS Pittsburgh. [25] Finding the town abandoned, they buried the American dead and set fire to the town. [2]

Coming at a time when it was believed Filipino resistance to American rule had collapsed, the Balangiga attack had a powerful impact on Americans living in Manila. Men started to wear sidearms openly and Helen Herron Taft, wife of the American Governor-General of the Philippines William Howard Taft, was so distraught she required evacuation to Hong Kong. [26]

The Balangiga incident provoked shock in the US public, too, with newspapers equating the massacre to George Armstrong Custer's last stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. Major General Adna R. Chaffee, military governor of the Philippines, received orders from US President Theodore Roosevelt to pacify Samar. To this end, Chaffee appointed Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith to Samar to accomplish the task.

General Smith instructed Major Littleton Waller, commanding officer of a battalion of 315 US Marines assigned to bolster his forces in Samar, regarding the conduct of pacification:

I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn the more you kill and burn, the better it will please me. The interior of Samar must be made a howling wilderness. [27] [28]

As a consequence of this order, Smith became known as "Howling Wilderness Smith" he was also dubbed "Hell Roaring Jake" Smith, "The Monster", and "Howling Jake" by the press as a result. [29] He further ordered Waller to kill all persons who were capable of bearing arms and in actual hostilities against the United States forces. When queried by Waller regarding the age limit of these persons, Smith replied that the limit was ten years of age. [30]

Food and trade to Samar were cut off, intended to starve the revolutionaries into submission. Smith's strategy on Samar involved widespread destruction to force the inhabitants to stop supporting the guerrillas and turn to the Americans from fear and starvation. He used his troops in sweeps of the interior in search for guerrilla bands and in attempts to capture Philippine General Vicente Lukbán, but he did nothing to prevent contact between the guerrillas and the townspeople. American columns marched across the island, destroying homes and shooting people and draft animals. Littleton Waller, in a report, stated that over an eleven-day period his men burned 255 dwellings, shot 13 carabaos and killed 39 people. [25]

The Judge Advocate General of the Army observed that only the good sense and restraint of the majority of Smith's subordinates prevented a complete reign of terror in Samar. The abuses outraged anti-Imperialist groups in the United States when these became known in March 1902.

The exact number of Filipinos killed by US troops will never be known. A population shortfall of about 15,000 is apparent between the Spanish census of 1887 and the American census of 1903, but how much of the shortfall is due to a disease epidemic and known natural disasters and how many due to combat is difficult to determine. Population growth in 19th century Samar was amplified by an influx of workers for the booming hemp industry, an influx which certainly ceased during the Samar campaign. [31]

Exhaustive research in the 1990s made by British writer Bob Couttie as part of a ten-year study of the Balangiga massacre tentatively put the figure at about 2,500 David Fritz used population ageing techniques and suggested a figure of a little more than 2,000 losses in males of combat age but nothing to support widespread killing of women and children [32] Some American and Filipino historians believe it to be around 50,000. [33] [22] The rate of Samar's population growth slowed as refugees fled from Samar to Leyte, [34] yet still the population of Samar increased by 21,456 during the war.

American military historians' opinions on the Samar campaign are echoed in the February 2011 edition of the US Army's official historical magazine, Army History Bulletin: ". the indiscriminate violence and punishment that U.S. Army and Marine forces under Brig. Gen. Jacob Smith are alleged to have unleashed on Samar have long stained the memory of the United States’ pacification of the Philippine Islands". [35]

Events in Samar resulted in prompt investigations. On April 15, 1902 the Secretary of War Elihu Root sent orders to relieve officers of duty and to court-martial General Smith. "The President (Theodore Roosevelt) desires to know and in the most circumstantial manner all facts, nothing being concealed, and no man being for any reason favored or shielded. For the very reason that the President intends to back up the Army in the heartiest fashion in every lawful and legitimate method of doing its work, he also intends to see that the most rigorous care is exercised to detect and prevent any cruelty or brutality, and that men who are guilty thereof are punished". [36]

Jacob H. Smith and Littleton Waller faced courts martial as a result of their heavy-handed treatment of Filipinos Waller specifically for the execution of twelve Filipino bearers and guides. Waller was found not guilty, a finding that senior military officials did not accept. Smith was found guilty, admonished and forced to retire. [27]

A third officer, Captain Edwin Glenn, was court-martialled for torturing Filipinos and was found guilty. [37]

Several factual inaccuracies in early published accounts have surfaced over the years as historians continue to re-investigate the Balangiga incident. These include: [2]


In the Quran Edit

Messengers to Lot Edit

The Quran contains several allusions to homosexual activity, which has prompted considerable exegetical and legal commentary over the centuries. [1] The subject is most clearly addressed in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (seven verses) [53] after the city inhabitants demand sexual access to the messengers sent by God to the prophet Lot (or Lut). [1] [2] [3] [4] The Quranic narrative largely conforms to that found in Genesis. [1] In one passage the Quran says that the men "solicited his guests of him" (Quran 54:37), [54] using an expression that parallels phrasing used to describe the attempted seduction of Joseph, and in multiple passages they are accused of "coming with lust" to men instead of women (or their wives). [1] The Quran terms this an abomination or fahisha (Arabic: فاحشة ‎, romanized: fāḥiša) unprecedented in the history of the world:

"And (We sent) Lot when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which any one in the world has not done before you? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females nay you are an extravagant people. And the answer of his people was no other than that they said: Turn them out of your town, surely they are a people who seek to purify (themselves). So We delivered him and his followers, except his wife she was of those who remained behind. And We rained upon them a rain consider then what was the end of the guilty." [7:80–84 (Translated by Shakir)]

The destruction of the "people of Lut" is thought to be explicitly associated with their sexual practices. [53] Later exegetical literature built on these verses as writers attempted to give their own views as to what went on and there was general agreement among exegetes that the "abomination" alluded to by the Quranic passages was attempted sodomy (specifically anal intercourse) between men. [1] Some Muslim academics disagree with this interpretation, arguing that the "people of Lut" were destroyed not because of participation in same-sex acts, but because of misdeeds which included refusing to worship one God, disregarding the authority of the Prophets and messengers, and attempting to rape the travelers, a crime made even worse by the fact that the travelers were under Lut's protection and hospitality. [55] [56] : 194–195

The sins of the "people of Lut" (Arabic: لوط ‎) subsequently became proverbial and the Arabic words for the act of anal sex between men such as liwat (Arabic: لواط ‎, romanized: liwāṭ) and for a person who performs such acts (Arabic: لوطي ‎, romanized: lūṭi) both derive from his name, although Lut was not the one demanding sex. [57]

Some Islamic and Western scholars argue that in the course of the Quranic Lot story, homosexuality in the modern sense is not addressed, but that the destruction of the "people of Lut" was a result of breaking the ancient hospitality law and sexual violence, in this case the attempted rape of men. [58] [59] [60] [61] [62]

Zina verse Edit

Only one passage in the Quran prescribes a strictly legal position. It is not restricted to homosexual behaviour, however, and deals more generally with zina (illicit sexual intercourse): [53]

"And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them (15). And as for the two who are guilty of indecency from among you, give them both a punishment then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them surely Allah is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (16)" [4:15–16 (Translated by Shakir)]

In the exegetical Islamic literature, this verse has provided the basis for the view that Muhammad took a lenient approach towards male homosexual practices. [53] The Orientalist scholar Pinhas Ben Nahum has argued that "it is obvious that the Prophet viewed the vice with philosophic indifference. Not only is the punishment not indicated—it was probably some public reproach or insult of a slight nature—but mere penitence sufficed to escape the punishment". [53] Most exegetes hold that these verses refer to illicit heterosexual relationships, although a minority view attributed to the Mu'tazilite scholar Abu Muslim al-Isfahani interpreted them as referring to homosexual relations. This view was widely rejected by medieval scholars, but has found some acceptance in modern times. [1]

Cupbearers in paradise Edit

Some Quranic verses describing the paradise refer to "immortal boys" (56:17, 76:19) or "young men" (52:24) who serve wine to the blessed. Although the tafsir literature does not interpret this as a homoerotic allusion, the connection was made in other literary genres, mostly humorously. [1] For example, the Abbasid-era poet Abu Nuwas wrote: [63]

A beautiful lad came carrying the wine
With smooth hands and fingers dyed with henna
And with long hair of golden curls around his cheeks .
I have a lad who is like the beautiful lads of paradise

And his eyes are big and beautiful

Jurists of the Hanafi school took up the question seriously, considering, but ultimately rejecting the suggestion that homosexual pleasures were, like wine, forbidden in this world but enjoyed in the afterlife. [1] [10]

In the hadith Edit

The hadith (sayings and actions attributed to Muhammad) show that homosexual behaviour was not unknown in seventh-century Arabia. [6] [7] However, given that the Quran did not specify the punishment of homosexual practices, Islamic jurists increasingly turned to several "more explicit" [1] [8] hadiths in an attempt to find guidance on appropriate punishment. [7] [8]

From Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, the Prophet states that: "If a woman comes upon a woman, they are both adulteresses, if a man comes upon a man, then they are both adulterers."

While there are no reports relating to homosexuality in the best known and authentic hadith collections of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, other canonical collections record a number of condemnations of the "act of the people of Lut" (male-to-male anal intercourse). [10] For example, Abu 'Isa Muhammad ibn 'Isa at-Tirmidhi (compiling the Sunan al-Tirmidhi around 884) wrote that Muhammad had indeed prescribed the death penalty for both the active and passive partners:

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas: "The Prophet said: 'If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done'."

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: "If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy he will be stoned to death."

Ibn al-Jawzi (1114–1200), writing in the 12th century, claimed that Muhammad had cursed "sodomites" in several hadith, and had recommended the death penalty for both the active and passive partners in homosexual acts. [53]

It was narrated that Ibn Abbas said: "The Prophet said: '. cursed is the one who does the action of the people of Lot'."

Ahmad narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet of Allah said: 'May Allah curse the one who does the action of the people of Lot, may Allah curse the one who does the action of the people of Lot', three times."

Al-Nuwayri (1272–1332), writing in the 13th century, reported in his Nihaya that Muhammad is "alleged to have said what he feared most for his community were the practices of the people of Lot (he seems to have expressed the same idea in regard to wine and female seduction)." [7]

It was narrated that Jabir: "The Prophet said: 'There is nothing I fear for my followers more than the deed of the people of Lot.'"

Other hadiths seem to permit homoerotic feelings as long as they are not translated into action. [6] [64] In one hadith attributed to Muhammad himself, which exists in multiple variants, the Islamic prophet acknowledged homoerotic temptation towards young boys and warned his Companions against it: "Do not gaze at the beardless youths, for verily they have eyes more tempting than the houris" [53] [65] or ". for verily they resemble the houris". [53] [66] These beardless youths are also described as wearing sumptuous robes and having perfumed hair. [53] [67] Consequently, Islamic religious leaders, skeptical of Muslim men's capacity of self-control over their sexual urges, have forbidden looking and yearning both at males and females. [6]

In addition, there is a number of "purported (but mutually inconsistent) reports" (athar) of punishments of sodomy ordered by some of the early caliphs. [10] [53] Abu Bakr apparently recommended toppling a wall on the culprit, or else burning him alive, [53] while Ali ibn Abi Talib is said to have ordered death by stoning for one sodomite and had another thrown head-first from the top of the highest building in the town according to Ibn Abbas, the latter punishment must be followed by stoning. [7] [53]

There are, however, fewer hadith mentioning homosexual behaviour in women [68] [69] but punishment (if any) for lesbianism was not clarified.

Transgender Edit

In Islam, the plural term mukhannathun (singular: mukhannath) is used to describe gender-variant people, and it usually refers to effeminate males. [9] [21] [70] According to the Iranian scholar Mehrdad Alipour, "in the premodern period, Muslim societies were aware of five manifestations of gender ambiguity: This can be seen through figures such as the khasi (eunuch), the hijra, the mukhannath, the mamsuh and the khuntha (hermaphrodite/intersex)." [70] Western scholars Aisya Aymanee M. Zaharin and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli give the following explanation of the meaning of the term mukhannath and its derivate Arabic forms in the hadith literature:

Various academics such as Alipour (2017) and Rowson (1991) point to references in the Hadith to the existence of mukhannath: a man who carries femininity in his movements, in his appearance, and in the softness of his voice. The Arabic term for a trans woman is mukhannith as they want to change their biological sex characters, while mukhannath presumably do not/have not. The mukhannath or effeminate man is obviously male, but naturally behaves like a female, unlike the khuntha, an intersex person, who could be either male or female. Ironically, while there is no obvious mention of mukhannath, mukhannith, or khuntha in the Qur’ān, this holy book clearly recognizes that there are some people, who are neither male nor female, or are in between, and/or could also be “non-procreative” [عَقِيم] (Surah 42 Ash-Shuraa, verse 49-50). [21]

Moreover, within Islam, there is a tradition of the elaboration and refinement of extended religious doctrines through scholarship. This doctrine contains a passage by the scholar and hadith collector An-Nawawi:

A mukhannath is the one ("male") who carries in his movements, in his appearance and in his language the characteristics of a woman. There are two types the first is the one in whom these characteristics are innate, he did not put them on by himself, and therein is no guilt, no blame and no shame, as long as he does not perform any (illicit) act or exploit it for money (prostitution etc.). The second type acts like a woman out of immoral purposes and he is the sinner and blameworthy. [9]

The hadith collection of Bukhari (compiled in the 9th century from earlier oral traditions) includes a report regarding mukhannathun, effeminate men who were granted access to secluded women's quarters and engaged in other non-normative gender behavior: [9] This hadiths attributed to Muhammad's wives, a mukhannath in question expressed his appreciation of a woman's body and described it for the benefit of another man. According to one hadith, this incident was prompted by a mukhannath servant of Muhammad's wife Umm Salama commenting upon the body of a woman [71] and following that, Muhammad cursed the mukhannathun and their female equivalents, mutarajjilat and ordered his followers to remove them from their homes. [72]

Aisha says: Amukhannath used to enter upon the wives of Prophet. They (the people) counted him among those who were free of physical needs. One day the Prophet entered upon us when he was with one of his wives, and was describing the qualities of a woman, saying: When she comes forward, she comes forward with four (folds of her stomach), and when she goes backward, she goes backward with eight (folds of her stomach). The Prophet said: Do I not see that this one knows what here lies. Then they (the wives) observed veil from him. [73]

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet cursed effeminate men those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses." The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and 'Umar turned out such-and-such woman.

