Muslim Activist Exchange Program

Khamami Zada representing Lembaga Kajian dan Pengembangan Sumber Daya Manusia (Lakpesdam) Nahdlatul Ulama(NU) Jakarta and Fahrurrozi representing Pusat Studi Islam Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) Yogyakarta, the two main largest Muslim civil societies in Indonesia to Malaysia for two weeks meeting with various Malaysia civil society organizations that concern on human rights, democracy, gender, and religious freedom issues. The activists were selected due to tight criteria and thoughtful consideration so that they were able to achieve the program objectives. The program is to strengthen the civil society organizations relationship between the two countries as well as to share and exchange views, knowledge and experiences related to actual issues such as democracy, human rights, interfaith relations and gender. The two weeks visit program partnered with International Movement for a Just World (JUST). The program started on April 5 until 19 and among the Malaysian NGO and CSO that visited by the two activists were JUST, YADIM Dakwah Foundation, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), SUHAKAM (Malaysian National Human Rights Commission), International Islamic University (IIU) and Sisters in Islam (SIS). The program was partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Muslim Activist Exchange Program

In return Mr. Khaerul Nizam of International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an international NGO based in Kuala Lumpur and Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) to visit and stay in Indonesia for two weeks meeting with various Indonesia civil society organizations that work on human rights, democracy, gender, and religious freedom issues. During his stays in Indonesia, he had visited Jakarta, Yogyakarta and other cities in order to meet and discuss series of contemporary and actual issues pertaining to mentioned before. The program aimed to strengthen the relationship between the CSO’s and activist in the two countries as well as to enhance knowledge and experiences that could led to a fruitful collaboration in the future. During the two weeks exchange program he had a chance to visit about 15 NGOs that started on May 16 to 29. Among the NGO and CSO that visited were Lakpesdam NU, the Wahid Institute, Rahima, Pusat Studi Agama dan Pembangunan (PSAP), Public Interest and Advocacy Center (PIRAC), Paramadina, Pusat Pengembangan Sumber Daya Manusia (PPSDM) UIN, Pusat Studi Wanita (PSW) UIN Jakarta, Komisi Nasional (Komnas) Perempuan, Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS), Pusat Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Politik, Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP), RIDEP Institute, Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL)/Theater Utan Kayu and Radio 68H, Syir’ah Magazine, Desantara and The Asia Foundation (TAF). The program was partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

‘The Future of Democratization in Indonesia’ presented by Prof. Dr. Arief Budiman and Dr. Greg Barton.

The regular discussion took place in ICIP office on January 19 and attended by 35 participants coming from various backgrounds such as academics, activists, students, and journalists. Prof. Arief Budiman was the professor in Indonesian Studies in University of Melbourne Australia and Dr. Greg Barton, an Australian expert on Indonesian subject, was from Monash University Australia who had written or edited five books and published dozens of refereed articles and book chapters in this field, together with numerous essays. He a frequently interviewed by the Australian and international electronic and print media on Islam, Islamic and Islamist movements and on Indonesia and politics.

‘Religion in Politics in Southeast Asia: Is There a Third Way?’ presented by Dr. Chandra Muzzafar.

The regular discussion took place in ICIP office on February 24 and attended by numerous of ICIP’s colleague from various CSO and NGO, academics and journalists. Dr. Chandra Muzzafar of JUST International Malaysia shared his views and experiences on religion and politics in the Southeast Asia with the audiences.

‘Indonesia’s 2004 Election and Relations with the United States – For Better or Worse?’ presented by Richard W. Baker and Prof. Dr. Komarudin Hidayat.

The event was held at ICIP’s office on April 21 and attended by numerous colleagues of ICIP.

‘The Dilemma and Prospects of Political Islam in Malaysia, Pakistan and Indonesia’ presented by Khurshid Ahmad Nadeem and Dr. Farish Noor.

The event took place in ICIP’s office on August 9 and presenting ICIP’s Muslim Activist Fellowship Program Mr. Khurshid Nadeem from Pakistan and Dr. Farish Noor, Malaysian academics and activist who also an expert of Indonesian subject. The two speakers shared their views on politics and Islam in the three countries namely Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia that shared similarities and differences pertaining to the current situation. The program was partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

‘New President and the Future of Democracy and Pluralism in Indonesia’ presented by Dr. Michael Vatikiotis and Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar.

