T~T7 ^ ^ ^ ^
YYV | Vol. XXIV OCTOBER, 1921 NO S ]
A 1. - "
^ What Shall We Do
With the Moros
'/I/\\ Rev. Frank C. Laubach, Ph.D.
yl \ Cagayan, Mindanao, P. I.
\VA AMERICAN BOARD & COMMISSIONERS
S°r FOREIGN MISSIONS l4BeaconStB°iton
There are two reasons for reading this ar-
ticle; at least two.
First: It deals with the Philippines. Amer-
ica’s responsibility for the Philippines is
freshly and emphatically recognized by the
appointment of General Leonard Wood as
Director General of these islands, and by his
self-sacrificing acceptance of the post. We
have an obligation to this land and people
that fell into our hands so surprisingly; a
land and a people we cannot cast off and
must not neglect.
Second: It deals with a Moslem popula-
tion in the Philippines. And the Moslem
problem is of foremost concern in securing
world peace as well as world evangelization.
Think of Turkey; of India; of North Af-
rica! It means everything to find a doorway
into the Moslem world.
A third reason why one should read this ar-
ticle is because it is so interesting, so stir-
ring. w. e. s.
Entered ns second class mail matter at the Post Office at Boston,
Mass. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in
section 1104, Act of October 3, 1917, authorized on June 21, 1918. The
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 14 Beacon 8t.,
Boston, Mass. Annual subscription, ten (10) cents.
What Shall We Do With the
By Rev. Frank C. Laubach, Pii.D.
Cagayan, Mindanao, P. I.
Imagine a globe. Paint on it an imaginary American
flag; make it reach half way around the world from the
tip of Maine at one end to the furthest island of the
Philippines at the other. Now turn the imaginary globe
over, and on the other side paint a huge green stocking
covering all northern Africa and Southern Asia. This
green stocking represents the territory covered by Mo-
hammedanism. The heel of that green stocking ends in
Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines, and
there the tip of the American flag flies over the heel of
Islam. In the heel, under our flag, live a half million
The Moros do not suspect it, and few Americans suspect
it, but the fact is that we may, if we will, make them as
important, in many respects, as any half million people
in the whole globe. They are the raw material (with all
the stress you please upon “raw”), and they have the
strategic position for just that.
They hold the key to Mohammedanism, — if there is
\Ve in America sometimes forget that that great, green
Moslem stocking always was and still is the deadliest foe
and the keenest rival of Christianity. The trouble is that
both Mohammedanism and Christianity want to conquer
the world. They have tried to destroy each other and
to convert each other, but neither of them have ever made
great inroads on the other. •
In the conversion line we may as well be honest and
confess that the Mohammedans have made more converts
“Moros are men — They know a man when they see one”
of us Christians than we have made Christians out of
them to date. They have an advantage over us in their
harems. All they have to do, when they invade a new
territory, is to kill the men and carry the women and
children off to their harems and keep them there until they
lose their identity and are absorbed into the religion and
social system of Islam. That is what Turkey is doing
Some Fearful Scares
And they have given us some fearful scares in certain
periods. For example in 732 A. D. they came so close
to destroying Christian civilization that one gasps to im-
agine what might have been if one battle had gone the
other way. They had swept across Northern Africa',
crossed Gibralter, overwhelmed Spain and begun their
march through France. There they were met by the
united armies of a terrified Europe, fighting with their
backs against the wall. It is easy to prove that the most
important battle that ever happened. If the Moslems had
won, England might today be another Turkey, France
another Persia, and probably America would not yet be
discovered. But happily the battle of Tours was won by
Christendom, and the green stocking never extended above'
Spain. Slowly, century after century the Moros, as the
Spaniards called the Moslems, were pushed southward.
On the very year that Columbus discovered America the
last of the Moors were defeated in the battle of Granada
and driven out of Spain.
In the eleventh century the moral indignation of Eu-
rope worked itself into a white heat. Armies sprang up
in every country, and marched, more or less loosely or-
ganized, to save the Holy Land from its unholy captors.