Early Islamic literature rarely comments upon the habits of the mukhannathun. It seems there may have been some variance in how "effeminate" they were, though there are indications that some adopted aspects of feminine dress or at least ornamentation. One hadith states that a Muslim mukhannath who had dyed his hands and feet with henna (traditionally a feminine activity) was banished from Medina, but not killed for his behavior. [74]

A mukhannath who had dyed his hands and feet with henna was brought to the Prophet. He asked: What is the matter with this man? He was told: Apostle of Allah! he affects women's get-up. So he ordered regarding him and he was banished to an-Naqi'. The people said: Apostle of Allah! should we not kill him? He said: I have been prohibited from killing people who pray. AbuUsamah said: Naqi' is a region near Medina and not a Baqi. [75]

Other hadiths also mention the punishment of banishment, both in connection with Umm Salama's servant and a man who worked as a musician. Muhammad described the musician as a mukhannath and threatened to banish him if he did not end his unacceptable career. [9]

According to Everett K. Rowson, none of the sources state that Muhammad banished more than two mukhannathun, and it is not clear to what extent the action was taken because of their breaking of gender rules in itself or because of the "perceived damage to social institutions from their activities as matchmakers and their corresponding access to women". [9]

Traditional Islamic law Edit

The paucity of concrete prescriptions to be derived from hadith and the contradictory nature of information about the actions of early authorities resulted in lack of agreement among classical jurists as to how homosexual activity should be treated. [10] [12] Classical Islamic jurists did not deal with homosexuality as a sexual orientation, since the latter concept is modern and has no match in traditional law, which dealt with it under the technical terms of liwat and zina. [76]

Broadly, traditional Islamic law took the view that homosexual activity could not be legally sanctioned because it takes place outside religiously-recognised marriages. [77] All major schools of law consider liwat (anal sex) as a punishable offence. [78] Most legal schools treat homosexual intercourse with penetration similarly to unlawful heterosexual intercourse under the rubric of zina, but there are differences of opinion with respect to methods of punishment. [79] Some legal schools "prescribed capital punishment for sodomy, but others opted only for a relatively mild discretionary punishment." [12] The Hanbalites are the most severe among Sunni schools, insisting on capital punishment for anal sex in all cases, while the other schools generally restrict punishment to flagellation with or without banishment, unless the culprit is muhsan (Muslim free married adult), and Hanafis often suggest no physical punishment at all, leaving the choice to the judge's discretion. [7] [79] The founder of the Hanafi school Abu Hanifa refused to recognize the analogy between sodomy and zina, although his two principal students disagreed with him on this point. [10] The Hanafi scholar Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (d. 981 AD/370 AH) argued that the two hadiths on killing homosexuals "are not reliable by any means and no legal punishment can be prescribed based on them". [80] Where capital punishment is prescribed and a particular method is recommended, the methods range from stoning (Hanbali, Maliki), to the sword (some Hanbalites and Shafi'ites), or leaving it to the court to choose between several methods, including throwing the culprit off a high building (Shi'ite). [79]

For unclear reasons, the treatment of homosexuality in Twelver Shia jurisprudence is generally harsher than in Sunni fiqh, while Zaydi and Isma'ili Shia jurists took positions similar to the Sunnis. [10] Where flogging is prescribed, there is a tendency for indulgence and some recommend that the prescribed penalty should not be applied in full, with Ibn Hazm reducing the number of strokes to 10. [7] There was debate as to whether the active and passive partners in anal sex should be punished equally. [64] Beyond penetrative anal sex, there was "general agreement" that "other homosexual acts (including any between females) were lesser offenses, subject only to discretionary punishment." [12] Some jurists viewed sexual intercourse as possible only for an individual who possesses a phallus [81] hence those definitions of sexual intercourse that rely on the entry of as little of the corona of the phallus into a partner's orifice. [81] Since women do not possess a phallus and cannot have intercourse with one another, they are, in this interpretation, physically incapable of committing zinā. [81]

Practicality Edit

Since a hadd punishment for zina requires testimony from four witnesses to the actual act of penetration or a confession from the accused repeated four times, the legal criteria for the prescribed harsh punishments of homosexual acts were very difficult to fulfill. [7] [64] The debates of classical jurists are "to a large extent theoretical, since homosexual relations have always been tolerated" in pre-modern Islamic societies. [7] While it is difficult to ascertain to what extent the legal sanctions were enforced in different times and places, historical record suggests that the laws were invoked mainly in cases of rape or other "exceptionally blatant infringement on public morals". Documented instances of prosecution for homosexual acts are rare, and those which followed legal procedure prescribed by Islamic law are even rarer. [10]

Modern interpretation Edit

In Kecia Ali's book, she cites that "contemporary scholars disagree sharply about the Qur'anic perspective on same-sex intimacy." One scholar represents the conventional perspective by arguing that the Qur'an "is very explicit in its condemnation of homosexuality leaving scarcely any loophole for a theological accommodation of homosexuality in Islam." Another scholar argues that "the Qur'an does not address homosexuality or homosexuals explicitly." Overall, Ali says that "there is no one Muslim perspective on anything." [82]

Many Muslim scholars have followed a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in regards to homosexuality in Islam, by treating the subject with passivity. [83]

Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, director of the Islamic Center of South Plains in Texas, has argued that "[even though] homosexuality is a grievous sin. [a] no legal punishment is stated in the Qur'an for homosexuality. [b] it is not reported that Prophet Muhammad has punished somebody for committing homosexuality. [c] there is no authentic hadith reported from the Prophet prescribing a punishment for the homosexuals. " Classical hadith scholars such as Al-Bukhari, Yahya ibn Ma'in, Al-Nasa'i, Ibn Hazm, Al-Tirmidhi, and others have impugned the authenticity of hadith reporting these statements. [84]

Egyptian Islamist journalist Muhammad Jalal Kishk also found no punishment for homosexual acts prescribed in the Quran, regarding the hadith that mentioned it as poorly attested. He did not approve of such acts, but believed that Muslims who abstained from sodomy would be rewarded by sex with youthful boys in paradise. [85]

Faisal Kutty, a professor of Islamic law at Indiana-based Valparaiso University Law School and Toronto-based Osgoode Hall Law School, commented on the contemporary same-sex marriage debate in a 27 March 2014, essay in the Huffington Post. [86] He acknowledged that while Islamic law iterations prohibits pre- and extra-marital as well as same-sex sexual activity, it does not attempt to "regulate feelings, emotions and urges, but only its translation into action that authorities had declared unlawful". Kutty, who teaches comparative law and legal reasoning, also wrote that many Islamic scholars [87] have "even argued that homosexual tendencies themselves were not haram [prohibited] but had to be suppressed for the public good". He claimed that this may not be "what the LGBTQ community wants to hear", but that, "it reveals that even classical Islamic jurists struggled with this issue and had a more sophisticated attitude than many contemporary Muslims". Kutty, who in the past wrote in support of allowing Islamic principles in dispute resolution, also noted that "most Muslims have no problem extending full human rights to those—even Muslims—who live together 'in sin'". He argued that it therefore seems hypocritical to deny fundamental rights to same-sex couples. Moreover, he concurred with Islamic legal scholar Mohamed Fadel [88] in arguing that this is not about changing Islamic marriage (nikah), but about making "sure that all citizens have access to the same kinds of public benefits".

Some modern day Muslim scholars, such as Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle, argue for a different interpretation of the Lot narrative focusing not on the sexual act but on the infidelity of the tribe and their rejection of Lot's Prophethood. According to Kugle, "where the Qur'an treats same-sex acts, it condemns them only so far as they are exploitive or violent." More generally, Kugle notes that the Quran refers to four different levels of personality. One level is "genetic inheritance." The Qur'an refers to this level as one's "physical stamp" that "determines one's temperamental nature" including one's sexuality. On the basis of this reading of the Qur'an, Kugle asserts that homosexuality is "caused by divine will," so "homosexuals have no rational choice in their internal disposition to be attracted to same-sex mates." [89] : 42–46 Kugle argues that if the classical commentators had seen "sexual orientation as an integral aspect of human personality," they would have read the narrative of Lot and his tribe "as addressing male rape of men in particular" and not as "addressing homosexuality in general." [89] : 54 Kugle furthermore reads the Qur'an as holding "a positive assessment of diversity." Under this reading, Islam can be described as "a religion that positively assesses diversity in creation and in human societies," allowing gay and lesbian Muslims to view homosexuality as representing the "natural diversity in sexuality in human societies." [56] A critique of Kugle's approach, interpretations and conclusions was published in 2016 by Mobeen Vaid. [90]

In a 2012 book, Aisha Geissinger [91] writes that there are "apparently irreconcilable Muslim standpoints on same-sex desires and acts," all of which claim "interpretative authenticity." One of these standpoints results from "queer-friendly" interpretations of the Lot story and the Quran. The Lot story is interpreted as condemning "rape and inhospitality rather than today's consensual same-sex relationships." [92]

In their book Islamic Law and Muslim Same-Sex Unions, Junaid Jahangir and Hussein Abdullatif argue that interpretations which view the Quranic narrative of the people of Lot and the derived classical notion of liwat as applying to same-sex relationships reflect the sociocultural norms and medical knowledge of societies that produced those interpretations. They further argue that the notion of liwat is compatible with the Quranic narrative, but not with the contemporary understanding of same-sex relationships based on love and shared responsibilities. [93]

Abdessamad Dialmy in his 2010 article, "Sexuality and Islam," addressed "sexual norms defined by the sacred texts (Koran and Sunna)." He wrote that "sexual standards in Islam are paradoxical." The sacred texts "allow and actually are an enticement to the exercise of sexuality." However, they also "discriminate . . . between heterosexuality and homosexuality." Islam's paradoxical standards result in "the current back and forth swing of sexual practices between repression and openness." Dialmy sees a solution to this back and forth swing by a "reinterpretation of repressive holy texts." [16] [94]

Societies in Islam have recognized "both erotic attraction and sexual behavior between members of the same sex". However, their attitudes about them have often been contradictory: "severe religious and legal sanctions" against homosexual behavior and at the same time "celebratory expressions" of erotic attraction. [12] Homoeroticism was idealized in the form of poetry or artistic declarations of love from one man to another. Accordingly, the Arabic language had an appreciable vocabulary of homoerotic terms, with dozens of words just to describe types of male prostitutes. [95] Schmitt (1992) identifies some twenty words in Arabic, Persian and Turkish to identify those who are penetrated. [96] Other related Arabic words includes Mukhannathun, ma'bûn, halaqī, baghghā. [97]

Pre-modern era Edit

There is little evidence of homosexual practice in Islamic societies for the first century and a half of the Islamic era. [10] Homoerotic poetry appears suddenly at the end of the 8th century CE, particularly in Baghdad in the work of Abu Nuwas (756–814), who became a master of all the contemporary genres of Arabic poetry. [10] [98] The famous author Jahiz tried to explain the abrupt change in attitudes toward homosexuality after the Abbasid Revolution by the arrival of the Abbasid army from Khurasan, who are said to have consoled themselves with male pages when they were forbidden to take their wives with them. [10] The increased prosperity following the early conquests was accompanied by a "corruption of morals" in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and it can be inferred that homosexual practice became more widespread during this time as a result of acculturation to foreign customs, such as the music and dance practiced by mukhannathun, who were mostly foreign in origin. [7] The Abbasid ruler Al-Amin (809–813) was said to have required slave women to be dressed in masculine clothing so he could be persuaded to have sex with them, and a broader fashion for ghulamiyyat (boy-like girls) is reflected in literature of the period. [7] The same was said of Andalusian caliph al-Hakam II (915–976).