The event took place in ICIP office Jakarta on October 8. The topics covered in the event were on general and specific conditions on the upcoming general election, democracy and pluralism, growing up identities, radicalism, terrorism, conflict and violence. Dr. Michael Vatikiotis was the Chief Correspondent – at large of the Far Eastern Economic Review and also a well known discussant. Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar was the Deputy of Social and Humanities Science of Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia or Indonesian Institute of Science or famously called LIPI. The discussion was covered in media.

The discussion emphasized the current Indonesia that entered a new era since it had a directly elected President for the first time in 2004. The new president however would face numerous challenges and questions over the prospect of democracy and pluralism in the country. The President that had been chosen met a situation where there had been unsettled problems of separatism in Aceh and Papua and multifaceted problems of religious, ethnic and cultural conflicts as well as terrorism in some regions. How the new government dealt with these pertinent issues was crucial for Indonesia future as well as democratization process going on in the country. Would the unity continue to be maintained by military force on the cost of human rights or will there be some new approaches?

With regard to terrorism, severer policy was expected to deter the growth of terrorism. However the problem was deeper than only arrested and executed the terrorist. Some believed that this related to the resurgences of new identities among religious groups given the hostile local and global political landscape surrounding them. The issue therefore was how the government managed the growth of these new identities in a way that could include them as part of mainstream citizenship. Thus conflict resolution, counter terrorism and management of pluralism in such multicultural society as Indonesia would be crucial challenges facing the Indonesian new president.

Muslim Activist Fellowship Program

Khurshid Nadeem from Malaysia visit and stay in Indonesia for two month conducting study and research on issues pertaining to Islam and pluralism as well as other related issues within perspectives from the two countries namely Indonesia and Pakistan. During his stays in Indonesia, he participated in numerous discussions and seminar with Indonesian CSOs and academic institutions. He also had a chance to deliver lectures in a few universities talked on actual issues on Islam and global society particularly related to democracy, global security, and others topics related. He visited Yogyakarta, Cirebon, Palembang and other cities in Indonesia. Mr. Nadeem joined the Fellowship program for two months started from May to June 2004. The program was partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Research on Islam and Peace Building in IndonesiaThe Analysis of Radical Movements and Their Implications for Security – Development Prospects.

It was conducting in four areas namely Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya. The research on sources of radicalism was conducted for three months from July to September in the five cities mentioned. The methodology used in the research was discourse analysis and field research that outputted information on various Islamic radical interpretations and their theological, economical and political sources; linkage of the interpretations and perspectives with radical movements; list of factors contributing to the rise of radical movements and approaches that might reduce the growing of militant and extremist organization and movement in Indonesia. The result study would be able to provide and become one of the references in understanding radicalism and peace. The outcome expected to stimulate the debate on way to disseminate a moderate and peaceful face of Islam and guidance of promoting peace process in Indonesia. The research program partnered with Japan International Cooperatives Agency (JICA)

Visiting Scholars I

For the first visiting scholar program ICIP invited Dr. Farish Noor, a young progressive and critical Malaysian scholar working for human rights. He is a Muslim scholar combining activism and intellectualism in the same path of liberation. Dr. Noor program started on August 8 – 28. During the program he had an opportunity to visit numerous educational institutions and CSOs in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Cirebon and Makassar. As the starting on August 9 Dr. Noor was a part of discussion program talked on political Islam in Southeast and South Asia together with Khurshid Ahmed Nadeem from Pakistan who also was invited by ICIP for the visiting fellow program. On August 10 he gave following talk on progressive Islam the case of Malaysia and Indonesia experience at Islamic State University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. The lecture was attended by 150 participants mostly students as well as academics. Joining him was Dr. Bachtiar Effendi, political scientist from UIN.

On August 10, Dr. Noor together with Nadeem went to Cirebon to be part of public lecture at Sekolah TInggi Agama Islam (STAIN) Cirebon and attended by 250 students, pesantren leaders, academics as well as CSO activists. The local response on the event was positive as evidenced by number of coverage of the lecture by the local media. As August 12, Dr. Noor was in Jakarta to deliver a stadium general lecture at the Universitas Nasional (UNAS) and on August 13 he went to the Wahid Institute to discuss and share ideas and experiences with the audiences who mostly NU members.

After Jakarta and Cirebon, Dr. Noor continued to Yogyakarta as he joined a seminar on ‘Progressive Islam in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis between Malaysia and Indonesia’ at the Philosophy Department of Gadjah Mada University. The event was attended by 150 participants who were mostly students and academics. Then he moved to give a lecture at LKIS Training for Da’i.