Jerusalem was taken in the first Crusade, and held for
ninety years. Then the Mohammedans, in a counter-
crusade (which they called a “Jehad”) recaptured Jerusa-
lem and finally pushed across into what is now European
When that happened the old routes to the silks, satins,
spices and coffees of the East Indies were cut completely
That is why Columbus tried to go around the world
the other way, not suspecting that a whole continent lay
between him and Asia. Magellan crept down around the
lower end of America and went across an ocean ten thou-
sand miles wide in sail boats. Month after month those
sailors sailed on and on and on — and one of the few
things they had to congratulate themselves about was
that the farther they sailed the farther they were getting
away from the feared and hated Moslems, who had just
been chased out of Spain. One can imagine them talking
as they paced the hot decks:
“Whatever dangers may lie ahead, at least we are safe
from the Moors.”
The Terror of the Philippines
At last they reached the Philippine Islands, gave thanks
to almighty God for having shown them the way to the
fabulous riches of the Far East, began to explore — and
found the Moslems, coming around the world the other
way! In all the annals of disappointed hopes there are
few more tragic tales than this. Fortunes risked, months
of preparation, months of hardship, of bitter cold, fierce
storms, torrid heat, deadly fever, unknown dangers, every-
thing risked to save themselves and Europe from the
scourge of the Moros. Then at the moment of success,
when the East Indies had been discovered, the world
circled, Europe saved, when their hearts overflowed with
thanksgiving — when they thought themselves twenty
thousand miles from the Moslems, suddenly they ran into
them again, fiercer here, more deadly, more formidable,
than ever. They must have felt sick and stunned.
Fortunately the Moros (as the Spaniards called them)
had been in the Philippines only a few years and had oc-
cupied principally the extreme southern part of the Is-
lands. Fortunately too, they had a habit of fighting one
another when they had nobody else to fight, and had kept
their own numbers down by war.
Experience had shown that the only thing to do with
Moors was to exterminate them, and this the Spaniards
proceeded to do as soon as they felt strong enough. They
equipped a fleet and sailed to Mindanao. The extermi-
nation went the way the Spaniards had not intended, for
scarcely a Spaniard escaped to tell what happened to their
That ill fated expedition had stirred up a hornets’ nest.
The Moros stopped fighting one another and organized
a fleet to wreak vengeance on the Spaniards for having
come down and gotten annihilated. When the southwest
monsoon began to blow, that fleet of death sailed north.
Little they cared who were their victims. At every village
they reached they captured the men, Filipinos or Span-
iards, set them to work cutting their ripened crops and
made them pile the threshed rice and corn into the Moro
boats. Then by way of reward they cut off the heads of
the men and carried off the good looking women for their
harems and the strong children for slaves.
The Moros had made a great discovery. Vengeance
proved profitable and exciting. So when the next mon-
soon blew north they repeated the escapade of the pre-
vious year. The Moro guns proved superior to the guns
of the Spaniards during the first two centuries of their con-
flict. Had they deliberately planned to wipe out the in-
vaders they could have done so, but the Moros had
plenty of room and they looked upon the Philippine Is-
lands as an English gentleman does upon his poaching
ground. The Islands made fine sport and added im-
mensely to the joy of living, so they were left unmolested
excepting during hunting season, which was while the
southwest monsoon was blowing.
The Filipinos came to expect this scourge as a regular
part of their yearly life. Watch towers were built, where
vigilant eyes waited night and day during all the danger-
ous season, ready to sound the alarm that the Moros
were coming, so that the inhabitants might flee to the
hills and save their lives and as much of their possessions
as they could carry with them. Forts were built in some
of the larger places and stocked with food to endure a
seige. Manila had a wall around the entire city.
In the nineteenth century the Spaniards, in common
with all Europe, so improved their weapons that they
were able to make inroads into the Moro territory and to
establish a few military outposts among them. But to all
intents and purposes, the Moros remained free from all
real control by Spain.