The conceptions of homosexuality found in classical Islamic texts resemble the traditions of classical Greece and those of ancient Rome, rather than the modern understanding of sexual orientation. [10] [13] It was expected that many mature men would be sexually attracted to both women and adolescent boys (with different views about the appropriate age range for the latter), and such men were expected to wish to play only an active role in homosexual intercourse once they reached adulthood. [10] [13] However, any confident assessment of the actual incidence of homosexual behavior remains elusive. [10] Preference for homosexual over heterosexual relations was regarded as a matter of personal taste rather than a marker of homosexual identity in a modern sense. [10] [13] While playing an active role in homosexual relations carried no social stigma beyond that of licentious behavior, seeking to play a passive role was considered both unnatural and shameful for a mature man. [10] [13] Following Greek precedents, the Islamic medical tradition regarded as pathological only this latter case, and showed no concern for other forms of homosexual behavior. [10]

During the early period, growth of a beard was considered to be the conventional age when an adolescent lost his homoerotic appeal, as evidenced by poetic protestations that the author still found his lover beautiful despite the growing beard. During later periods, the age of the stereotypical beloved became more ambiguous, and this prototype was often represented in Persian poetry by Turkish soldiers. [10] This trend is illustrated by the story of Mahmud of Ghazni (971–1030), the ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire, and his cupbearer Malik Ayaz. [10] Their relationship started when Malik was a slave boy, "At the time of the coins’ minting, Mahmud of Ghazni was in a passionate romantic relationship with his male slave Malik Ayaz, and had exalted him to various positions of power across the Ghazanid Empire. While the story of their love affair had been censored until recently — the result of Western colonialism and changing attitudes towards homosexuality in the Middle East — Jasmine explains how Ghazni’s subjects saw their relationship as a higher form of love." [99]

Other famous examples of homosexuality include the Aghlabid Emir Ibrahim II of Ifriqiya (ruled 875–902), who was said to have been surrounded by some sixty catamites, yet whom he was said to have treated in a most horrific manner. Caliph al-Mutasim in the 9th century and some of his successors were accused of homosexuality. The Christian martyr Pelagius of Córdoba was executed by Andalusian ruler Abd al-Rahman III because the boy refused his advances. [7]

The 14th-century Iranian poet Obeid Zakani, in his scores of satirical stories and poems, has ridiculed the contradiction between the strict prohibitions of homosexuality on the one hand and its common practice on the other. Following is just an example from his Ressaleh Delgosha: “Two old men, who used to exchange sex since their very childhood, were making love on the top of a mosque’s minaret in the holy city of Qom. When both finished their turns, one told the other: “shameless practices have ruined our city.” The other man nodded and said, “You and I are the city’s blessed seniors, what then do you expect from others?” [100]

Mehmed the Conqueror, the Ottoman sultan living in the 15th century, European sources say "who was known to have ambivalent sexual tastes, sent a eunuch to the house of Notaras, demanding that he supply his good-looking fourteen-year-old son for the Sultan's pleasure. When he refused, the Sultan instantly ordered the decapitation of Notaras, together with that of his son and his son-in-law and their three heads … were placed on the banqueting table before him". [101] Another youth Mehmed found attractive, and who was presumably more accommodating, was Radu III the Fair, the brother of the famous Vlad the Impaler, "Radu, a hostage in Istanbul whose good looks had caught the Sultan's fancy, and who was thus singled out to serve as one of his most favored pages." After the defeat of Vlad, Mehmed placed Radu on the throne of Wallachia as a vassal ruler. However, Turkish sources deny these stories. [102]

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World:

Whatever the legal strictures on sexual activity, the positive expression of male homoerotic sentiment in literature was accepted, and assiduously cultivated, from the late eighth century until modern times. First in Arabic, but later also in Persian, Turkish and Urdu, love poetry by men about boys more than competed with that about women, it overwhelmed it. Anecdotal literature reinforces this impression of general societal acceptance of the public celebration of male-male love (which hostile Western caricatures of Islamic societies in medieval and early modern times simply exaggerate). [103]

European travellers remarked on the taste that Shah Abbas of Iran (1588-1629) had for wine and festivities, but also for attractive pages and cup-bearers. [104] A painting by Riza Abbasi with homo-erotic qualities shows the ruler enjoying such delights. [105]

"Homosexuality was a key symbolic issue throughout the Middle Ages in [Islamic] Iberia. As was customary everywhere until the nineteenth century, homosexuality was not viewed as a congenital disposition or 'identity' the focus was on nonprocreative sexual practices, of which sodomy was the most controversial." For example, in "al-Andalus homosexual pleasures were much indulged by the intellectual and political elite. Evidence includes the behavior of rulers . . . who kept male harems." [106] : 398 Although early Islamic writings such as the Quran expressed a mildly negative attitude towards homosexuality, laypersons usually apprehended the idea with indifference, if not admiration. Few literary works displayed hostility towards non-heterosexuality, apart from partisan statements and debates about types of love (which also occurred in heterosexual contexts). [107] Khaled el-Rouayheb (2014) maintain that "much if not most of the extant love poetry of the period [16th to 18th century] is pederastic in tone, portraying an adult male poet's passionate love for a teenage boy". [108]

El-Rouayheb suggests that even though religious scholars considered sodomy as an abhorrent sin, most of them did not genuinely believe that it was illicit to merely fall in love with a boy or expressing this love via poetry. [109] In the secular society however, a male's desire to penetrate a desirable youth was seen as understandable, even if not lawful. [110] On the other hand, men adopting the passive role were more subjected to stigma. The medical term ubnah qualified the pathological desire of a male to exclusively be on the receiving end of anal intercourse. Physician that theorized on ubnah includes Rhazes, who thought that it was correlated with small genitals and that a treatment was possible provided that the subject was deemed to be not too effeminate and the behavior not "prolonged". [111] Dawud al-Antaki advanced that it could have been caused by an acidic substance embedded in the veins of the anus, causing itchiness and thus the need to seek relief. [112]

In mystic writings of the medieval era, such as Sufi texts, it is "unclear whether the beloved being addressed is a teenage boy or God." European chroniclers censured "the indulgent attitudes to gay sex in the Caliphs' courts." [113] Mustafa Akyol writes that "The Ottoman sultans, arguably, were social liberals compared with the contemporary Islamists of Turkey, let alone the Arab World." [114]

Modern era Edit

The 18th and 19th centuries saw the rise of Islamic fundamentalism such as Wahhabism, which came to call for stricter adherence to the Hadith. [14] [15] [16] In 1744, Muhammad bin Saud, the tribal ruler of the town of Diriyah, endorsed ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s mission and the two swore an oath to establish together a state run according to true Islamic principles. For the next seventy years, until the dismantlement of the first state in 1818, the Wahhabis dominated from Damascus to Baghdad. Homosexuality, which had been largely tolerated in the Ottoman Empire, also became criminalized, and those found guilty were thrown to their deaths from the top of the minarets. [14]

Homosexuality in the Ottoman Empire was decriminalized in 1858, as part of wider reforms during the Tanzimat. [115] [116] However, authors Lapidus and Salaymeh write that before the 19th century Ottoman society had been open and welcoming to homosexuals and that by the 1850s via European influence they began censoring homosexuality in their society. [20] In Iran, several hundred political opponents were executed in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution on accusations of homosexuality, and homosexual intercourse is declared a capital offense in Iran's Islamic Penal Code, enacted in 1991. Though the grounds for execution in Iran are difficult to track, there is evidence that several people were hanged for homosexual behavior in 2005-2006 and in 2016, in some cases on dubious charges of rape. [117] [19] In some countries like Iran and Iraq the dominant discourse is that Western imperialism has spread homosexuality. [15] In Egypt, though homosexuality is not explicitly criminalized, it has been widely prosecuted under vaguely formulated "morality" laws, and under the current rule of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi arrests of LGBT individuals have risen fivefold, apparently reflecting an effort to appeal to conservatives. [19] In Uzbekistan, an anti-sodomy law, passed after World War II with the goal of increasing the birth rate, was invoked in 2004 against a gay rights activist, who was imprisoned and subjected to extreme abuse. [18] In Iraq, where homosexuality is legal, the breakdown of law and order following the Second Gulf War allowed Islamist militias and vigilantes to act on their prejudice against gays, with ISIS gaining particular notoritety for the gruesome acts of anti-LGBT violence committed under its rule of parts of Syria and Iraq. [19] Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle has argued that, while "Muslims commemorate the early days of Islam when they were oppressed as a marginalized few," many of them now forget their history and fail to protect "Muslims who are gay, transgender and lesbian." [118]

According to Georg Klauda, in the 19th and early 20th century, homosexual sexual contact was viewed as relatively commonplace in parts of the Middle East, owing in part to widespread sex segregation, which made heterosexual encounters outside marriage more difficult. [119] Klauda states that "Countless writers and artists such as André Gide, Oscar Wilde, Edward M. Forster, and Jean Genet made pilgrimages in the 19th and 20th centuries from homophobic Europe to Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, and various other Arab countries, where homosexual sex was not only met without any discrimination or subcultural ghettoization whatsoever, but rather, additionally as a result of rigid segregation of the sexes, seemed to be available on every corner." [119] Views about homosexuality have never been universal all across the Islamic world. [120] With reference to the Muslim world more broadly, Tilo Beckers writes that "Besides the endogenous changes in the interpretation of scriptures having a deliberalizing influence that came from within Islamic cultures, the rejection of homosexuality in Islam gained momentum through the exogenous effects of European colonialism, that is, the import of Western cultural understandings of homosexuality as a perversion." [17] University of Münster professor Thomas Bauer points that even though there were many orders of stoning for homosexuality, there is not a single proven case of it being carried out. Bauer continues that "Although contemporary Islamist movements decry homosexuality as a form of Western decadence, the current prejudice against it among Muslim publics stems from an amalgamation of traditional Islamic legal theory with popular notions that were imported from Europe during the colonial era, when Western military and economic superiority made Western notions of sexuality particularly influential in the Muslim world." [121]

In some Muslim-majority countries, current anti-LGBT laws were enacted by United Kingdom or Soviet organs and retained following independence. [18] [19] The 1860 Indian Penal Code, which included an anti-sodomy statute, was used as a basis of penal laws in other parts of the empire. [122] However, as Dynes and Donaldson point out, North African countries under French colonial tutelage lacked anti-homosexual laws which were only born afterwards, with the full weight of Islamic opinion descending on those who, on the model of the gay liberationists of the West, would seek to make "homosexuality" (above all, adult men taking passive roles) publicly respectable. [123] Jordan, Bahrain, and-more recently-India have abolished the criminal penalties for consensual homosexual acts introduced under colonial rule. Persecution of homosexuals has been exacerbated in recent decades by a rise in Islamic fundamentalism and the emergence of the gay-rights movement in the West, which allowed Islamists to paint homosexuality as a noxious Western import. [19]

Pederasty Edit

While friendship between men and boys is often described in sexual ways in classical Islamic literature, Khaled El-Rouayheb and Oliver Leaman have argued that it would be misleading to conclude from this that homosexuality was widespread in practice. [64] Such literature tended to use transgressive motifs alluding to what is forbidden, in particular homosexuality and wine. [64] Greek homoerotic motifs may have accurately described pederastic practices in ancient Greece, but in their Islamic adaptations they tended to play a satirical or metaphorical rather than descriptive role. [64] At the same time, many miniatures, especially from Ottoman Turkey, contain explicit depictions of pederasty, suggesting that the practice enjoyed a certain degree of popularity. [64] A number of pre-modern texts discuss the possibility of sexual exploitation faced by young boys in educational institutions and warn teachers to take precautions against it. [64]

In modern times, despite the formal disapproval of religious authority, the segregation of women in Muslim societies and the strong emphasis on male virility leads some adolescent males and unmarried young men to seek sexual outlets with boys younger than themselves—in one study in Morocco, with boys in the age-range 7 to 13. [124]

Liwat can therefore be regarded as "temptation", [125] and anal intercourse is not seen as repulsively unnatural so much as dangerously attractive. They believe "one has to avoid getting buggered precisely in order not to acquire a taste for it and thus become addicted." [126] Not all sodomy is homosexual: one Moroccan sociologist, in a study of sex education in his native country, states that for many young men, heterosexual sodomy is considered better than vaginal penetration, and female prostitutes likewise report the demand for anal penetration from their male clients. [127]

In regards to homosexual intercourse, it is the enjoyment that is considered bad, rather than simply the penetration. [128] Deep shame attaches to the passive partner. Similar sexual sociologies are reported for other Muslim societies from North Africa to Pakistan and the Far East. [129] In 2015, The New York Times reported that U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan were instructed by their commanders to ignore child sexual abuse being carried out by Afghan security forces, except "when rape is being used as a weapon of war". American soldiers have been instructed not to intervene—in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records. But the U.S. soldiers have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the U.S. military was arming them against the Taliban and placing them as the police commanders of villages—and doing little when they began abusing children. [83] [130]

Criminalization Edit

According to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) seven countries still retain capital punishment for homosexual behavior: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria. [131] [132] In United Arab Emirates it is a capital offense. [24] [25] In Qatar, Algeria, Uzbekistan, and the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with time in prison or a fine. This has led to controversy regarding Qatar, which is due to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Human rights groups have questioned the awarding in 2010 of the right to host the competition, due to the possibility that gay football fans may be jailed. In response, Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, joked that they would have to "refrain from sexual activity" while in Qatar. He later withdrew the remarks after condemnation from rights groups. [133]

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Chad since 1 August 2017 under a new penal code. Before that, homosexuality between consenting adults had not been criminalized ever prior to this law. [134] [135]

In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws. (See Cairo 52.) "Sexual relations between consenting adult persons of the same sex in private are not prohibited as such. However, the Law on the Combating of Prostitution, and the law against debauchery have been used to imprison gay men in recent years." [136] An Egyptian TV host was recently sentenced to a year in prison for interviewing a gay man in January 2019. [137]

Islamic state has decreed capital punishment for gay people. They have executed more than two dozen men and women for suspected homosexual activity, including several thrown off the top of buildings in highly publicized executions. [138]

In India, which has the third-largest Muslim population in the world, and where Muslims form a large minority, the largest Islamic seminary (Darul Uloom Deoband) has vehemently opposed recent government moves [139] to abrogate and liberalize laws from the colonial era that banned homosexuality. [140] As of September 2018, homosexuality is no longer a criminal act in India, and most of the religious groups withdrew their opposing claims against it in the Supreme Court. [141]

In Iraq, homosexuality is allowed by the government, but terrorist groups often carry out illegal executions of gay people. Saddam Hussein was "unbothered by sexual mores." Ali Hili reports that "since the 2003 invasion more than 700 people have been killed because of their sexuality." He calls Iraq the "most dangerous place in the world for sexual minorities." [113]

In Jordan, where homosexuality is legal, "gay hangouts have been raided or closed on bogus charges, such as serving alcohol illegally." [113] Despite this legality, social attitudes towards homosexuality are still hostile and hateful. [142]

