- Scholars have to work hard to overcome the challenges being faced by Muslims all over the world: Dr. Dicky Sofjan
- Concept of Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin and Wasathiyah have become hot topic in Indonesia: Dr. Mehmood ul Hasan Khan
The Online Internship Program on Contemporary Dynamics of Indonesia concluded with its final session featuring enlightening discussion on the holistic concepts of “Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin and Wasathiyah Islam”.
The OIP brought eminent panelists from diverse academic background and areas of specializations to share their in-depth and insightful perspectives and analysis on topics of mutual interest ranging from the challenges, achievements and transformations of the Indonesian society, success of ASEAN, Indonesia’s growing regional economic integration and the concepts of “Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin and Wasathiyah Islam” which was receiving growing audience in Indonesia and elsewhere in the Muslim societies.
Dr. Dicky Sofjan, Partnership & Networking Coordinator of the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, was the guest speaker . In his presentation on the session’s theme of “Redefining Islam as Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin and Wasathiyah Islam” the speaker said that the ICRS has been working with many Islamic scholars and intellectuals and also had international collaboration on inter religious studies.
He observed that Muslims as a whole were confronted by many common challenges in the modern day and the questions being raised that why Muslims in general were economically, academically, technologically and democratically backward. Commenting on many theories, hypothesis and analysis on the issues of the Muslim societies, Dr. Dicky Sofjan pointed out that recent works by Muslim intellectuals identified the alliance between the clergy and the state as one of the reason for the underdevelopment of the Muslim societies in different parts of the world.
Discussing the phenomenon of the anti-Islamic sentiments he said that Islamophobia was rising due to the religious illiteracy and this was his motivation for his collaboration work with the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs to develop religious literacy programs which primarily focused on not learning Islam but about learning religion and creating awareness that religion necessarily confronts the reality of economy, politics and international relations. He said that there were issues of discrimination, hate speech and stereotyping and the Muslim were generally seen with more tendencies towards extremism and terrorism giving a false notion of Islamic terrorism.
He emphasized that Muslim scholars and intellectuals needed to push boundaries of their knowledge and reminded that many Muslims with their talent and scientific knowledge laid the foundation of the many modern sciences that we had today. Discussing Islam Wasathiyah he said that it was important to draw the line as the Quran speaks of Islam as the way of life irrespective of the East or the West. He stressed that it was essential to understand the idea of Ad-deen since it encapsulated the whole world view that how we engage, interact, conceive and contribute to the world.
Dr. Mehmood ul Hasan Khan said that the concept of Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin and Wasathiyah had become hot topic in Indonesia. He stated that the two concepts had multidimensional socio-economic, geo-politic and geo-strategic dividends and utilities. He informed that critical analysis reveals that the both concepts have certain aspects in international relations, diplomacy, peace and conflict studies, multiculturalism, human psychology and sociology. He also highlighted the potential of the two concepts in achieving the noble goals of peaceful coexistence, conflict resolution, well being of common people, rationality, wisdom, balance thinking, middle path, shunning of extreme positions, and controlling the distorted tendencies in the modern world.
Indonesian Ambassador Adam M. Tugio who attended the final session at the University of Peshawar Campus said in his closing remarks that the exemplary bilateral relations between two countries did not merely depend on the governments nor could be viewed purely in diplomatic and economic terms, but the people-to-people contacts that covered interesting web of interrelationships and exchanges in numerous areas such as arts, history, heritage, culture, tourism, sports and education that played a very important role in promoting vitality of the bilateral relationship of the two countries.
He expressed his sincere gratitude to the eminent panelists from Indonesia for the very interesting and informative and enlightening discourse that featured the OIP sessions. He paid his high indebtedness to the Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Idrees for his keen interest, hospitality and thorough support in successfully organizing the Program.
The month long Online Internship Program (OIP) was a joint collaboration of the Indonesian Embassy, Islamabad, and the University of Peshawar with the objective to augment improved understanding about modern Indonesia and highlight aptly the existing and emerging dimensions and potentials for the multifaceted bilateral cooperation development between Indonesia and Pakistan.