America Arrives on the Scene
Then America arrived and the Moros met their masters.
The reputation of the Moros had gone before them, and
the Americans never made the mistake of underestimating
them as the Spaniards had done. The mistakes that were
made were not the result of unpreparedness. The War
Department, realizing that here was the most delicate and
difficult region within the boundaries of America, sent
some great men to deal with the situation — and several
were made great by the experience. Pershing, Leonard
Wood, Bullard, Davis, Baldwin, Sumner, these and others
only less well known, were not only soldiers but states-
Unlike the Spaniards these American generals had no
desire to destroy the Moros. They did not even try to
convert them. All they asked was peace and obedience.
They never attacked first, but when the Moros attacked,
the recoil was quick and terrible. The Moros fought with
the same amazing carelessness of life they had always
shown. But it began to dawn upon them that they al-
ways lost, that nothing happened unless they began the
trouble; and that they did the Americans little harm, while
they themselves took all the punishment. They began to
feel as foolish as a man who bumps his nose against a
stone wall. They were brave, but that kind of folly was
not bravery. A Moro is perfectly willing to die killing
Christians — if he kills any. But he sees little glory in
trying to kill them and failing.
An astonished admiration began to steal into the souls
of the Moros for these new soldiers. Here surely was a
An American-Filipino Trade School
This picture shows a part of the work shop of a Trade School organized by
General Pershing, when he was Governor of the Moro Province. The school was
organized to teach boys from the wild tribes different trades and agriculture.
Carpentry, blacksmithing, rattan work, agriculture and regular school work are
taught these mountain boys. The school we believe to be one of the finest bits
of work done either by government or mission force. Some fifty boys, a few from
each tribe, were there in training, free of expense to pupil at the time this picture
new, strange species. The Moros could not understand
them, yet all the while the American leaders seemed to
read the Moros like a book.
General Wood made a scientific study of the psychology
of the Moros. He bought all the books on Mohammedan-
ism, the Moros and the Orient that he thought had any
value. He had a room full of them. When a friend asked
him when he ever expected to read them all, he replied,
“I have read them.”
That did not satisfy Wood. Instead of going directly
to Moroland he spent several months in Borneo, Sumatra,
Singapore and Java, learning all he could from the Dutch
and English rulers and from the natives about the preju-
dices and habits of the Malay Moslems. When he did
reach the Moros he knew exactly what he meant to do.
He knew how to reach their hearts and win their loyalty.
Every subordinate was selected with the utmost care, and
given careful instructions. The entire force knew that
they were on their good behavior.
Those Moros with all their bloody characteristics are
men. They worship physical power, but even more they
worship mental astuteness. They know a man when they
see him, and seeing men in Wood and his staff, they loved
them — if the Moros ever loved anybody.
General Wood and “Rajah Mudah”
When Wood first landed in Jolo the Sultan was absent
in Borneo, but “Rajah Mudah” was acting as Sultan in
his place. General Wood sent the Rajah a cordial invita-
tion to come and visit him. The Rajah replied that he
was ill. Wood sent a company of soldiers to inquire after
the Rajah’s health. They stood at attention in front of
the house while the Captain sent the Rajah word that he
hoped he had recovered sufficiently to go with them to see
the General. Seeing the soldiers, the Rajah made a very
rapid recovery and went with the company. Upon his
arrival, Wood conducted him about the camp, pointing out
the size and discipline of the American soldiers. Then
he inquired whether it would not be interesting to see a
machine gun work. After the machine gun had mowed
down a few trees, the Rajah became enthusiastically
Similar treatment worked among the other chieftains
until they were requested to free their slaves. Then they
all threatened civil war, even in the face of those machine
Datu Ali, the greatest of the Jolo Datos, shut himself
and his warriors up in his bamboo fort.
Bamboo forts are more formidable than they sound.
For some six feet above the ground they are a tightly
woven mass of roots and mud, six or more feet in thick-
ness, and above this the great bamboos rise to a height of
thirty or more feet, almost as thick as they will grow and
covered with thorns. Such a fort is simply impregnable
by direct infantry or cavalry attack. With modern field
guns it is quite another matter.