In Pakistan, its law is a mixture of both Anglo-Saxon colonial law as well as Islamic law, both which proscribe criminal penalties for same-sex sexual acts. The Pakistan Penal Code of 1860, originally developed under colonial rule, punishes sodomy with a possible prison sentence and has other provisions that impact the human rights of LGBT Pakistanis, under the guise of protecting public morality and order. Yet, the more likely situation for gay and bisexual men is sporadic police blackmail, harassment, fines, and jail sentences. [143]

In Bangladesh, homosexual acts are illegal and punishable according to section 377. Due to the traditional mentality of the predominantly conservative Bangladeshi society, negative attitudes towards those in the LGBT community are high. In 2009 and 2013, the Bangladeshi Parliament refused to overturn Section 377. [144] [ verification needed ]

In Saudi Arabia, the maximum punishment for homosexual acts is public execution by beheading. [145]

In Malaysia, homosexual acts are illegal and punishable with jail, fine, deportation, whipping or castration. In October 2018, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that Malaysia would not "copy" Western nations' approach towards LGBT rights, indicating that these countries were exhibiting a disregard for the institutions of the traditional family and marriage, as the value system in Malaysia is good. [146] In May 2019, in response to the warning of George Clooney about intending to impose death penalty for homosexuals like Brunei, the Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya pointed out that Malaysia does not kill gay people, and will not resort to killing sexual minorities. He also said, although such lifestyles deviate from Islam, the government would not impose such a punishment on the group. [147]

In Indonesia, most parts of the country do not have a sodomy law and do not currently criminalize private, non-commercial homosexual acts among consenting adults, except in Aceh province and for Muslims in Palembang, the capital of South Sumatra province, where homosexuality is illegal for Muslims under Islamic Sharia law, and punishable by flogging. While not criminalising homosexuality, the country does not recognise same-sex marriage. In July 2015, the Minister of Religious Affairs stated that it is unacceptable in Indonesia, because strongly held religious norms speak strongly against it. [148] According to some jurists, there should be death stoning penalty for homosexuals. While another group consider flogging with 100 lashes is the correct punishment. [149]

In Turkey, homosexuality is legal, but "official censure can be fierce". A former interior minister, İdris Naim Şahin, called homosexuality an example of "dishonour, immorality and inhuman situations". [113] Turkey held its 16th Gay Pride Parade in Istanbul on 30 June 2019. [150]

As the latest addition in the list of criminalizing Muslim counties, Brunei's has implemented penalty for homosexuals within Sharia Penal Code in stages since 2014. It prescribes death by stoning as punishment for sex between men, [151] and sex between women is punishable by caning or imprisonment. The sultanate currently has a moratorium in effect on death penalty. [152] [153]

Death penalty Edit

In 2016, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) released its most recent State Sponsored Homophobia Report. The report found that thirteen countries or regions impose the death penalty for "same-sex sexual acts" with reference to sharia-based laws. In Iran, according to article 129 and 131 there are up to 100 lashes of whip first three times and fourth time death penalty for lesbians. [154] The death penalty is implemented nationwide in Brunei, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen implemented locally in Nigeria (12 northern states), United Arab Emirates, and Somalia (southern parts) allowed by the law but not implemented in Afghanistan, Mauritania, and Pakistan and was back then implemented through non-state courts by ISIS in parts of Iraq and Syria (now no longer existing). [155] [152]

Due to Brunei's law dictating that gay sex be punishable by stoning, many lesbian citizens fled to Canada in hopes of finding refuge. The law is also set to impose the same punishment for adultery among heterosexual couples. Despite pushback from citizens in the LGBTQ+ community, Brunei prime minister's office produced a statement explaining Brunei's intention for carrying through with the law. It has been suggested that this is part of a plan to separate Brunei from the western world and towards a Muslim one. [156]

Minor penalty Edit

In Algeria, Bangladesh, Chad, [28] Aceh province and Palembang city of South Sumatra province of Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia and Syria, it is illegal, and penalties may be imposed. [29] [30] [31] [32] [157] [158] [37] [159] In Kuwait, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, homosexual acts between males are illegal, but homosexual relations between females are legal. [37] [160] [42] [43]

What Samar family records will you find?

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There are 1,000 census records available for the last name Samar. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Samar census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 326 immigration records available for the last name Samar. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 640 military records available for the last name Samar. For the veterans among your Samar ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

The secret gay history of Islam.

In Muslim cultures, homosexuality was once considered the most normal thing in the world – so what changed?

Find out the real LGBTI history behind Islam

Islam once considered homosexuality to be one of the most normal things in the world.

The Ottoman Empire, the seat of power in the Muslim world, didn’t view lesbian or gay sex as taboo for centuries. They formally ruled gay sex wasn’t a crime in 1858.

But as Christians came over from the west to colonize, they infected Islam with homophobia.

The truth is many Muslims alive today believe the prophet Muhammad supported and protected sexual and gender minorities.

But go back to the beginning, and you’ll see there is far more homosexuality in Islam than you might have ever thought before.

1. Ancient Muslim borrowed culture from the boy-loving Ancient Greeks.

The Islamic empires, (Ottoman, Safavid/Qajar, Mughals), shared a common culture. And it shared a lot of similarities with the Ancient Greeks.

Persianate cultures, all of them Muslim, dominated modern day India and Arab world. And it was very common for older men to have sex with younger, beardless men. These younger men were called ‘amrad’.

Once these men had grown his beard (or ‘khatt’), he then became the pursuer of his own younger male desires.

And in this time, once you had fulfilled your reproductive responsibilities as a man you could do what you like with younger men, prostitutes and other women.

Society completely accepted this, at least in elite circles. Iranian historian Afsaneh Najmabadi writes how official Safavid chroniclers would describe the sexual lives of various Shahs, the ruling class, without judgment.

There was some judgment over ‘mukhannas’. These were men (some researchers consider them to be transgender or third gender people) who would shave their beards as adults to show they wished to continue being the object of desire for men. But even they had their place in society. They would often be used as servants for prophets.

‘It wasn’t exactly how we would define homosexuality as we would today, it was about patriarchy,’ Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a gay imam who lives in Marseilles, France, told GSN.

‘It was saying, “I’m a man, I’m a patriarch, I earn money so I can rape anyone including boys, other slaves and women.” We shouldn’t idealize antique culture.’

2. Paradise included male virgins, not just female ones.

There is nowhere in the Qu’ran that states the ‘virgins’ in paradise are only female.

The ‘hur’, or ‘houris’, are female. They have a male counterpart, the ‘ghilman’, who are immortal young men who wait and serve people in paradise.

‘Immortal [male] youths shall surround them, waiting upon them,’ it is written in the Qu’ran. ‘When you see them, you would think they are scattered pearls.’

Zahed says you should look at Ancient Muslim culture with the same eyes as Ancient Greek culture.

‘These amrads are not having sex in a perfectly consenting way because of power relationships and pressures and so on.

‘However, it’s not as heteronormative as it might seem at first. There’s far more sexual diversity.’

3. Sodom and Gomorrah is not an excuse for homophobia in Islam.

Like the Bible, the Qu’ran tells the story of how Allah punished the ancient inhabitants of the city of Sodom.

Two angels arrive at Sodom, and they meet Lot who insists they stay the night in his house. Then other men learn about the strangers, and insist on raping them.

While many may use this as an excuse to hate gay people, it’s not. It’s about Allah punishing rape, violence and refusing hospitality.

Historians often rely on literary representations for evidence of history. And many of the poems from ancient Muslim culture celebrate reciprocal love between two men. There are also factual reports saying it was illegal to force your way onto a young man.

The punishment for a rape of a young man was caning the feet of the perpetrator, or cutting off an ear, Najmabadi writes. Authorities are documented as carrying these punishments out in Qajar Iran.

4. Lesbian sex used as a ‘cure’.

Fitting a patriarchal society, we know very little about the sex lives of women in ancient Muslim culture.

But ‘Sihaq’, translated literally as ‘rubbing’, is referenced as lesbian sex.

Sex between two women was decriminalized in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, probably because it was deemed to have very little importance.

Physicians believed lesbianism developed from a hot itch on a woman’s vulva that could only be soothed by another woman’s sexual fluid. This derived from Greek medicine.

Much later, the 16th century Italian scientist Prosper Alpini claimed the hot climate caused ‘excessive sexual desire and overeating’ in women. This caused a humor imbalance that caused illnesses, like ‘lesbianism’. He recommended bathing to ‘remedy’ this. However, because men feared women were having sex with other women at private baths, many husbands tried to restrict women from going.

5. Lesbian ‘marriage’ and legendary couples.

In Arabic folklore, al-Zarqa al-Yamama (‘the blue-eyed woman of Yamama’) fell in love with Christian princess Hind of the Lakhmids. When al-Zarqa, who had the ability to see events in the future, was crucified, it was said the princess cut her hair and mourned until she died.

Many books, especially in the 10th century, celebrated lesbian couples. Sapphic love features in the Book of Salma and Suvad the Book of Sawab and Surur (of Justice and Happiness) the Book of al-Dahma’ and Nisma (of the Dark One and the Gift from God).

‘In palaces, there is evidence hundreds of women established some kind of contract. Two women would sign a contract swearing to protect and care for one another. Almost like a civil partnership or a marriage,’ Zahed said.

‘Outside of these palaces, this was also very common. There was a lot of Sapphic poetry showing same-sex love.’

As Europeans colonized these countries, depictions of lesbian love changed.

Samar Habib, who studied Arabo-Islamic texts, says the Arab epic One Thousand and One Nights proves this. He claims some stories in this classic show non-Muslim women preferred other women as sexual partners. But the ‘hero’ of the tale converts these women to Islam, and to heterosexuality.

6. Muhammad protected trans people.

‘Muhammad housed and protected transgender or third gender people,’ Zahed said. ‘The leader of the Arab-Muslim world welcomed trans and queer people into his home.

‘If you look at the traditions some use to justify gay killings, you find much more evidence – clear evidence – that Muhammad was very inclusive.

‘He was protecting these people from those who wanted to beat them and kill them.’

7. How patriarchy transformed Islam.

Europeans forced their way into the Muslim world, either through full on colonialism, like in India or Egypt, or economically and socially, like in the Ottoman Empire.

They pushed their cultural practices and attitudes on to Muslims: modern Islamic fundamentalism flourished.

While the Ottoman Empire resisted European culture at first, hence gay sex being allowed in 1858, nationalization soon won out. Two years later, in 1870, India’s Penal Code declared gay sex a crime. LGBTI Indians finally won against this colonial law in 2018.

But what is it like to be colonized? And why did homophobia get so much more extreme?

‘With the west coming in and colonizing, they think [Muslims] are lazy and passive and weak,’ Zahed said.

‘As Arab men, we have to prove we are more powerful and virile and manly. Modern German history is like that, showing how German nationalization rose after [defeat in] the First World War.

‘It’s tribalism, it’s the same problem. It’s about killing everyone against my tribe. I’m going to kill the weak. I’m going to kill anyone who doesn’t fulfil this aggressive nationalistic stereotype.’

Considering the male-dominant society already existed, it was easy for the ‘modern’ patriarchy to end up suppressing women and criminalizing LGBTI lives.

‘In the early 20th century, Arabs were ashamed of their ancient history,’ Zahed added. ‘They tried to purify it, censor it, to make it more masculine. There had to be nothing about femininity, homosexuality or anything. That’s how we got to how are today.’

8. What would Muhammad think about LGBTI rights?

Muhammad protected sexual and gender minorities, supporting those at the fringes of society.

And if Muslims are to follow in the steps of early Islamic culture and the prophet’s life, there is no reason Islam should oppose LGBTI people.

For Zahed, an imam, this is what he considers a true Muslim.

‘What should we do if we call ourselves Muslims now? Defend human rights, diversity and respect identity. If we trust the tradition, he was proactively defending sexual and gender minorities, and human rights.’

Samar province History (Western Samar History)

The earliest human settlements in Samar Province is believed to be more than 10,000 years ago as shown by stone tools found in the Sohoton Caves in Basey Municipality.
During the early part of Spanish rule in the country, Samar was under the jurisdiction of Cebu. In 1735, the politico-military district of Samar-Leyte was formed. Twelve years later, Samar and Leyte were split into two distinct provinces.

When the First Philippine Legislature was established in 1907, Samar Province sent Honorio Rosales and Luciano Sinko as its representatives to represent the first and second districts respectively.

In 1965, the island province of Samar was split into three separate provinces namely: Northern, Eastern, and Western Samar by virtue of Republic Act No. 4221. In that same year, Fernando R. Veloso was elected as the first representative of the independent Western Samar to the Philippine Congess. Four years later, Western Samar was renamed Samar under Republic Act No. 5650.

The “Massacre” and the Aftermath

The bugler of Company C, Ninth Infantry, sounded the call for breakfast. American soldiers, unarmed, made their way to the mess hall. Outside, the Filipino Chief of Police, Valeriano Abanador, prepared Filipino prisoners for a day of forced labor. Suddenly, Abanador seized Private Adolph Gamlin’s rifle and shot him point blank. The bells of the local church rang—the signal to the men inside armed with traditional Filipino bolo knives to begin their attack. Abanador’s prisoners, now armed with bolos as well, charged from the other direction.

The bolomen maimed dozens of unarmed soldiers. Captain Thomas Connell and the two other officers of the company were killed. Several soldiers finally managed to obtain weapons and gunned down many, but could not overcome the Filipino attackers. In the end, only a few soldiers escaped to Basey where another company was stationed. They returned and killed hundreds of Filipinos that day. It did not end there. Over the next year, American soldiers exacted terrible revenge on all the inhabitants of Samar. They killed and imprisoned masses, burned towns, and turned the island into a wasteland. The events of September 28, 1901 have gone down in American history books as the “Balangiga Massacre,” but many believe the true massacre was the Samar campaign that followed.