From August 14 – 21, He gave a course on discourse analysis with Samha Yogyakarta. After finishing his activities in Yogya he further travelled to Palembang with Khurshid Ahmed Nadeem accompanied by Dr. Syafii Anwar to give a lecture on ‘Islam and Global Challenges: Radicalism, Democracy and Human Rights’ in a seminar organized by STAIN Palembang and ICIP. After Palembang he was back to Jakarta in order to be part of Ridep seminar on ‘Islamic Fundamentalism, Educational System, and Government Policy in Social, Economy and Security: Malaysia Experience’.

He visited Makassar to participate in a talk on ‘The Future of Progressive Islam: Comparison between Malaysia and Indonesia’ in August 25 organized by STAIN Alauddin Makassar and ICIP and attended by 250 participants who mostly students, academics and NGOs activists. In August 26, Dr. Noor was a part of discussion with the Pemuda Muhammadiyah led by Abdul Mu’ti and exchanged views with 20 members of the organization. As the closing activity of the visiting scholar, Dr. Farish Noor joined a talk on ‘The New Voice of Islam’ at CSL Laboratory Jakarta and attended by 70 participants coming from various backgrounds.

Visiting Scholars II

The second ICIP’s visiting scholar was Prof. Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd from Leiden and Utrecht University the Netherlands started on August 21 – September 12. During the visiting program he mostly stayed in Jakarta but had a chance to visit Yogyakarta and Situbondo East Java. In Jakarta ICIP had a joint cooperation with Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL) to design a workshop on ‘Tafsir (Ta’wil) and Hermeneutics: Combining Islam and West Paradigm in Rereading the Qur’an’. This workshop was attended by representatives of young Muslims leaders from different cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya. It was organized at the Hotel Millennium Jakarta on August 28 – 29. During the program Prof. Abu Zayd was interviewed by the Jakarta Post and Gatra Magazine.

He also gave a public lecture on ‘Liberal and Illiberal Islam’, in Teater Utan Kayu Jakarta and attended by 75 participants. The next day he continued to joined a discussion on ‘Islam and Pluralism’ in Universitas HAMKA Jakarta attended by 40 participants. On September 1 he spoke on ‘Tafsir and Hermenetics’ in Lakpesdam NU Jakarta that attended by 30 members. He also went to visit K. H. Abdurrachman Wahid or Gus Dur and had intimate meeting.

He travelled to Yogyakarta on September 3 and had a opportunity to visit numerous NGOs there. He talked on ‘Islam, Tradition and Modernity’, ‘Tafsir Adaby, Qur’anic Studies and Criticism to the Left Islam (Hassan Hanafi)’ in LKIS Publishing House. Later on he continued the journey to Situbondo in order to give a public lecture on ‘Ta’wil and Tafsir Li Tafsir al Shariah al Islamiyah’ in Pesantren Ma’had Ali Situbondo. Interestingly he delivered his talks in Arabics and engaged in a lively discussion with kiyais and santris. The lecture was attended by around 200 participants including those who came from area outside Situbondo. As a matter of fact some kiayis challenged and questioned Prof. Abu Zayd’s views on his methodology of tafsir (interpretation) of the Qur’an.

He then returned to Jakarta to present at the launching of the Wahid Institute as well as give a speech. On September 8, Prof. Abu Zayd flew to Singapore to participate in a seminar organized by ICIP and ISEAS and on the next day he participated in an event held by Singaporean Muslim Council. The Singapore agenda was the final activity of Prof. Abu Zayd’s visiting program in ICIP.

Regional Workshop ‘Pluralism and Multiculturalism in Southeast Asia: Formulating Educational Agendas and Programs’

