IL News 027/2020
October 13th, 2020
God created human beings uniquely as individuals and groups. This is undeniable classic fact. Engagement and collaboration with all groups are unavoidable normals in this globalisation era. It might as well be a our daily routine. That’s how Dr. Alwi Shihab (Senior Fellow at the Leimena Institute) began his remarks at Webinar “Engagement with Non-Muslim: Islamic Communication Perspective”.
The webinar was held on October 13th, 2020 hosted by Samarinda Islamic State University (IAIN Samarinda) and the Leimena Institute. It was joined by 443 participants and officially opened by Dr. H.M. Tahir, MM (Postgraduate Director at IAIN Samarinda). He stated that Samarinda was a diverse city, in terms of tribes, religions, and ethnics. East Kalimantan is a relatively safe region, almost without conflict. If there is any, it could be settled easily. There are various organizations and religion-based institutions, including Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB). Hence, he hoped the webinar would strengthen the meaning of diversity and enhance knowledge at IAIN Samarinda specifically, and Indonesia in general.
Matius Ho, M.Sc. (Executive Director at the Leimena Institute), in his opening remarks, expressed his appreciation for the collaboration with IAIN Samarinda. He mentioned how relevant the webinar topic in October as celebration moment of The Youth Pledge Day. The 1928 Youth Pledge happened because there was communication among the tribes and religions. The Indonesia diversity was born because there was willingness and communication capacity, beyond differences. This is in line with the Leimena Institute mission to develop Indonesia civilization in plural society.
For about 20 minutes, Alwi Shihab explained communication principle with those who were different, based on Islam history and the Koran. The relationship with non-Muslim was basically kindness, just like Rasulullah’s character. When the Prophet was in Madinah, a group of Christians in Najran visited him and was warmly welcomed. They sat with the Prophet, discussing about religion. Furthermore, the Prophet let them doing their rituals at the mosque. This showed how beautiful and great the relationship was among the two parties.
Alwi Shihab’s lecture was responded with questions from participants, facilitated by Dr. H. Fuad Fansuri, L.c., M.Th.I. (Postgraduate Studies of Islamic Broadcast Communication, IAIN Samarinda).
At the end of the webinar, Alwi Shihab encouraged participants to genuinely seek knowledge. His experience from gaining 2 master and doctoral degree, love of knowledge contributes relevantly beyond era. Reading should be a lifestyle so we have broad perspective. Read all books – even different ones – to sharpen our understanding. Be open, listen to others’ perspective, that’s his recommendations.
His closing message was very relevant to us. Aren’t the willingness to learn and the openness to different perspectives, the characters of humankind and nation who develop civilization?