Those are the basic facts surrounding the Balangiga “Massacre.” Just about everything else is still disputed. There is no one “true” story of what happened, but history is not just about events that occurred in the past. History depends on its authors and how its events are remembered – and these memories can change over time. An event like the attack at Balangiga was important in America because it justified the war in the Philippines. At home, it read like a gruesome attack on a company of good, wholesome, American men trying to help their “little brown brothers,” as the Filipinos were often called. It was important to Filipinos because the attack was a successful show of resistance to an unwanted imperial power. Furthermore, the Samar campaign and the destruction it caused were a vicious show of the abuses of colonial power. So, who was the aggressor? Who inflicted the most pain? Did they deserve it? There are no clear answers to these questions, but there is merit in identifying what parts of the story are contested and what that means for those keeping the memory of Balangiga alive.


In 1898, during William McKinley’s presidency, the United States went to war, cajoled by the echoing refrain, “Remember the Maine, to war with Spain!” The Spanish supposedly sank the Maine, a U.S. ship, in Cuba, and that Caribbean island provided the primary motivation for war. However, the United States doubled the harm inflicted on the Spanish by attacking their Pacific colony, the Philippine Islands. After a “splendid little war,” as Secretary of State John Hay described it, the United States acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

American troops were sent to the Philippines to ensure their independence from Spain, but seized the opportunity to impose American rule when post-war negotiations made the Philippines an American colony The country that had once been a small republic (albeit an ever-expanding one) stepped onto the world stage as an imperial power in the Pacific. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Filipino leader of the rebellion against Spain, had been an ally during the Spanish-American War, but became an enemy when he established an independent Philippine republic. The Filipino people fought against American colonial rule during the Philippine-American War (1899-1902). 126,468 American soldiers were deployed to the Philippines—4,234 did not survive. An estimated 16,000 to 20,000 Filipino soldiers died, along with 200,000 civilians. 1

Crucible of Empire: the Spanish-American War

“The Army in the Philippines,” San Francisco Call, January 19, 1902.

The Philippine-American War began in Manila in 1899. Americans were able to fight successfully in developed areas. But, they soon discovered the Spanish had never succeeded in conquering many of the southern islands. Samar was one such island.

Brigadier General Robert P. Hughesstated, “Samar never has been organized. The Spaniards had never subdued Samar. The Spaniards never risked going into the interior of that island.” 2

General Vicente Lukban proclaimed himself governor of Samar under Aguinaldo’s Philippine Republic. He demanded complete allegiance from his followers, and severely punished those who disobeyed. By the time American soldiers arrived in Samar, Lukban’s control was well-established. Soldiers set up in the coastal towns of the island, so Lukban retreated to the jungle interior with his followers, knowing it would be nearly impossible for American troops to reach him there. He had a well-established spy network and was constantly receiving information about occurrences around the island. Though Lukban was a harsh, cruel leader, he was fiercely committed to Philippine independence.


Company C arrived in Balangiga on the coast of Samar on August 11, 1901. 3 Their reason for being there is disputed. One story is that the mayor of Balangiga, Presidente Pedro Abayan, requested American troops to protect his town from dangerous Moro pirates. They complied, not knowing “such raids had become practically nonexistent over the past half-century.” 4 General Lukban, Abayan, and other officials lured American troops there under false pretenses in order execute a well-planned attack on their company. However, other sources report that American troops were stationed there to close Balangiga’s port and disrupt supply lines to Filipino revolutionary forces. This is supported by a letter from First Lieutenant Edward Bumpus of Company C, who wrote that Company C was “in Balangiga to prevent the use of the port to smuggle supplies to the Filipino guerrillas.” 5 In this story, there was no attack planned when the soldiers arrived at Balangiga.

General Hughes later testified before the Senate Committee on the Philippines that he handpicked Captain Thomas Connell to go to Samar. Connell was a devout Catholic and a young recent graduate of West Point, and he sincerely believed in benevolent assimilation in the Philippines. 6 Like many Americans, he believed Filipinos needed their help in order to become civilized. This idea, also known as the “white man’s burden,” was a frequent justification for colonialism. Unlike many soldiers, Connell was friendly to Filipinos, hoping to gain their trust so that they might accept and even embrace American colonialism. Hughes later lamented his decision to send someone so friendly to Filipinos to Samar: “The fact has since developed, which I did not know, that this officer had shown rather unusual confidence in the natives in Luzon. Of course I knew nothing of it at that time.” 7

“Plan of Buildings and Ground Occupied by Company C, Ninth Infantry at Balangiga, Samar” in Captain Fred R. Brown, History of the Ninth U.S. Infantry 1799-1909, (Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1909) 581.

Connell was filled with optimism when he arrived in Balangiga. But, he was immediately concerned about the cleanliness of the town. He may have been motivated by a desire for a more civilized way of life, but other accounts suggest he was under strict orders from a very angry inspector-general. 8 Connell asked Presidente Abayan to persuade the people to clean up their homes. This was unsuccessful.

Connell then set about moralizing Balangiga. He was most preoccupied with the men’s love for cockfighting and the young women’s attire (or lack thereof). The American soldiers in his company enjoyed both, much to his disappointment. Connell approached the local priest for help, but was rebuked. The priest took a more practical than pious approach. He told Connell cockfighting was well-established in their culture, and would not likely disappear anytime soon. As for the women, they could never afford petticoats Connell wanted and it was unrealistic in such a hot climate anyway. 9 This reaction troubled Connell, who was worried about his men attending cockfights and fraternizing with local women, but he took no further action.

The ways American soldiers interacted with local women have been contested. Some accounts claim that young girls were used as decoys for insurgents. They would lure a soldier into the jungle and then he would be killed. One historian wrote, “The men learned from this blunder and the next decoy was dragged under a hut and repeatedly raped.” 10 In other accounts, the soldiers simply took advantage of women on a relatively regular basis. Apparently Connell had no knowledge of this until three young girls approached him claiming his men raped them. He was infuriated and posted the following orders:

“I will construe any act of physically touching the body or limb of a native woman by a member of this command as rape and will recommend that the soldier be court-martialed and shot. Think of how this disgrace would sadden your mothers and loved ones at home.” 11

He also banned cockfights and consumption of Filipino alcohol. 12

Connell wanted good relations between Americans and Filipinos, but he was in the minority among his fellow soldiers. It irritated them endlessly, but Connell forbid the use of words such as “nigger” or “gugu” to describe the Filipinos. In an attempt to solidify trust even further, Connell ordered his men not to carry their weapons when not on sentry duty. The soldiers began to refer to Connell as a “nigger lover” for his naïve confidence in the Filipinos.

On August 18, 1901 Captain H.L. Jackson of the First U.S. Infantry unexpectedly discovered General Lukban’s hideout. They found the following letter among his belongings:

As a representative of this town of Balangiga I have the honor to let you know, after having conferred with the principals of the town about the policy to be pursued with the enemy in case they come in, we have agreed to have a fictitious policy with them, doing whatever they may like, and when the occasion comes the people will strategically rise against them.

This I communicate to you for your superior knowledge, begging of you to make known all the army your favorable approval of the same, if you think it convenient.

May God preserve you many years,
Balangiga, 30th of May, 1901

P. ABAYAN, Local President

Because of slow, inefficient transfer of information amongst American troops in the Philippines, this letter and the information it contained never reached Company C in Balangiga. Connell continued to be friendly with Presidente Abayan and Abanador.

But, according to some sources, there was a direct impetus for the attack, and it was not General Lukban. Lukban, through his extensive spy network, was most definitely aware of what was going on at Balangiga. And Abayan’s letter seems to prove that they had contact. However, Professor Borrinaga’s research showed a different story. While cleaning up Balangiga, apparently the people were forced to cut down some “vegetation with food value,” which violated strict orders from Lukban regarding “food security.” On September 18, Lukban sent guerrillas to Balangiga to punish the Filipinos who violated his orders. This attack never occurred, but Lukban definitely no longer sided with the people of Balangiga.

Company C with Valeriano Abanador

Events were set in motion on September 22, 1901 when two drunken American soldiers attempted to molest a Filipino girl. Her brothers came to her defense and mauled the two assailants. Some believe that this prompted Captain Connell’s order to detain all Balangiga’s male residents. However, officially, Connell arrested them in order to secure forced labor to hasten the clean-up of the town. Edwin Bookmiller’s testimony to the Senate Committee on the Philippines stated, “Captain Connell had collected 78 natives of the town and held most of them prisoners for police work.” 13 Almost 150 men were denied food while held overnight in cramped tents. Their homes were ransacked and American soldiers confiscated all bolos, which held cultural capital for Filipino men who lived in rural areas. The American soldiers even confiscated and destroyed their stored rice, “the fundamental symbol of their dignity.” 14 Connell soon brought in more prisoners from around the island, with the help of the Abanador and Presidente Abayan. What Connell did not know was that these “workmen” provided by Abayan were the best bolomen on the island of Samar. 15

Who planned the attack and why they planned it matters to the history of Balangiga. In the version that has been propounded in American history, the whole attack was planned by Lukban, who planned on killing the soldiers from the time Presidente Abayan requested their presence in Balangiga. In another account, the attack was not the result of lengthy sadistic scheming, but rather a response to the cruelty Filipinos experienced at the hands of American soldiers. The people had been shamed, disgraced, imprisoned, and mistreated by American soldiers and they planned to do something about it.

On September 27, 1901 Filipino women carried small coffins into the local church, claiming a cholera epidemic had killed many of the local children. The sentry on duty was suspicious, but did indeed find a child inside the coffin he inspected. Had he looked closer, he might have seen that the child was in fact playing dead, and underneath him, the coffin was filled with bolo knives. Because of Connell’s rules about touching Filipino women, the sentry was not at liberty to search them either. If he had, he would have found that they were in fact men, and underneath their dresses, they carried more bolo knives.


That morning, the Filipinos attacked, leaving Company C almost completely annihilated.

“Survivors of Company C” from Captain Fred R. Brown, History of the Ninth U.S. Infantry 1799-1909, (Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1909), 579.

The party of survivors “consisted of 25 men, 22 of whom were wounded, and two bodies of men who had died en route.” They arrived at Basey at 4 a.m. the next morning, where Captain Edwin Bookmiller was stationed with Company G. Bookmiller was quite the opposite of Connell he “despised Filipinos and trusted none of them.” 16 At 9 a.m. Bookmiller and fifty-five volunteers of Company G set out for Balangiga with eight survivors of Company C.

When they arrived, Bookmiller ordered the men to round up all Filipinos in the area. The survivors of Company C gunned them down while the rest set Balangiga ablaze. As the town burned, Bookmiller famously declared, “They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.” 17 Although as many as fifty Americans perished, hundreds of Filipinos were killed that day as well, and thousands more died over the next year.


“Butchered with Bolos,” Minneapolis Journal, September 30, 1901.

“Killed by Rebels,” Washington Times, September 30, 1901 “Battle with Filipinos,” Saint Paul Globe, September 30, 1901 “Terrible Defeat at Hands of Filipinos,” Salt Lake Herald, September 30, 1901.

The American people were horrified when they heard that almost an entire company of men had been cut down by savage Filipino attackers. The Evening World claimed, “The slaughter is the most overwhelming defeat that American arms have encountered in the Orient.” They painted a gruesome picture: “so sudden and unexpected was the onslaught and so well hemmed in were they by the barbarians that the spot became a slaughter-pen for the little band of Americans.” It reignited support for war in the Philippines. The idea that Filipinos would hack a harmless company of men to death during breakfast reinforced the idea in the American consciousness that Filipinos were brutal, savage people. It reinforced the idea that Filipinos needed American colonialism in order to become civilized.

The attack sent shock waves through the U.S. Army. Everyone seemed to have an explanation. Many blamed Connell. General Hughes said, “There is no doubt whatever that the disaster was the result of overconfidence in the Presidente and chief of police.” 18 One officer was more direct: “I have all the time thought that we do not appreciate the fact that we are dealing with a class of people whose character is deceitful, who are absolutely hostile to the white race.” 19

Adna R. Chaffee, commander of American forces in the Philippines, had the following to say about the attack in the Annual Report of the War Department:

“Born, raised, and educated in a country where peaceful conditions prevail and where all one’s neighbors can be trusted, where security for life and property is assured by peaceful processes and through civil means, I fear our soldiers, transplanted to a strange sphere of action, do not fully realize or appreciate the difference in their surroundings and naturally fall into the error of complaisant trustfulness in a seeming friendliness on the part of the native population.” 20

Lukban (whether he planned the attack or not) was pleased with such a successful show of Filipino resistance. He sent out a telegram stating, “Providential events like these clearly demonstrate the justice of a God.” 21 He continued, “We desire you to attempt the same thing against the enemy, and with them demonstrate in sight of the nations our dignity, and with them bequeath to our successors fame and honesty, those successors whom we have made happy with their independence.” 22 Read the whole telegram here


The Balangiga massacre gave officers the justification to pursue harsher methods. 23 General Jacob H. Smith led the charge in Samar. He gave the following instructions: “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me. I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms in actual hostilities against the United States.” Major Littleton Waller asked to know the age limit, and Smith replied “Ten years.” These orders were immortalized in a cartoonin the New York Journal whose caption read: “Kill Every One Over Ten: Criminals because they were born ten years before we took the Philippines.” Smith asked his men to turn Samar into a “howling wilderness,” and they obliged.

Over the next year, the US Army practiced a scorched earth policy on Samar. They trudged through dangerous jungles, burning towns, taking food, and either killing the people or taking them to coastal villages for internment. 24 Thousands of Filipinos, mostly noncombatants, were killed during the Samar campaign. It became the most gruesome campaign of the entire Philippine-American War.

