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IL News 007/2021
Saturday, 28 August 2021


The religion-based intolerance, persecution, and hate speech in Indonesia is quite worrying that serious attention is needed. This global challenge needs solution such as cross-cultural religious literacy competency to achieve collaboration among individuals and institutions. In order to encourage religious harmony, madrasah as Islamic education centre has active and strategic role in developing thinking pattern, attitude, and the behaviour of students.

Hence, Maarif Institute and Leimena Institute, supported by Council of Primary and Secondary Education – Muhammadiyah Central Board, Pesantren Development Institute – Muhammadiyah Central Board, RBC Institute of A. Malik Fadjar, and Templeton Religion Trust, try to strengthen cross-cultural religious literacy through International Webinar “Madrasah’s Contribution in Religious Harmony” on Saturday, August 28th, 2021. The webinar was attended by 1.742 participants from madrasah, private and religious higher educations, religious institutions, and local NGOs. This webinar also drew attentions from other countries, such as Malaysia, Australia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, United States of America, etc.

The webinar will be followed up with upcoming training of Cross-Cultural Religious Literacy on October and November 2021.

The webinar was opened by Abdul Rohim Ghazali (Executive Director, Maarif Institute), R. Alpha Amirrachman, M.Phil., PhD. (Secretary, Central Education Council for Primary and Secondary Education – Muhammadiyah Central Board), and Matius Ho, MS (Executive Director, Leimena Institute).

The keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. Syafiq A. Mughni (Deputy Chairman, Muhammadiyah Central Board), also shared Muhammadiyah’s experience in interreligious relationship.

Five other speakers come from various institutions and countries to enhance participants’ perspective in learning through speakers’ interreligious experiences. The distinguished speakers are Dr. Amirsyah Tambunan, MA (Secretary General, Indonesian Ulama Council), Dr. Chris Seiple (Senior Fellow, University of Washington), Prof. Dr. Amin Abdullah (Professor of Philosophy, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University), Aly Aulia, Lc. M.Hum (Director, Mu’allimin Muhammadiyah Madrasah Yogyakarta), and Samah Norquist (Former Chief Advisor for International Religious Freedom, USAID).

Below are several comments from the participants:

  • The webinar is very beneficial. The knowledge and experience shared are superb. This kind of program must be continuously supported to enhance madrasah’s quality, which are mostly overwhelmed by other competitors such as SDIT, SMPIT, etc. (Alex Pujosakti, S.Pd., Al-Islam Teacher at MI Muhammadiyah 1 Jombang, East Java)
  • The presentation is good, complete with multidisciplinary perspective, especially from Dr. Chris Seiple who gave the methodological framework to be moderate in interreligious and cross-cultural relationship. (Nurhuda Kurniawan, Chairman of Central Education Council for Primary and Secondary Education, Regional Muhammadiyah – Ngawi, East Java)
  • Quite interesting but I would have liked to learn more about the diverse madrasas (Katherine Marshall, Professor, Georgetown University, United States of America)