Wood, always sparing of lives, was profligate with am-
munition. He simply smothered this Moro fort with ar-
tillery fire. The Datu Ali was killed and with him all the
warriors who did not turn and flee.
The last and most difficult of all the tribes in Moroland
were the Taraccas, at Lake Lanao. They are twenty-five
miles from the shore and had to be reached by a danger-
ous mountain road. Unable to withstand the superior
guns of the American troops they at last retreated into
an extinct volcano. Wood did not have guns big enough
to blow a crater to pieces. This time it was necessary to
make a direct attack with all the loss of life that would
mean. The attack was made and the Taraccas were
defeated only after one of the costliest battles in all the
Philippines. The last and strongest retreat of the Moros
had now fallen and the back-bone of their resistance was
Establishing Law and Order
Now came the enormous task of bringing order out of a
land as near anarchy as any place on earth. It is more
accurate to call it feudalism than anarchy — with the em-
phasis on feud. Captain Bullard has written a delightful
account of his experiences at Lake Lanao in the early days.
The Lake is about twenty-five miles in length, apparently
occupying the crater of an enormous extinct volcano.
Around its shores are about ninety thousand Moros di-
vided into “an infinity of little tribelets,” each ruled, at
least more or less ruled, by small chieftains having pomp-
ous titles like Sultan or Rajah, yet no more power than
their personal prowess could command. Under these in
rank but not in obedience are countless lesser datos, with
their “sakops” or vassals, who are really servants.
When Americans arrived they found these tribes in a
state of continual warfare and private quarrelling. There
were no courts, so that each family had to square its ac-
counts with every other by direct action. The atmos-
phere was tense with apprehension. Men never thought
of eating, working or sleeping without their arms. Wives
or children who ventured out of sight without a guard were
likely to be stolen and run off into slavery. They would
be sold from hand to hand and soon lost beyond all power
of retracing. Life in Moroland in those days was not
good for weak nerves.
It happened that a scourge of cholera broke out about
the same time that the Americans arrived, and the Moros
thought the soldiers had brought the disease with them.
They reasoned that the way to be rid of the cholera was
to kill the soldiers. They laid in ambush and picked off
every small group of Americans who ventured out of the
One old Moro named Alandug who lived on the coast
and had seen more of civilization than the others kept
visiting the camp and talking with Captain Bullard.
Noticing that the Americans were not dying of cholera,
he inquired the reason. Bullard took him out to see the
men boiling water before drinking it, and told the Moro
that the fire chased the cholera out of the water.
The Moros are very skeptical men, and cross question
one about almost everything, but to Bullard’s surprise this
old Moro believed the story about the fire at once, and
began to spread among other Moros the information that
the Americans have good Mohammedan doctrines, for
they drive devils out of water with fire. In a short time
the Moros began to come from every direction with all
sorts of ailments and medicine, particularly quinine, be-
came one of Bullard’s chief allies.
Ruling by Work Rather Than Fear
Knowing well that “Moros could be managed in only
one of two ways — by putting them to work and keeping
them at work, or by putting them in fear and keeping
them in fear,” Bullard set them to work building a road to
the interior, paying what to them seemed enormous wages.
Here again is seen the difference between American and
Spanish strategy, for the Spanish soldiers would have
made the Moros work for nothing. Old Alandug came
first “with a handful of ugly fellows whom we treated like
kings and handled like infernal machines ready to go off
at any time.” Charmed by the money they received they
came in ever increasing numbers, — “armed, always armed,
stuck all over with daggers and krises.” Even bitter ene-
mies, who, if they had met anywhere else, would have
fought to the death, buried their deadly hatred for the time
in their love of gold and copper and silver, and worked
side by side on the road. A new force, the love of money,
was at work among the Moros, and far from being “a root
of all kinds of evil” it worked for peace and progress.
Bullard had become their doctor and their employer.