For the people who lived there, it was not the events of September 28, 1901, but what came after that was the true Balangiga “massacre.” Before leaving the island, American troops revisited Balangiga, where it all began. They took the church bells that signaled the attack on that day and sent them back to the United States as war trophies, where they still reside to this day.


Though this incident has been largely forgotten by most Americans (along with American colonialism in the Philippines), the scars remain to this day. Scholars still dispute the events surrounding the attack. 25 Some, like Stuart Creighton Miller in Benevolent Assimilation paint a picture in which General Lukban and the people of Balangiga lured an American company to Samar and massacred them in cold blood. On the other hand, Kimberly Alidio characterizes the events differently: “The attack of the townspeople and the armed guerrillas led by General Vicente Lukban was a response to weeks of forced labor, mass imprisonments, and the seizure of food supplies under the military occupation” She claims the true brutality was afterwards, when “American forces waged a genocidal campaign, which produced thousands of civilian deaths on the island and the leveling of Balangiga.” 26 Even the matter of what to call the incident is disputed. Sharon Delmendo claims that “it is the interpretation of the incident as a ‘massacre’ that engenders some of the anti-compromise Americans’ resentment over the incident even today, thus fueling their opposition to returning the bells.” The fact that five times more Filipinos than Americans died on that same day, for Delmendo, “provokes some meditation on the use of the term massacre.” 27


An Historical Essay on the Beginnings of the Evangelization of Guiuan
by Lope Coles Robredillo, SThD

(Though for a number of reasons it has no technical apparatus, this work is a result of a preliminary research done by the author at the following institutions: University of Santo Tomas Library, Philippine National Library, Cebuano Studies Center at San Carlos University, Lopez Memorial Museum, Divine Word University Museum and Library and Philippine National Archives. He is grateful to Dr Bruce Cruickshank, a professor of history, and the late Dr Pablo Fernandez, OP, a professor of Church history, for materials they gave him.)

ALTHOUGH THE AUGUSTINIANS were the first Spanish missionaries to set foot on the bungto of Guiuan (in 1585), it was not until 1595 that a systematic process of evangelization was introduced here. It must be recalled that on April 27, 1594, the Council of the Indies in Spain directed the governor-general and the bishop of the Philippines to assign particular areas of the archipelago to the various religious orders. The islands of Samar and Leyte were allotted to the Jesuits.

Upon instruction of Father Antonio Sedeño, vice-provincial of the Jesuit order in the archipelago, Father Pedro Chirino, together with a small band of missionaries, sailed to and landed in Carigara, Leyte on July 16, 1595, and established a mission there. After founding another mission in Dulag (on the eastern part of Leyte, which was transferred to Dagami in 1630s and finally to Palo) later in the year, the Jesuits from Dulag came to Guiuan in 1595 to

evangelize the inhabitants in a systematic way. Guiuan was thus the first township (pueblo) on Eastern Samar (formerly known as Ibabao or Cibabao) to be Christinized by Spanish missionaries.

What about the rest of Samar island? The bungtos on the western littorals were brought to the faith by the Jesuit missionaries who had set up a mission on October 15, 1596 at Tinago (now part of Tarangnan, Samar) with Father Francisco Otazo as head. But before 1598, another mission was opened in Catubig, and was later moved to Palapag from which the Eastern Samar pre-Hispanic bungtos were serviced. These were the bungtos of Bacod (now part of the Dolores river bed), Tubig (Taft), Libas (later moved to San Julian) and Boronga(n).

However, the Jesuit mission on Guiuan did not last until the end of the Spanish

regime. When the Jesuit order was suppressed in 1768, Guiuan was given to the Augustinians who ceded it later to the Franciscans in 1795. From the Franciscan parish of Guiuan were separated the following parishes: Balangiga (1854), Salcedo (1862), Mercedes (1894/1964), Quinapondan (1894), Giporlos (1955), Sulangan, Guiuan (1957), Matarinao-Burak, Salcedo (1959), Lawaan (1961), Casuguran, Homonhon Is., Guiuan (1979), Buenavista, Manicani Is., Guiuan (1999) and Sapao, Guiuan (1999).

The major aim of this short essay is to demonstrate how the Jesuits ministered Guiuan and how the Guiuananons responded to the former’s missionary efforts.

The Origins of Guiuan and Its Social Structure. To appreciate the Jesuit missionary work,it is important to have a once-over at the pre-Hispanic Guiuan. Historically, Guiuan—or Guiguan, as the bungto was formerly known—was called Butag, (“Guiguan que llamaban en su antiguedad Butag”) no doubt because the place now designated Butac was its earliest settlement. The name Guiguan, according to a 1668 manuscript, was derived by the natives from the term gigwanum, a Binisaya term for salty water: “Esta este pueblo de Guiguan que, segun la significacion es lo mismo que fuente o pozo de agua salada.” (The present popular tradition which traces the name to the Binisaya word guibang is not found in any Spanish document and, it seems, cannot bear historical scrutiny it should accordingly be treated as no more than an aetiological legend.)

Evidently, the place lacked dulce agua (fresh water), which was obtainable from the island of Manicani . Before the Spanish missionaries came, Guiuan was already a bungto—a term which does not exactly correspond to the word town, because it was no more than a relatively large cluster of houses. Rather, this means it had a number of haops, groups headed by datus. In its vicinity could be found numerous scattered tiny hamlets, known as mga gamoro in Binisaya, which the Spaniards identified as rancherias. The datus (whom the Spaniards later called principales) governed the people, regulated tribal life, and sustained customs. In return for their responsibilities and services, they received labor and tribute from the people. Thanks in no small measure to geography, the inhabitants were politically decentralized the Guiuan society was fragmented.

Economy, Social Customs and Religion. They had communal land ownership, but rice was not cultivated, not even within a distance of two leagues around the bungto. Their most ordinary food was taro (Colocassia), but palawan (a kind of tuber) abounded, and made

a satisfying meal when taken along with fish or shell fish. Even though they never cultivated rice, they never suffered from lack of it, because they engaged in barter trade. From the coconuts, which were abundant in Solohan (or Suluan) and Homonhon, they bartered their oil which they produced in relatively great quantities, and in this way accumulated rice.

The pre-Hispanic Guiuananons were also remarkable seafarers. They went to as far as Cebu, Oton and Manila in their caracoas (double-ended cruisers), heavily laden with oil. The men donned bahags (G-strings), which were larger than those worn in Cagayan Valley, while the women put on lambong (tube skirt), which the Spaniards called sayo (smock). Their typical house, which stood around four feet above the ground, had no doors, still less privies, partitions or tables. When they ate, they just sat on their haunches. And like other maritime settlements on the east coast of Samar, they had an alphabet, though their literature was unquestionably oral. Religion-wise, they were animists, believing that the forces of nature had or were controlled by spirits who were rendered either beneficent or harmless by the performance of magical rites. Their best known and the greatest diwata (Malay-Sanksrit word for god) was Macatapang, son of Malaon, who lived in the island of Homonhon . (Recent tradition identifies this diwata of Homonhon as Samrayan but this tradition suffers from lack of documentary support). They offered many pag-anitos to him to obtain favors.

The Early Jesuit Missionaries

The Cabecera-Visita Complex. Such was the Guiuan that the Jesuit missionaries—from Dulag, Letyte, the cabecera or residencia (central mission center)—saw when they began the work of evangelization in Eastern Samar . This is not to say, of course, that the Jesuits and, before them, the Augustinians, were the only Spaniards the Guiuananons encountered. Even before the Jesuits arrived in Guiuan, the island of Samar was already parceled out among encomenderos, holders of encomienda or tribute-collection areas, who in theory were responsible for the administracion de justicia (defense and protection) and the doctrina (doctrinal instruction) of the natives, and who collected tributos (adult head-taxes) from the villagers of Samar .

It is true, of course, that Miguel Loarca, in his Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,

explicitly stated that as of 1582, no Spaniard has ever gone to Guiuan. But as early as 1549, Francisco de Molina was already collecting tributes from the settlers of Eastern Samar . It is not, therefore, impossible that, the Homonhonanon and Suluanon encounter with Magellan and his men in 1521 aside, the people could not have seen Spanish government representatives earlier on. Nevertheless, it was the Jesuit missionaries from the Residencia de Dulac who really brought the faith, and mediated Hispanization to the inhabitants.

The Jesuits who were stationed in Samar and Leyte worked under what was known as cabecera-visita complex. Under this arrangement, the missionaries formed themselves into “task forces” consisting of three or more members based in the residencia or cabecera, from where they spread out in teams to the small villages of the area they covered to preach, administer the sacraments and give medical assistance. As soon as one “task force” returned to the residence, another group set out, and so on throughout the year.

The First Jesuits to Serve Guiuan. This was how the Jesuits reached Guiuan, and it cannot be doubted that the first to evangelize the bungto systematically were Father Alonso de Humanes and Father Juan del Campo. I do not have records of the missionaries who from time to time came to Guiuan from Dulag and, later, Dagami. But as it appeared in Nominal relacion de todos padres que han servido la parroquia de Guivan desde su fundacion, the first twenty were: Father Antonio Belancio, Pabercoco, Mendoza, Miguel Solano, Alonso, Ignacio Campeon, Bernardo, Baltasar, Abarca, Juan Torres, Francisco Angel, Cosme Pelarez (Pilares), P. Ballejo, Esteban Jayme, Francisco Deza, Lorenzo de la Horta, Bartolome Visco (Besco), Juan Calle, Javier and Cristobal Millares.

According to the relacion, the first to say mass in Guiuan was Father Antonio Belancio of the Domincan order (“el primero que dijo misa en este pueblo en casa de un tal Tandodo de Bucas fue el P. Antonio Belancio de orden de Sto. Domingo”). At least two points are not clear here. First, it is contestable whether Belancio (sic) was a Dominican, for the friars of St Dominic were almost exclusively concentrated in Luzon. On the other hand, he may not be identified with Giovanni Domenico Belanci, an Italian who entered the Jesuit order on Sept 27, 1589, arrived in the Philippines on May 1, 1602 and became captive of the Sulus of Jolo in 1633.
Second, though he headed the list of Jesuits in the relacion, this can hardly be taken to mean that he was the first parish priest. Writing in 1668, Father Alcina said that the first minister of Guiuan was Father Julio de Torres. This name, however, is not found in the catalogue, unless he is associated with Father Juan de Torres (No. 10 in the list) who came to the Philippines in 1596, served Samar for a number of years and died in Manila on Jan 14, 1625. But the designation first minister in no way implies that he was the first parish priest for it could only signify that he was the first to be assigned in Guiuan, under the cabecera-visita arrangement . There is dearth of evidence to indicate that Guiuan was a parish before 1697.

Hispanization and the Reduccion Program

The Rationale of the Reduccion Program. It should be emphasized that the fragmentary character of the pre-Hispanic Guiuan society was in collision course with the Spanish world-view. As John Phelan, in his book, The Hispanization of the Philippines, remarked, “the decentralization of Philippine society clashed with one tradition deeply rooted in Spanish culture. As the heirs of Greco-Roman urbanism, the Spaniards instinctively identified civilization with the city, whose origins go back to the polis of ancient Greece . For the Spaniards, man was not only a rational animal gifted with the capacity to receive grace. He was also a social animal living in communion with his fellowmen. It was only through his daily contact with other men that he might hope to achieve a measure of his potentiality. The Spanish chroniclers endlessly repeated that the Filipinos lived without polity, sin policia, and for them that term was synonymous with barbarism.”

Moreover, the Spanish missionaries, who belonged to the Catholicism of the Counter-Reformation and the Age of Baroque, came with the mission to persuade the Guiuananons to accept Catholicism as the whole truth. As men of their time, they viewed the Samareño native religion as simply an error and, worst, a work of the devil which could not be allowed to prosper. It is in the context of this world-view and theological framework that the missionary efforts of the Jesuits who brought the gospel to Guiuan should be understood.

The Consolidation of Guiuan. In view of this, the Jesuits did remarkable achievements in Guiuan. Among others, they worked for the consolidation of the bungto by embarking on a program called reduccion, which served as basis for cultural integration. This refers to an organized process of resettling the natives from their infinitely scattered tiny hamlets into a large village, where the introduction and growth in the faith could become more viable, and social intercourse could become more feasible. The Jesuits assumed that unless the pre-Hispanic hamlets were congregated into large villages, it would be difficult to indoctrinate them in the faith, reorganize their tribal society, and exploit the material resources of the land. This was how the bungtos of Guiuan as those of Basey and Balangiga were concentrated.

Before the reduccion, there were ever so many tiny hamlets that dotted the southern part of Samar . But since the social structure was not conducive to the introduction of the faith, the missionaries united them to these three bungtos: “todos estos se redujeron a los tres dichos de Basay, Balangiggan y Guiguan.” As a result of the reduccion program, the town of Guiuan was so designed that the church, the convento, and the church plaza formed a nucleus around which stood the residences of the principales and other Guiuananons. For it was ideal to have the people within earshot of the bell tower (de bajo campana). Town streets, which were unknown in the pre-Hispanic Guiuan, were likewise provided. As of 1612, there were six consolidated towns on Eastern Samar:

Consolidated Bungtos Tributes Population (Approx)

Guiguan (Guivan, later Guiuan) 180 540
Bacor (Bacod, now part of Dolores river) 150 450
Unasan (Jubasan until 1630, then it became 200 600
part of Paric, which became Dolores)
Tubig (Taft) 120 360
Boronga (Borongan, formerly in Sabang) 200 600
Libas (in 1886 transferred to Nonoc (now, 230 690
renamed San Julian)

(These figures, taken from Gregorio Lopez, et al., Status Missionis en Filipinas, represent those who had access to the Church and were incorporated to the Spanish rule. The rest of the population, who fled from the town—los huyen de pueblo—settled elsewhere, especially near fields and mountains.)

