Muslims or Moros: not an Ethnic group or race, Muslims are those who practice the religion of Islam
These are four Muslims from four different races. But if they become Filipino citizens, the Philippine government will classify them as indigenous. Only in the Philippines.
Muslims are not indigenous people. They are the followers of Islam.
Muslim by definition is an individual practicing the religion of ISLAM. Not all the Muslim people in the Philippines are indigenous. There are several races in the Philippines practicing the religion of Islam and they are Muslims. But not all of them are indigenous. Take the Chinese Muslims in Tawi-Tawi, the Indian Muslim in Zamboanga, or the caucasian Muslim in CDO; all three belong to different races and ethnicity.
- Case in point via history: Let us take two indigenous tribes as an example. The tausugs of Sulu and the Maranaos of lake Lanao.
Before the Muslims arrived in the archipelago, the Tausugs and the Maranaos were non-muslims. They practiced their own forms of worship. Most say that they practiced the animistic beliefs and traditions. As history would record it, by the 14th century when the Muslims arrived in the Philippines and started to convert the natives to the religion of Islam, these two tribes (Tausugs and Maranaos) were (most of them) converted into the religion of Islam. Not all the Tausugs and Maranaos are Muslim but all of them are indigenous people. They were indigenous before they became Muslim. Being Muslim did not make them indigenous. Being Tausugs and Maranaos made them indigenous.
- Somehow, in the twisted minds of the legislators of the Philippines, they now classified all Muslim-filipinos as indigenous people.
Muslim scholars, Muslim academia, Muslim politicians, and Muslim leaders will forever continue to break the line that divides religion from ethnicity, race, ancestry and inherited status. They will continue to complicate issues until the dividing line simply becomes a shade of gray. This push will not stop until the world will define the word Muslim as an ethnicity and classify Muslims as indigenous people.
To the Muslim, governance and religion are synonymous. If a Muslim is within a country that is not Islamic, he will simply tolerate the government. The Muslims in that country will cluster and unite in their unending effort to assimilate that country into their ISLAMIC fold. Time is not a factor.
A Muslim is trained from childhood when asked for his/her race, to answer with "I am Muslim".