Now he tackled their religion. He crammed late into the
night until he could talk fluently about the Koran and the
following day amazed the priests who came to visit him,
with his show of knowledge of their sacred book. They
themselves knew precious little and pretended to know
everything. In the presence of this wizard from America
who told them things about the Koran they never knew,
they grew more and more reverent. On the point where
the Spaniards had had most trouble, their religion, the
American governor had none whatever.
The most reverend Pandita of them all, a shrewd old
man, came to visit the governor and was treated with such
extreme dignity, that he came again and talked about the
Koran to his heart’s content. Moreover, he was con-
sulted about matters pertaining to the government and
thanked for his great wisdom. This old priest arose in a
grand assembly and solemnly announced that it was the
will of Allah ta Allah that the Americans should rule over
the Moro people and tax them to the fifth of all their
goods ! Taxes to foreigners ! This was a sign of slavery,
and never before had Moros paid a centavo to anybody.
The triumph of American diplomacy was complete.
Giving Value to Life
A Christian considers life, his own and all others, as of
infinite worth. “What shall a man give in exchange for
his life?” Many people in Christian lands seem to care
little for other people’s lives, but they usually show much
concern about their own.
But among the Moros all life was held cheaply, one’s
own as well as the lives of others.
A Moro who was tired of life and who wanted to take
the shortest road to the seventh heaven, could run amock
or “juramentado” as the Spaniards called it. He would
bathe in a sacred spring, shave off his eyebrows, dress in
white, and present himself before a pandita, to whom he
would make a solemn oath to die fighting the enemies of
the faithful. Hiding a kris or other weapon about his
person, he would go to the nearest Christian town, and as
soon as he had gained admission would snatch his weapon
from its concealment and proceed to kill every person in
sight, until he was killed himself. The number of lives
taken by a Moro under this grim oath was sometimes in-
credible. Simply injuring the fanatic could not stop him,
for he would fight so long as there was life in him. If
bayonetted he would often seize the barrel of the rifle and
push the bayonet farther into himself in an effort to bring
the soldier at the other end of the gun near enough to cut
him down with his barong. At last the Moro perished
Then the news was carried to his rejoicing relatives who
held a celebration. Just as night was coming on they al-
ways declared they saw their hero riding on a white horse,
bound for the abode of the blessed.
People who esteem life as cheaply as that are not to be
trusted with guns. Depriving them of their fire arms
proved one of the most delicate tasks the American gov-
ernment undertook. Nobody felt safe unarmed, so long
as his neighbor had weapons. When we consider that the
Moros prized their guns above all their other possessions,
we realize how hard they clung to them. Step by step
that task has been accomplished.
Moros have been enlisted as members of the American
army and make wonderful soldiers. When outlaws are
lurking in the mountains it is they who can find them
most quickly. The only trouble with Moro soldiers is
that they become restive when there is no excitement for a
long while, and sometimes run off to the mountains with
their guns just to give themselves and their neighbors re-
lief from monotony.
Disarming the Moros is not enough. As Bullard early
discovered, they must be set to work and kept at work.
They must be given something else to take the place of
the blood lust that flows in their veins. It was an ad-
vance to teach them to accumulate money, but that was
The governors of the Moros have been racking their
brains to invent new activities for the superabundant en-
ergy of these virile people.
The Ministry of Beauty
Governor Carpenter, just resigned, is generally conceded
to have been the most fertile in original ideas. He se-
cured a landscape gardener from Washington city, and
set him to work beautifying the capital city of the Moros,
Zamboanga. The gardener was given plenty of money
and told to work a miracle.
Beautiful little parks began to appear like magic.
Fountains and charming waterfalls and glorious flower
gardens began to attract the admiration of the Moros.
Numerous canals that had once been ugly mud holes, be-
gan to shimmer with exquisite water lilies. Nature had
done things like this, for Mindanao is fertile and has a
perfect climate, but that human beings could achieve such
wonders was a new idea in Moroland. It became the
gossip of the entire province.