The regional workshop took place at Hotel Cipta 2 Jakarta for four days started on November 25 – 28. The workshop joined by a numerous prominent speakers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The list of high profile speakers were Dr. Tarmizi Taher of Indonesia whose paper titled ‘Role of Religious Leaders in Reducing Possible Conflicts’, Dr. Shamsul A. B of Malaysia whose paper titled ‘The Construction and Management of Pluralism’, Dr. Melani Budianta of Indonesia who paper titled ‘Multiculturalism: in Search of a Critical Framework for Assessing Diversity in Indonesia’, Dr. Leonard C. Sebastian of Singapore whose paper titled ‘The Singapore Experience in Combating Terrorism: What Role for Education-Based Strategies’, Dr. Daniel Dhakidae of Indonesia whose paper titled ‘Role of Journalists and Journalism in Reducing Conflict Potentials’, Shanon Shah of Malaysia whose paper titled ‘Media and Plural Society’, Dr, Andree Feillard of France whose paper titled ‘The Management of Pluralism: French and Southeast Asian Experiences’, M. Abdus Sabur of Thailand whose paper ‘Minorities in Thailand and Current Issues’, Marina Mahathir of Malaysia who talked on ‘Community Participation in Building Harmonious Societies’, Yasmin B. Lao of the Philippine who also talked on ‘Community Participation in Building Harmonious Societies: The Mindanao Experiences’, Bagian Aleyysa Abdul Karim of the Philippines whose paper titled ‘Managing Cultural, Ethnic and Religious Diversities on Local, State and International Level in Southeast Asia’, and Don Van Thang of Vietnam whose paper titled ‘Politics and Policy on Pluralism in Vietnam’.

The regional seminar was opened by welcoming remarks from Dr. Syafii Anwar as the Executive Director of ICIP and Mr. Ulrich Eckle as Political and Economic Counselor of European Commission (EC). The event was attended by 60 (sixty) participants coming from various backgrounds and professions who concerned on the issues brought in the event. The seminar was covered by numerous media such as the Jakarta Post, Sinar Harapan, and Republika. The program was partnered with the European Commission (EC).

International seminar ‘Islam and Universal Values: Islam’s Contribution to the Construction of a Pluralistic World’ joined by Shirin Ebadi, Soheib Bencheikh, Remy Madinier, Prof. Nurcholish Madjid, Prof. Syafi’i Ma’arif and K. H. Hasyim Muzadi.

On the occasion of the International Day of French Speaking Countries (Francophonie 2004) the Embassy of Switzerland, in co-operation with the International Centre for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) and the diplomatic representations of the member states of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) in Jakarta, has organised the international seminar "Islam and Universal Values:  Islam's Contribution to the Construction of a Pluralist World World" that took place at Hotel Nikko Jakarta on March 18. The seminar was opened by H. E. Georges Martin, the Swiss Ambassador to Indonesia as well as Dr. Syafii Anwar, the Executive Director of ICIP. In his opening speech H. E. Georges Martin underlined that Islam should be supported in correcting misperceptions on one of the world's great religions, while Dr. Anwar said the seminar would focus on introducing Islam as a pluralistic and inclusive religion. The seminar was part of the commemoration of International Day of the Francophonie,organized by the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), on March 18 and attended by 500 hundreds of participants coming from various backgrounds and occupations. Ms. Ebadi an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 October 2003, Ebadi for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women's, children's, and refugee rights. She was the first ever Iranian to receive the prize. In the conference she shared her experience struggling on democracy and human rights issues in Islam perspectives. The event was also covered by media. The program was partnered with The Swiss Embassy and the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

Seminar Islam and Pluralism in France: A Dialogue’ presented by Soheib Bencheikh.

The event was held in March and attended by numerous participants coming from various backgrounds and located in Wisma PKBI Jakarta. Mr. Bencheikh talked mostly on his views and experience of being Muslim in French a secular country where Muslim considered as a minority group. The program was partnered with The French Embassy.

Seminar ‘Islamic Radicalism and Secular Fundamentalism: Toward A Critical Response’ presented by Dr. Remy Madanier, Dr. Mathias Diedriech and Minda Perangin Angin

The event was held at Islamic State University Syarif HIdayatullah Jakarta on March 20 and attended by numerous participants coming from various backgrounds. The program was partnered with The Swiss and French Embassy.

Seminar ‘Reawaken the Progressive Spirit of Indonesian Islam’

The seminar event was held at Hilton Hotel Jakarta on May 11. The seminar was attended by 70 participants from various backgrounds such as diplomats, academics, CSO activists, and journalist. At the occasion ICIP also presented the audience with its new website that is ICIP is highly aware that in the digital era, website seen as one of the strategic medium to disseminate and sound the thinking of progressive Indonesian Muslims as well as the practical and real situation on Indonesian Muslim that has distinguished characters different with Muslim societies around the world. ICIP website is expected to provide information on Islam and Muslim society as well as issues regarding to inter faith and diversity.

