Author : Zainal Abidin Bagir
AA GN Ari Dwipayana
Publisher : Center for Religious and Cross – cultural Studies/CRCS
Elfira D Siregar | ICIP | October, 22 2013
The word ‘Pluralism’ became one of the most sensitive words in Indonesia for the past 7 years. That sensitiveness occurred right after the MUI (Indonesia Ulama Council) release a fatwa which is forbidden Pluralism, Liberalism and Secularism in year 2005. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much explained what kind of ‘pluralism’ is forbidden. We all know that Indonesia is a diverse country, consist of hundreds race, local languages, religions with the motto ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ means ‘Unity in Diversity’. Therefore the diversity or plurality is an absolute thing Indonesia. The fatwa, seems revered to ‘pluralism’ that related to the theology meaning. Initially, pluralism has a broad meaning; it is not limited to the aspect of theology.
The different religious identity on each individual shouldn’t be a problem; it would be a problem when in the wider community there is friction or competition between the identities. Religious identity become a problem when it has more active role in public sphere, mobilized and being claimed to be a political, individual or group identity
The idea of civic pluralism focused on how the community, which consists of any identity groups can live together, particularly in the context a nation-state which unite that different groups. The issue is not related to one's theological attitude, but what it calls a pluralist arrangement system (pluralist polity).
This book raises the issue of Pluralism related to the Indonesia as a multicultural society. With respect to the multicultural fact, as said by Diana Eck, “pluralism needs engagement with diversity”. The term ‘civic pluralism’ used to distinguish from the ‘theological pluralism’. The non theological issue identified as area of citizenry, where the citizens act as an individual or part community. The civic pluralism idea centered on how society which consist of any differences particularly in race, religion and culture can have a common rule to live together and side by side.
Furthermore, Civic pluralism is one way to bring the idea of pluralism democratic country. Here, “Pluralism” means acknowledgement of diversity and more sphere for individual or group to actively involve in public sphere.
In this book, we will find some actual cases of pluralism particularly related to women rights in several countries that can be taken into consideration. Another interesting case study is about the Youth and Civic Pluralism. It is found that youth is very potential agent of change that must be guided carefully, otherwise they can be exposed and informed by incorrect information that may set their opinion to blame or judge easily other people/groups that have different views.