Then there arose splendid concrete buildings. They
were not ugly blocks such as we have in our cities, but
were designed, by architects who were told to put art into
their designs. There crept out into the bay a great beau-
tiful pier brilliantly lighted by dozens of gilded electric
When the fascinated Moros inquired what all this was
for, the only reply they got was,
“You ought to see Washington, the capital of the United
In the last five years Zamboanga has become the most
beautiful city of its size in the entire Orient. This same
landscape genius went to the other cities and towns of the
Moro Province, establishing a beautiful little park in the
center of each.
The only school the Moros know anything about is ex-
perience and observation, but they learn in that school
very quickly. The result of this demonstration in beauty
was that presently one of the dirtiest peoples you could
find anywhere was hard at work planting flowers! And
trying their hand at making rustic paths and fountains.
They had gotten hold of a new idea. If they had not
yet been converted to godliness, they were at least con-
verted to cleanliness. They had something to do to take
the place of killing one another.
Then Governor Carpenter scoured the world for new
Starting for the Moro Farm School
The Lake Lanao launch at the dock at Lumbaton. where the government has a
fann school for Moro boys. We made the trip as guests of Governor Coverton*s
wife Y\ e were gone all day and made a circuit of about sixty miles. Some lake, eh?
Moro population around the lake estimated at from 60,000 to So.ooo.
ideas in agriculture and industry. Plots of ground were
selected where the Moros could not help seeing what was
going on, and here commercial plants of all kinds were
raised. When a plant proved adaptable to Mindanao it
was raised in quantity and distributed free of charge, and
a man went along with the Moros to show them how to
plant and care for the new crop.
A weed was found in the mountains which was culti-
vated and proved high in food value, and which now bids
fair to become the wheat of the Philippines. Our Amer-
ican wheat will not grow in the Philippines.
Coffee, tea, rubber, tree cotton (kapok) and many other
articles of great commercial value are becoming common
all over Moroland. One cannot pass through that coun-
try without feeling the keenest enthusiasm. With rich
soil, abundant rainfall, wonderful climate, virile, teachable,
hard-working people, there are all the elements necessary
for a Paradise.
The government has opened up markets in Manila and
elsewhere for the products of the Moros, so that no crop
need go to waste. During the past four or five years the
Moros of the Lanao region have been as prosperous as
any people in the Philippines, and some of them have been
buying automobiles. It is a queer sight when an auto
truck is filled with a Moro chieftain, all his wives, children
and movable property, and a mighty significant sight. In
all the world there probably has never been such a wide
and rapid leap from one civilization to another as these
Moros are experiencing — and they LIKE it.
It is not exactly a Paradise just yet, and there are not
a few serious hindrances to rapid progress. For example,
the Mohammedan religion forbids borrowing money, mak-
ing the credit system upon which modern business rests,
an impossibility among the Moros. Everything must be
done on a strictly cash basis.
Then countless disputes arise, and the instinct of the
Moros is to resort to direct action, as they have always
been accustomed to doing.
Not a Prison But a Farm
Where lawlessness has always been an everyday matter,
it is unjust to deal out as severe punishment to those who
are caught as we do in America. At least that was the
theory the officials in Moroland have worked on. They
have been greatly influenced by the modern idea of
penology. So if you wish to see a thoroughly modern
prison in actual operation, you can find it among the
Moros. San Ramon penitentiary is not a prison at all but
a big beautiful farm along the sea. It rivals Zamboanga
itself for charm. To the Moros it is like sending a man
to heaven for being wicked, for it is by all odds the most
lovely and lovable spot they ever lived in, or, at least in
this generation, will live in. San Ramon has but one ob-
ject, to cure the patient. The Moro who steals or murders
is all too obviously the victim of a past bad system, and
needs to get a new idea. He would never get it behind
prison walls. He does get it on San Ramon Farm.
Here the prisoners work, but not harder than they did
before. They have plenty of good food and grow fat
and happy. Prisoners weep when they must leave that
Eden and go back to the lean, wicked world.
