Hundreds of pesantren to form alliance to promote moderate Islam

P3M ONLINE – In a move to curb the intolerance triggered by growing sectarian sentiment, hundreds of pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) from across Java Island are set to gather in a workshop slated from June 7 to 8 where they will declare an alliance of pesantren promoting moderate Islam.

The workshop will conclude the “Pesantren for Peace” (PfP) program initiated by the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture (CSRC) of the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University (UIN) Jakarta, which kicked off in 2015 and involved 750 pesantren across the island.

(Read also: Muhammadiyah rejects hard-liners, promotes moderate Islam)

The program is aimed at strengthening the role of Indonesian Islamic schools in promoting human rights and peaceful conflict resolution.

CSRC director Irfan Abubakar told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that the workshop and alliance were expected to help eliminate the contradiction between human rights values and Islamic teaching. Most pesantren, he said, tended to defy human rights concepts.

“We want to encourage them to understand that supporting human rights means you are being a better Muslim. We also aim to strengthen the role of Muslims in promoting tolerance,” Irfan said.

The two-day workshop will have three discussion sessions where UIN professor Azyumardi Azra, the secretary of the country’s second-largest Islamic organization Muhammadiyah, Abdul Mu’ti, and executive of the largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulaman (NU), Masdar F Mas’udi, are scheduled to speak.

“We have seen that intolerance is growing and moderate power is crumbling. We hope [teaching staff] at ‘pesantren’ can bring the human rights concept to their preaching and teaching,” he said. (the Jakarta Post/KAN)

Redaksi P3M

KH. Masdar F. Mas’udi

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