Caption: The Executive Director of Institut Leimena, Matthew Ho, and the Rector of Universitas Muslim Indonesia (UMI), Prof. Dr. Basri Modding, delivering a speech at the International Webinar in Commemoration the Youth Pledge Day, Thursday (28/10/2021).
IL News 009/2021
Jakarta/Makassar – Religious moderation has been increasingly facing significant challenges along with the emergence of intolerance, radicalism, and extremism among society. Therefore, joint efforts are required to strengthen moderate religious understanding through, including but not limited to, education on campus.
It was the essence of the International Webinar in Commemoration of the Youth Pledge Day, in collaboration with Universitas Muslim Indonesia (UMI) and Institut Leimena titled “Religious Moderation and Tolerance through Pesantren Mahasiswa: Building Nationality and Humanity with Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy (LKLB)” held on Thursday (10/28/2021).
The webinar, which was attended by more than 1,200 participants from 330 cities and 11 countries, also held a Memorandum of Understanding between Institut Leimena and UMI on the Development of Understanding and Application of LKLB.
The rector of UMI, Prof. Dr. H. Basri Modding, S.E., M.Sc., spoke that religious moderation and tolerance are highly essential to build nationality and humanity. The Youth Pledge is the common basis for the application of religious moderation by Indonesian.
“Religious moderation refers to the way we view, understand, and practice religious teachings that the application is always moderate and balanced. Moderate means not excessive nor extreme,” said Prof Basri upon his speech.
Prof. Basri explained that religious moderation aims to create an order among society, to protect the rights of religious adherents, and to create peace and tranquility for their welfare.
The Executive Director of Institut Leimena, Matius Ho, stated that the name of Institut Leimena was used to commemorate the national patriot, Dr. Johannes Leimena, who became a member of the youth congress committee in his 23, which successfully released the decision on October 28, 1928, almost 100 years ago, and by then commemorated as the Youth Pledge Day.
Matius added that young people back then came to represent various organizations from different ethnicities and religions but could declare a common dream for them to fight for, which was Indonesian Land, Indonesian Nation, and Indonesian Language, all of which did not yet exist.
“I believe they could dream together not because they put their respective religions and beliefs away but, on the other hand, valued them, and the dialogue between them, so they could find common grounds of struggle together, without having to leave or mix the teachings of their respective religions,” said Matthew.
The keynote speaker of the webinar, Vice Rector V for Cooperation and Promotion of UMI, Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Muh. Hattah Fattah, M.S., asserted that UMI had implemented concrete moderation of religion through Pesantren Darul Mukhlisin located in Padang Lampe, South Sulawesi. The Pesantren with 20-hectare land can accommodate 750 students for one new-student coaching program.
“UMI has two fundamental identities, which are Islam and Indonesia. Therefore, we deeply care about the aspects of Islam and nationalism so that in building religious moderation, we build love for the homeland and tolerance for diverse groups”, said Prof. Hattah.
The speedy pesantren program at Pesantren Mahasiswa UMI Darul Mukhlisin inaugurated on September 22, 2000 provides various materials for students, especially religious and character development, and national insight.
Caption: Images on top: Keynote speakers, Vice Rector V for Cooperation and Promotion of UMI, Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Muh. Hattah Fattah, M.S, and Senior Advisor on the Task Force for Prevention, Protection and Deradicalization of the National Agency for Countering Terrorism (BNPT), Muhammad Suaib Tahir. Images on the bottom: The Alumnus of the Faculty of Medicine of UMI, dr. Ni Made Ayu Masnathasari, S.Ked. and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington, Dr. Chris Seiple
The international webinar held by UMI and Institut Leimena also presented three prominent speakers: Muhammad Suaib Tahir, senior advisor on the Task Force for Prevention, Protection and Deradicalization of the National Agency for Countering Terrorism (BNPT), dr. Ni Made Ayu Masnathasari, S.Ked., an alumnus of UMI, and Dr. Chris Seiple, a senior research fellow at the University of Washington.
Upon his presentation, Muhammad Suaib asserted that radicalism, intolerance, and extremism must be countered by spreading a narrative of peace and moderation among society. For him, a number of issues which are always brought up by groups with extreme or radical views are those related to faith which perceives that different perspective means lack of faith. In addition, radical or extreme groups support the caliphate which violates the consensus of the Indonesian nation, Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. Finally, the emergence of takfiri or easy to disbelieve in others.
“A discussion on religious moderation is highly essential, especially explaining to the public that the characteristics of religious moderation are inclusive, not exclusive. In religious moderation, we should explain how Islam is accommodative, not confrontational,” said Suaib, who is also a Postgraduate Lecturer at Institute Perguruan Tinggi Ilmu Alqur’an Jakarta (PTIQ) and earned his Ph.D. at the Islamic University of Omdurman, Sudan.
Meanwhile, the UMI alumnus, dr. Ni Made Ayu, shared her experience as a non-Muslim student who had attended Pesantren Darul Mukhlisin. She admitted that she was anxious during her education at UMI, but when he started to open up, she received great acceptance and friendship.
“We may not be able to control the feelings and words of other people who may hate us, yet we can control ourselves, keep our principles; we do not change our stance, but adapt easily,” said Ni Made Ayu.
Dr. Chris Seiple noted that extremism can be found in all religions, so all religious people are obliged to counter against it. “Your and my unique role is to think about the integration of theology and its involvement in public life. I am delighted to be on this panel because I feel I am a better Christian by being here,” he said. (IL/Chr)