San Ramon boasts of the finest record of cured inmates
of any prison in the world. You might suppose they com-
mit other crimes in order to get back. They would if
they had not received a new idea, but they do get that
One reason for the fine record of San Ramon is, of
course, that it gets fine material to work with. The
prisoners sent there are not simply abnormal, morally de-
fective, degenerate men, like such a large proportion of our
criminals, but simply men who have not had a chance to
catch up with the new age, an age of law instead of fam-
ily feuds. San Ramon helps them to catch up.
Three years ago I dare say there was not a man in
Lanao who was not scared; the news sped over the
Province that the brother-in-law of the greatest Dato on
the Lake had been murdered. The murdered man was
a Mohammedan priest in addition. Here was a test of
the new order! Could it hold out against such an out-
rage! Twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, all Lanao
would have flowed with the blood of warring Moros.
It was of no consequence that the Priest had been killed
by a watchman, while robbing a store. It was the dig-
nity of the murdered man that made the crime so heinous.
The next day hundreds of Moros were seen marching to
their rendezvous for a war council. Quick action by Gov-
ernor Coverston alone averted a catastrophe. He went
to Ami Montabelin, the bereaved and enraged brother-in-
law, and told him that the night watchman would be pun-
ished without delay by the majesty of the law. The
watchman was arrested and put in jail and the judge was
wired to make a special trip to Lanao. The atmosphere
was too tense to allow the watchman to remain in this
vicinity very long. When the judge came, the Governor
told him the situation and said he hoped for the sake of
peace that the man would be convicted. The watchman
was found guilty of manslaughter in the second degree, —
and sentenced to the paradise, San Ramon, for eight
years. The honor of Ami Montabilin was avenged, and
peace reigned once more over Lanao.
Such thin ice must governors and judges skate over at
every turn in making “mercy season justice.”
Mohammedan Schools with American Teachers
The most wonderful tale in Mindanao has been saved
for the last. It is just this — that for the first time in all
the history of the green stocking, a Mohammedan nation
is going to school to Christian teachers. That is mar-
velous enough, but there is something still more marvel-
ous — they are sending GIRLS to school.
To appreciate that miracle one must know that women
among Mohammedans are slaves. It is contrary to all
Moslem custom for them to be educated. As an Indian
Moslem visiting the Moros explained, “The place of wom-
an is to be subservient to man, and if she becomes a little
educated she talks back, and you cannot keep her in her
place. No, it will never do to educate women.”
But the Moros are educating their girls, Moslem cus-
tom or no Moslem custom. As these young people, boys
and girls, get modern ideas they begin to lose faith in the
civilization and the religion which kept them in war, pov-
erty and injustice. The new generation is open to a new
religion as well as a new civilization.
The Sultan of Sulu is the religious leader of all the
Moros. His daughter is now in the United States, study-
ing, with the daughter of Aguinaldo, and is seriously
weighing the question whether she dare become a Chris-
tian and go back to her father.
Moreover, a considerable number of young Moro men
have become Christians. One of them has been ordained
as a Christian missionary to his own people and has a
strong following in Siasi. This remarkable young man,
Mateas Quadra by name, is a born leader with all the pent
up passion of his race, now turned toward “a burning de-
sire to serve my people,” as he writes.
All who know the Moros, their wonderful progress in
the past twenty years, their intense admiration for Amer-
icans, believe that here as never before in the history of
Mohammedanism is a people ready to be Christianized.
The government has done more than half of it already.
It will not be easy or simple, but it is not at all impossible.
There are in America strong men and women who could
be worthy successors of the great administrators we have
had in Mindanao, who could command the admiration of
the Moros and could lead them to Christ.