Samareño Settlement Patterns and Guiuan’s Response to the Reduccion Program

The Guiuananon Distinctive Response. It is important to notice that the reception by the Guiuananons of the reduccion program set them apart from the rest of the Bisayans of Samar. In general, the early inhabitants of Samar met the program without enthusiasm, and it was evident that the Jesuits felt frustrated. The lukewarm reception arose not so much from the fact that the natives scarcely cared for civilization as from their clinging to their fields to relinquish them was simply contrary to their settlement patterns. “Ellos estan en los montes y rios a su voluntad, done hacen sus sementeras de que viven y su sustenan.” Archbishop Miguel Garcia de Serranos’ comment perfectly reflects the general feeling of the pre-Hispanic Samareños: “they considered it such an affliction to leave their little houses where they were born and have been reared, their fields and other comforts in life that it [i.e., reduccion] could be attained only with difficulty and little fruit would result therefrom.”

It is not known to what extent most of the still scattered Samareños resisted the relocation program. That not a few preferred living far removed from the consolidated bungtos was too obvious. As Father Alcina complained about the Samareños to Rome in his Status Missionis de los Pintados, “to es huir de la doctrina y del ministerio y querer a sus anchuras, asi de la fe, como el Rey.” That is why, many Samar towns were only in name except on Sundays, since, after the mass, the inhabitants went back to their fields. But save for the minority, the Guiuananons were different. After the reduccion, the principales of Guiuan continued to dwell permanently in the bungto without absenting themselves, apart from their trading stints and only a few returned to their farms. Obviously, they never troubled themselves with rice fields. Because of their continued presence in the bungto, the people greatly profited from the labors and attention of the Jesuits. Meanwhile, there was an increase of population from 450 in 1612 to 900 in 1660.

The Jesuits’ Work in the Guiuan Mission

The Missionary Activities and the Content of the Catechesis. With the Guiuananons concentrated in the bungto, it naturally became less exhausting for the Jesuits coming from Dulag (Leyte) to bring the Catholic faith to them. But as already noted, the missionaries came to Guiuan on mission at more or less regular intervals during the year. When they did come, they spent several days in the bungto, instructing the people on Christian doctrine and life, administering the sacraments, and building usually makeshift churches in the villages. The doctrina or religious instruction almost wholly consisted of the memorization of the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Credo, the Salve Regina, and a catechesis on the fourteen articles of faith, the seven sacraments, the seven capital sins, the fourteen works of mercy, the ten commandments, the five commandments of the Church, and the act of general contrition.

The Evangelization Process. Father Francisco Colin, in his Labor evangelica minsterios apostolicos de los obreros de la compañia de Jesus, describes the process—which could be regarded as typical—of the missionary activity done in Samar during a regular visit in 1660 by Father Alonse de Humanes who, as related previously, was superior of the Jesuit residencia in Dulag in 1595:

“I visited each of these regions twice, the first time, of set purpose, the second, just in passing. My purpose was to see if steps were being taken to carry out my instructions. In all towns I preached what is necessary to instruct Christians in the truths of our Faith and to attract the pagans to follow the standards of Jesus Christ. All the Christians who have use of

reason went to confession. The younger children were baptized, to the number of more than a hundred and fifty. Besides this I also baptized fifteen to sixteen adult men who needed it in order to be able to marry them in the Church with their old wives or other one single Christian women who were to be married. I did not baptize any adult Christians. For not knowing when the Fathers will return here, I do not dare to leave more Christians without religious instructions.”

Continued Father Humanes: “We built churches in these three districts because the towns had no churches, and the Indios and the encomenderos assisted in building them very willingly. This is no small accomplishment, inasmuch as it was the time for the collection of tribute. Considerable effort was put forward memorizing the Christian doctrine, as was necessary, since they had forgotten it to such an extent that they did not even know how to make the sign of the cross. In all towns there are many others who know the whole Christian doctrine very well. The recite it in their houses at night and in the morning and every Sunday in the church, both old and young….

In all these towns, there is someone to teach the Christians who to die well, one who baptizes and prepares the adults for baptism. They have also been given instructions not to forget the Fridays, Sundays and other feasts and fasts. These people have very good natural qualities and welcome the Father with good will, showing it with gifts and gracious words. Many pagans have sincerely begged for baptism, and many of the Christians have gone to confession, which has brought them great joy and the great satisfaction at their confessions… The rest of my work was to introduce gradually the usages commonly practiced in our parishes and to establish them solidly in this region to the extent possible.”

The Guiuanaon Response to the Missionary Work

Lay Incorporation and Participation. It is very difficult to assess the response of the Guiuananns to the regular missionary visits of the Jesuits. But two visible signs may be touched upon.

It cannot be open to dispute that the Guiuananon Christians were among the best instructed in the eastern portion of Samar. What is even more of consequence is that few bungtos matched them in their fine record of mass attendance, in their eagerness and frequency to receive the sacraments, and in the number of sodalities in the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the words of Father Francisco Alzina, “saco que hay pocos que la exceden en la assistencia a la misa, que oyen casi todos los que viven, en el cada dia, en la facilidad y frecuencia de los sacramentos, de las mujeres, y en la numerosa Congregacion de Nuestra Señora que hay en el.” That there were numerous sodalities further illustrates the depth of the Guiuananon reception of the faith, as they were predecessors of today’s Apostolados, Antonianas, Legionaries, etc.

In addition to their obligation to recite a set of prayers, the members had two duties. First, they visited the sick and the dying, urging them to receive the sacraments, and thereby discourage them from appealing to the babaylan (pagan priest) for consolation and persuaded those far from the bungto to submit to catechesis and baptism Second, they attended funerals wit the hope that their presence could forestall ritual drinking, a remnant of pre-Hispanic religion. This clearly implies that the Jesuits, as in other missions in Samar and Ibabao, trained catechists to keep the evangelization work alive, while they went on tour to other villages within the ambit of the Dulag residencia. Thus, the sodalities helped in the consolidation of Christianity.

The Original Parish Church of Guiuan. The other testimony to the faith of the Guiuananons is the church edifice. Originally, the church of Guiuan was made of wood. However, no sooner was the wooden structure completed than a fire, as a result of carelessness and negligence, engulfed it entirely. Nonetheless, since the people were around, all the church furnishings were saved.

The tragedy prompted the Guiuananons to start making edifices of stone in the 1630s and in the 1660s. The stone church and rectory were enclosed in a muralla (wall) of stones, probably the best in the whole island of Samar and Ibabao. It is even possible these were finished before 1650. And this early, Guiuan could boast of fine furnishings and sacred vestments for divine worship. It demonstrated “great excellence in rich vestments, chalices, monstrances, crucifixes of silver and other items of fine quality to such a degree that it may compare with some of the best furnished cabeceras.”

The depth of the Guiuananon’ Christian faith, however, does not wholly explain their owning of these valuables. Part of the reason is surely that the bungtohanons themselves lived in relative luxury. As already noted, many of them were engaged in barter enterprise, and the coconut oil, which were transported to as far as Cebu and Manla, made them rich. Indeed, in the seventeenth century, they were probably the richest in the whole island of Samar. And as Father Alcina observed, “the town [of Guiuan] takes pride in having prosperous inhabitants who have numerous slaves [sic] and an abundance of gold—the two factors which go to make up their wealth and which they esteem to greatly.”

In 1718, a more permanent stone church was constructed, according to Father Murillo Velarde in his Historia de la provincial de Filipinas de la Compaña de Jesus, though, like the wooden one, this church, a single-naved structure, was burnt and later repaired.

The Blessed Virgin as Patron and the Miracles Attributed to Her

The Titular of the Guiuan Church. Among the images which the church treasured was that of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. If this was mounted on the main altar, it was because the town was under the patronage of the Virgin, and the church was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception: “Esta este pueblo bajo la proteccion de la gloriosa Virgen Maria, Señora nuestra, y a sus Inmaculada Concepcion esta edificada su iglesia.”

How the Blessed Mother was chosen as patron of Guiuan is not recorded. But what happned in Basay (Basey) is instructive and obviously reflects a pattern. Having gathered the people, the Jesuit missionary proposed that they should choose an advocate before God who would protect and defend them from natural and supernatural enemies. They were asked to select several names of saints, write them on paper, fold them and place them into an urn. The one whose name had been drawn by lot was named their patron, and every year a solemn fiesta was held in his or her honor. In Basay, the name of St Matthew, which was taken by a chosen innocent lad, came up on two consecutive draws. (Surprisingly, though, the present patron of Basey is St Michael the archangel!) It is highly likely that a similar process was observed in Guiuan.

Of course, the yearly patronal feast did another purpose. It lured the people living in scattered small hamlets in the vicinity of Guiuan, like those in Suluan, Homonhon and Mercedes, into the mission center. In the words of John Phelan, “not only did the fiestas provide a splendid opportunity to indoctrinate the Filipinos by the performance of religious rituals, but they also afforded the participants a welcome holiday from the drudgery of toil. The religious processions, dances, music, and theatrical presentations of the fiestas gave the Filipinos a needed outlet for their natural gregariousness. Sacred and profane blended together.” The feast in honor of the Immaculate Conception was therefore not merely a religious affair.

The “Crying Lady” of Guiuan. It is interesting to discover that the image of the patroness of Guiuan, the Blessed Virgin Mary in her title Immaculate Conception, was thought of by the missionaries and the people to be miraculous. And it is curious that, in the two instances in which the miracle was witnessed to by a number of Christians, there were imminent tragic events. The first one, said to have happened in July 18, 1628, as mentioned in the letter of Sebastian de Morais in July 1629, was interpreted as an announcement of the Moro attacks suffered by the people. The second, in which the Virgin reportedly shed tears, which occurred sometime in 1639, was taken as a warning, several days in advance, of an impending fire. On account of these and other miracles, the holy image was venerated with especial esteem.

This was Father Alcina’s account of the second miracle: “When the sacristans arrived

in the church at daybreak to change the frontals, as it is done here, and to prepare whatever was necessary for offering Mass, and while the boys were already at prayer—they noticed that the image at the main altar was weeping. Greatly surprised the sacristan called the attention of the other one, even some of the carpenters who were there to complete the wooden portions of the wall of the church.

“The sacristan immediately went out to notify the Father who was in his room praying and who quickly hurried to the scene. The news spread quickly and many flocked to view the wonder with amazement. The Father minister (Miguel Solana (who later was sent to Rome as Procurator of this Province and who upon his return was elected Provincial), an extremely diligent person, left no stone unturned to ascertain the truth of what all wee witnessing, because even to that moment the image did not cease weeping. Unable to find any natural cause or explanation for the shedding of tears (I was informed by someone who was an eyewitness and who affirmed it to be true), everyone looked upon it as an extraordinary and a miraculous event. The said minister of the town made an entry of this incident in the Baptismal Register. In my opinion, this occurred in 1630. However, since this entry together with the record books had been lost, I am unable to say with absolute certainty just when this took place. And so, shortly thereafter the church went up in flames. Consequently, everyone felt that the Lady’s tears were the sign and forwarning about the fire.”

The Major Problems of the Guiuan Mission

The Various Problems. The Jesuits were able to set up a permanent mission in Guiuan, Christianize its inhabitants and incorporate them into the Hispanization process. Yet, various factors handicapped the growth and development of the mission. The scarcity of Jesuit personnel made it impossible the soonest to provide Guiuan and other bungtos their own ministers to take care of the people’s spiritual and material needs. On the part of the natives, not everyone was very receptive to the reduccion program. The third recurrent problem were the smallpox and cholera epidemics which form time to time struck Samar and Ibabao, taking heavy toll.

In the report of the Jesuit mission in 1565, for instance, it was estimated that tributes in the whole island wee reduced from 20,000 to 7,000 during the 1601 smallpox epidemic. In Guiuan, most of the children died, and the natives readily attributed it to their pre-Hispanic diwata, Macatapang, son of the god in Homonhon, who was said to have gone along the coastlands and infected the atmosphere. To obtain health, they offered many pag-anitos to him. The Jesuits lost no time in making the Guiuananons aware of this erroneous interpretation, although even as late as the 1670s, the explanation still endured among the unlettered. With their knowledge of medicine, the missionaries took care of those afflicted by the disease. It should be added though that the women of Guiuan, as was generally recognized, were very prolific and had many children—a phenomenon the natives themselves ascribed to the abundance of fish and shellfish.

The Muslim Raids and the Bravery of the Guiuananons. At any rate, what interrupted the peaceful growth and development of the Jesuit mission were the Muslim raids. No sooner was a semblance of European polity created in Guiuan and other bungtos in Ibabao than the Mindanaoans, Joloans and Camocones pillaged and plundered them. And the missionaries unwittingly played into the hands of Muslims in their yearly incursions, because by concentrating the people in the bungtos, they made it easier for the Moros to capture the natives without having to hunt them in the infinitely scattered hamlets. On this score, the reduccion program had its drawback. The frequent raids discouraged the inhabitants from living in the bungtos, not only because being caught meant captivity and eventual sale in the slave markets in Jolo, Borneo and Maccasar for Java, but also because the raiders laid waste the bungtos, stole grains and valuables, and even set houses on fire.