Christianizing the Moros
This is not a task for either timid souls or snobs. Men
of great human love and of dauntless courage, men who
have no race prejudice, but can see the manhood in the
Moros and bring it to the surface, real men who draw
other men to themselves, have got to do this task. Men
of the calibre needed are rare but we have many of them
Bishop Brent, while he was in the Philippines, became
so enthusiastic about the Moros, that three society women
of large means, infected by his zeal, went to Jolo and did
remarkable deeds of mercy for nearly a year. The best
known of these is Mrs. Lorillard Spencer. “The world
can never know,” says Bishop Brent, “the purity of motive
and spaciousness of vision that actuated and sustained the
three ladies who volunteered to spend a year of work in
Christ’s name in Jolo amid conditions that defied the
centuries and discouraged the bravest. They have won a
name and place among the Moros of the Island of Jolo
that no Christians in history, men or women, have ever
held. Our little band of women have created an oppor-
tunity for permanent work, which but for them, would
have been many years in coming.”
The Christianization of the Moros is a case of now or
never. If the American flag withdraws and the roots of
Christianity have not sunk deep under the guidance of
American missionaries, there will be no later chance. For
the Moros, like all Mohammedans, are fatalists. “It is
the will of Allah that they should listen to Americans”
while America has control over them. When the Philip-
pines become independent it will be another story.
Whatever we may think about missions in general, we
have reason to be interested in this enterprise just as
American citizens, who want to see the Philippines make
a great success of their experience in democracy. We do
not want them to have rebellions on their hands.
But a Mohammedan people in the Southern Islands will
jeopardize the peace of the Philippines. They say very
frankly that they will recommence their long delayed con-
quest of the Philippines, and unless they change their re-
ligious ideas they certainly will try it.
We have not done our duty by the Filipino people un-
til we have Christianized the Moros. This is not a senti-
mental or a denominational question in any sense. It is
practical American sense, and should enlist the hearty
sympathy of every American, Catholic, Protestant or
We have seen enough of them Christianized to know
the mighty zeal they have. It is perfectly evident that a
Christianized Moro nation would turn down upon the
fifty millions of Mohammedans to the south of them in
Borneo, Java, Sumatra and the Straits, and begin to
storm those Islands for Christianity.
The experience of a century ought to have taught us
that no white man or thousand white men are going to
convert Mohammedans. We do not know the Oriental
mind well enough.
If we want to make inroads in that great green stocking,
our strategy is to get Oriental Mohammedans themselves
to do it.
For centuries the Moros have been the most formidable
people of their numbers in the Far East. They are the
choicest people we could have found to begin to unravel
Mohammedanism at the heel.
They will go among their backward kinsmen of the
Malay Islands. They will say:
“Once we were backward, stagnant, afraid, hungry, like
yourselves. Now we are educated, progressive, prosper-
ous, peaceful, happy. The Philippines are the proof of
what Christianity can do for Mohammedans.”
The ancient pirates of the Far East will become the
key to the Moslem problem. It is in their blood to do it
and they will.
No such opportunity as that has confronted Christianity
for the last fourteen hundred years of Christian-Moslem
The Thrilling Tale of the
AN ILLUSTRATED LECTURE
By Rev. Frank C. Laubach, Ph.D., Missionary-
This lecture puts in popular form a message
that has stirred the country from coast to coast.
It begins with official America’s gratifying but
unfinished service in behalf of the Philippines,
and ends with suggestions as to how Christian
America can help make the Islands a Beacon of
Hope” to the rest of Asia. Naturally it gets its
illustrations from Mindanao, the Board s ‘ respon-
sibility” in the archipelago. It shows an intimacy
with the life and problems of the pagan High-
lander and Mohammedan Moro, as well as of the
“Christian” Filipino. It describes the best work-
ing methods of the missionary, and stimulates a
particular interest in mission work for the Mo-
These slides are loaned to Congregational
churches on payment of express charges, and may
be obtained from JOHN G. HOSMF.R, Agent,
Room 102, 14 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass., or
from the District offices as follows: —
Rev. W. W. Scuddcr, D. D., 287 Fourth Ave., New York.
Rev. William F. English, Jr., 19 South La Salle Street,
Rev. Henry H. Kelsey, D. I).. Phelan Building. San