The Jesuits led in organizing the people for defense, and put to good advantage the vaunted courage of the Ibabaonons of Guiuan. Compared to other town on Samar, however, Guiuan was less vulnerable due to its position and location, but also due to the great courage of its inhabitants. In his Historia de las islas e indios de Bisayas, Father Alcina gave an account of the couage of the Guiuananns in shielding the bungto during the early days of the mission, and the treachery of the Moros:

“At that time, the town did not have the improvements it has presently… The principal [i.e. datu] Jiwantiwan gathered his fighting men (the people of Guiuan have always been courageous) and opposed them [i.e., the Moros]. There were dead on both sides the Guiuananons lost seven men and some were carried away into captivity. Although the [Guiuananons] were few, they forced the [enemy] to fight [they did not only pursued them] but struck them on the heads and brought back some ten heads of the enemy. They returned to the town victorious and with such an excellent reputation among the natvies that even until today none of the enemy, who were wont to harass these towns dared to swoop in against the Guiuananons, and even less now, since it is defended.

“However, from there the Mindanaoans passed over to the island of Sulohan and, seeing that they had fared ill in the battle with those of Guiuan, they went over to Sulohan with feigned overtures of peace, saying that they came to arrange a wedding with a daughter of the principal and datu of the island. Because of this [offer] they were received peacefully and without any opposition. But they soon showed their true intentions (for they noticed the hosts were without weapons) and began to plunder and seize all those whom they could lay hands on, that was the majority of the islanders. Taking them aboard with themselves, they carried them in chains to their homelands, thereby demonstrating their insincerity and extreme Mohammedan perfidy. Those who were left behind in the island were in such a wretched condition that they had no choice but to go over (for they had resisted this previously) on the coasts of the bigger island and joined themselves with the town of Guiuan.”

The Guiuan Fortress. In an effort to protect the people and assure their safety and the continued growth in the faith, the Jesuits took upon themselves the task of putting strong fortifications against the Moros. In Samar and Ibabao, relatively small forts were raised in Palapag, Capul,,Buad (Zumarraga0, Sulat, Catbalogan and Lauan (Laoang), but the biggest one, which was even more grandiose than the celebrated one in Zamboanga, was the fortress in Guiuan.

Jose Delgado, in his 1754 book, Historia general sacro-profana, politica y natural de las islas poinente llamada Filipinas, described the fort as follows: “The ministers built [the fortress of Guiuan] with the help of the Samareños for their own defense. It is of a square figure, every side measuring some seventy brazas, each corner has a bastion, on which six artillery pieces can be mounted. Within this fortification, which is of mortar, is the church, the nave of which is wide and commodious, and the house of the ministers with large specious rooms. It has four large courtyards one for the cemetery which offers an appropriate place for classes, another for the garden where also is found a tall and deep storage room the kitchen is built in the bulwark. In those bastions facing the sea, there are six bronze cannons of various capacities, and a huge one of iron with some lantacas, whip staffs, shotguns, muskets and other arms which the ministers purchased with the alms of the townspeople. These people also help greatly in making the annual purchase of gunpowder, bullets and other necessary arms for the protection against the Moro hordes… The people of the town keep vigil at night, ringing the bells of the watchtower at the gate of the bastion over the gate is the sentry box where ten soldiers live during the week and when necessary, there can even be assembled at the ringing of the bells a thousand armed men, as I have experienced on some occasions of the challenge the enemy engaged us from a distance.”

The Sumuroy Rebellion and the Fort of Guiuan. But the fort of Guiuan was not simply used to defend the townspeople from the Muslim incursions. It was availed of to suppress a revolt at least once. It may be remembered that when Governor-General Diego Fajardo (1644-1653) ordered that a detachment of Bisayan workers be sent to the shipyards in Cavite to relieve the hard-pressed Tag-alogs, many inhabitants of Palapag, under the leadership of Agustin Sumuroy, rose up in arms on June 1, 1649. The flames of rebellion quickly swalloed up the bungtos of Bacod (Dolores), Tubig (Taft), Catubig, Bayugo (Pambujan), Bobon and Catarman, and sparked other rebellions in Leyte, Ibalon (Albay-Sorsogon) and Camarines, among others.

Since the uprising had assumed an almost unmanageable proportion, a huge military force was assembled, under the command of Don Gines de Rojas. According to Casimiro Diaz, in his Conquistas de las islas Filipinas, Captain Juan Fernandez de Leon, who was in command of the third division, was ordered to get reinforcement from the Guiuan fort, and to procure as many men as possible. De Leon passed through and pacified the bungtos of Sulat, Tubig and Bacod on his way to Palapag. This, nevertheless, remains simply as an abnormal episode in the history of Guiuan.

Later Development of the Mission

The Expulsion of the Jesuits. Such were the beginnings of the

Christinization and Hispanization of Guiuan, as well as the Guiuananons responses to the missionary work of the Jesuits. On February 27, 1767, King Carlos III of Spain issued The Pragmatic Sanctions or Decree of Expulsion, which expelled the members of the Compania de Jesus from all the Spanish colonies, including the Philippines. When the decree was received in Manila the following year, all the Jesuits there were put under house arrest. In October (1768), Don Pedro Verdote, a commander of the Royal Navy, gathered the Jesuits stationed in Leyte and the eastern coast of Samar, and brought them to Manila. At about the same time, Don Francisco de la Rosa, commander of the sloop San Francisco de Asis, gathered together those Jesuits in western and northern Samar. Thus, the Jesuit work of evangelizing Guiuan, which was carried on for about 172 years, was cut to an abrupt end.

However, years before the departure of the Jesuits, Guiuan had already attained the canonical status of a parish. Quite apart from having enough population to constitute a parroquia, the bungto had raised a concrete church, and a mestiza rectory. More important, this means that at least in the bungto, a parish life has evolved in which the people went to the parish priest, rather than the other way around, as during the mission days. The last Jesuit to serve as parish priest of Guiuan was Father Ignatz Frisch, who was assigned its pastor prior to his predecessor, Father Tomas Monton. At this time, the central residence was no longer Dagami (Leyte) the seat was already located in Palo. Other Jesuits who preceded him as parish priests included Fathes Raymundo Clamante, Juan Caayer, Ignacio Carlos Mariezo, Francisco Mortero, Francisco Hernandez de Minas, Gil Redao (Bedao?), Lorenzo Alascoy, Hortiz, Bartolome de Lugo, Juan Naet, Cayetano Martin, Manuel de Suasna, Gaspar Benito de Mora, Bernardo Esmit (sic), Geronimo Betim, Juan Delgado and Juan Bautista Midese.

The Coming of the Friars and the Subsequent History of the Parish Church. Although it lies outside the scope of this essay to trace the subsequent history of Guiuan, it may not be irrelevant to mention the minsters who became the successors of the Jesuits, and the improvements they added to the physical structure of the Guiuan parish church. With the exit of the Jesuits, the parish of Guiuan was placed in 1768 under the Augustinians who, like their predecessors, provided ministry from the island of Leyte. During this time, the territorial confines of the parish extended to as far as the present town of Lawaan. The Augustinian friars who ministered the parish were Fathers Manuel Solares (the first cura parroco), Juan Luirogo, Juan Antonio Giraldez, Cipriano Barbasan, Jose Aljan, Pedro Gomez and Francisco Villacorta. But Barbasan and Villacorta served Guiuan twice, although it was the latter who turned out to be the last Augustinian pastor. Unable to meet the demands for personnel, the Augustinian order ceded the Guiuan parish to the Franciscans in 1795. Unfortunately, the latter could not immediately provide the parish with a resident cura instead, it was attended by a diocesan priest, Don Juan Lagajit.

But in 1804, Father Miguel Perez, a Franciscan friar, arrived. As the first Franciscan pastor, he took possession of the parish, serving ti until 1814. He was followed by Father Juan Navarette, Don Juan Nepomoceno, a diocesan (1816-1828?) and Father Gregorio Chacon (1829-1844). In 1844 and the years that followed, Father Pedro Monasterio (1844-1845 1853-1859) and Father Manuel Valverde (1846-1852) rebuilt the entire parish structure: the church was renovated, and tiles covered the roof. Father Monasterio added two side-chapels to give the church the appearance and form of a cross. He was also responsible for making a road for carriages to Mercedes in 1860. In 1854, the bell tower (campanario) was built. The old convento (rectory) was mestiza-type: the lower floor was made of stone, the upper one of fine wood.

In 1872, Father Arsenio Figueroa (1870-1874 1879-1880), who succeeded his brother Antonio (1865-1868), erected a new convento, also a mestiza-type, which was more spacious and of greater dimension than the previous one. Father Antonio himself was credited for extending the road from Mercedes to Salcedo. Father Arsenio was replaced by Father Gil Martinez (1880-1885), through whose initiative was constructed the town pier—measuring 120ࡩ meters, and Father Agustin Delgado (1885-1888). Father Fernando Esteban (1888-1897) roofed the church with zinc sheets, and built two schools buildings made of wood. In 1886, Felipe Redondo described the Guiuan parish structures as follows: “Iglesia: de mamposteria, techada de teja, de 73 varas de longitude, 17 de altitude y 9 de altura, colocada dentro de un gran recinto de cotas antiguas. Cementerio: cercado de pader de cal y piedra de 2 ½ de altura, mide 94 varas de largo y 91 de ancho. Casa parroquial: de fabrica de piedra y cal hasta mitad y el resto de Madera techada de hierro galvanizado, ye mide 94 varas de longitude, 20 de latitude, y 9 de elevacion.”

One of the stereotypes which still perdure in the historiograohy on the Spanish regime, no doubted nurtured by the Philippine propagandists and at present guided, it would seem, by a Marxist interpretation of history is—as I noted in a past essay on Samar history—the view that the Spanish missionaries were principals of colonial appropriation and exploitation. Such an interpretation is not only an effort at placing the Philippine history in a Marxist procrustean bed, but also a projection of the Propagandist-Friar squabbles which was not true even in the most immediate vicinities of Manila.

Regional, provincial and municipal or parish historiographies give the lie to this view. And the present history of the evangelization of Guiuan by the Jesuits (1695-1768) is a case in point. To echo what Horacio de la Costa noted, the general impression that emerges is purely that of men who, to Christianize the Guiuananons, worked with courage and perseverance, whatever might have been their shortcomings. They did it often at the peril of their lives in lonely outposts, for interminable stretches of seemingly barren years. Stumbling occasionally, they never faltered nor turned aside from that long haul which drew the people of Guiuan from the darkness of paganism to the broad light of Christianity.

Of course, given the various factors which weighed down their ministry, the Jesuits, it would seem, never saw the complete realization of their vision of a Christianized Guiuan. Ultimately, the parish did not develop in complete accord with the Spanish world-view, according to which they attempted to mold the inhabitants of Guiuan. Part of the reason, to be sure, may be on what the Franciscans, as well as the Augustinians, regarded as “slipshod administration by the Jesuits”—a criticism on the Jesuit ministry of Samar that recurs in both the Augustinian and Franciscan reports. But then, an ideal is an ideal. All told, the Jesuit achievement cannot be underestimated, nonetheless.

What started as an initial effort at resettling the pre-Hispanic Guiuananons and at teaching them in the faith and in the three Rs eventually had, in more ways than one, created a better forms of political organization, conditions of law and order, new kind of spiritual and cultural unity, entirely different moral and spiritual values, and new social relationships, among others. This is not, to be sure, to downplay the role of the Guiuananons whose capacity for adjustment toward the outlook which the Jesuits had presented showed itself in the synthesizing with the indigenous elements. Indeed, if one asserts that the Guiuananons transformed Christianity, just as Christianity transformed them, there is some truth to it. But the point is, the Jesuits, like the Augustinians and the Franciscans after them, were the link between the continuities of Guiuan history. What Guiuan is today for the most part owes itself to Christianity which they brought here, and this goes deeper into almost every dimension of Guiuan life and progress.*

Eastern samar culture and traditions

Check out our top Free Essays on Eastern Visayas In Region 8 Culture Beliefs Customs to help you write your own Essay .  Muslim Birth Values and Traditions Each culture and religion has its own customs and traditions for the birth of a child. The region is consisted of the six provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte, the… Samara culture is the archaeological term for an eneolithic culture that bloomed around the turn of the 5th millennium BC, located in the Samara bend region of the upper Volga River (modern Russia). Borongan is bounded on the north by the municipality of San Julian, in the south by the municipality of Maydolong in the west by th Samar municipalities of Hinabanagan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao and Basey and in the east by the Pacific Ocean. It consists of six provinces, namely, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar (Western Samar) and Southern Leyte. Category: Culture And Tradition Hits: 133258 Visayas, an island group, Central Philippines, between the Philippines (east) and Sulu (west) seas. The Waray people form the majority of the population in the provinces of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Samar while they form a significant population in Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, and Sorsogon.. History. Area. It was then made as the capital of Eastern Samar. Population/ Language/ Area. The Samara culture is regarded as related to contemporaneous or subsequent prehistoric cultures of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, such as the Khvalynsk, Repin and Yamna (or Yamnaya) cultures. These provinces occupy the easternmost islands of Visayas: Leyte, Samar and Biliran. mi. Eastern Visayas is one of the regions of the Philippines and is designated as Region VIII. During and after the birth of a Muslim child, there are certain rituals the mother and father must perform. A basic reader in understanding the culture of the Waray people who inhabit the islands of Leyte and Samar of the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines with analytical description of the various domains of their life -- history, environment, Eastern Visayas, or the region designated as Region VIII of the Philippines, is one of the many regions of the archipelago that, like the others, exhibits huge potential in terms of its culture, geography and resources. On June 21, 2007, Borongan became the first city in Eastern Samar. Leyte and Samar then were ruled as one province under the jurisdiction of Cebu. The densely populated group of seven large and several hundred small islands constitutes and ethnolinguistic region of 23, 582 sq. The island of Homonhon in Guiuan Eastern Samar was first sighted by Magellan in his voyage to the orient, one that led to his death in the hands of the men of Lapulapu in Mactan, Cebu. The regional center is Tacloban City, one of two cities of Leyte. In the next expedition (1565) headed by Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, he named Leyte, “Filipina” after Prince Philip of Spain.

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