The seminar was opened by welcoming remarks from Dr. Syafii Anwar as the Executive Director of ICIP and Dr. Douglas Ramage as The Asia Foundation Representative. The high profiles speakers were H. E. Ralph L. Boyce the US Ambassador who also the keynote speaker of the event, Prof. Dr. Syafi’i Ma’arif the Chairman of Muhammadiyah, Lily Zakiyah Munir the Director of Center for Pesantren and Democracy Studies, and Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra the Rector of Islamic State University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. The session was moderated by Ulil Abshar Abdalla of Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL) Jakarta. The seminar was covered by media and partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

International Seminar ‘The Future of Islam, Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Muslim World’ joined by K. H. Abdurrahman Wahid, Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, Dr. Khaled Abou el Fadl, Prof. Khalid Masud, Prof. Amien Abdullah, Prof. Amin Saikal, Kishore Mahbubani, Datu Michael O Mastura, Prof. Dr. Amien Rais, Prof. Judith Nagata, and Dr. Ebrahim Moosa.

The international seminar took place on December 6 – 7 in Jakarta. In his welcoming remark, Dr. Syafi’i Anwar, the Executive Director of ICIP emphasized the importance of promoting and building democracy in particular Muslim countries that since the 9/11 tragedy has been under the global watch. Moreover he stated that the purpose of the conference was to analyze the factors relating to the growth of, and limitations to, democracy in the Muslim world. In this regard, analyzing Islamic texts related to democracy and authoritarianism and mapping problems concerning the nature and existing factors toward the implementation of democracy and authoritarianism practiced in Muslim world was indeed very important according to Dr. Anwar. In the end of his speech, Dr. Anwar highly hoped that the conference that joined by distinguished speakers from various disciplines and professional backgrounds would lead into a fruitful discussions and result so that able to be practiced. The conference was joined by high profiles and prominent speakers such as K. H. Abdurrahman Wahid (or well known as Gus Dur) of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Prof. Amien Rais of Muhammadiyah, Prof. Azyumardi Azra of UIN Jakarta, Prof. Amien Abdullah of UIN Yogyakarta from Indonesia and as for international speakers were Prod. Khalid Masud of Pakistan, Dr. Khaled Abou el Fadl of USA, Prof Amin Saikal of Australia, Mr. Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, Mr. Datu Michael Mastura of the Philippine, Dr. Judith Nagata of Canada and Dr. Patricia Martinez of Malaysia.

The conference was divided into two days. The first day the session one discussed on “Democracy and Authoritarianism in Islamic Texts” presenting Prof. Amin Abdullah, Prof. Khalid Masud and K. H. Abdurrahman Wahid as the speakers. The session two discussed on “Islam, Democracy and Authoritarianism: Asian Experiences” presenting Mr. Kishore Mahbubani and Mr. Datu Michael O. Mastura and the ended with session three that talked on “Democracy and Authoritarianism: Middle East Experiences” presenting Prof. Amien Rais and Prof. Amin Saikal. As the day two, the session began with talked on “Democracy and Authoritarianism in Islamic Political Practices” as for the speakers were Dr. Judith Nagata and Dr. Patricia Martinez. The conference ended with the session five that discussed on “Democracy, Authoritarianism and Islamic Fundamentalism: Challenges and Opportunities” presenting Prof. Khalid Abou el Fadl and Prof. Azyumardi Azra. The program was partnered with The Asia Foundation (TAF).

ICIP participation in seminars and conferences

Farinia Fianto, ICIP staff participated in a project called The Rights at Home website training workshop organized by ISIM the Netherlands for two weeks. The training held in Western Cape University in February.

Syafiq Hasyim, ICIP Deputy Director joined Cape Town workshop as the editorial member of ISIM Rights at Home Project that located in Cape Town South Africa in February.

Dr. Syafii Anwar, ICIP Executive Director presented a paper on ‘The 2004 General Election and Presidential Race: Towards the Future of Indonesian Politics’, roundtable seminar held by Indonesian Studies Group National University of Singapore (NUS) on April 28.

ICIP’s Executive Director, Dr. Syafii Anwar awarded by the Asian Research Institute (ARI) as the Visiting Research Fellow for one and half month started in May and ended in June.

Dr. Abubakar Eby Hara participated in the Fulbright American Summer Institute (FASI) Program on US Foreign Policy from June 18 to August 2 in USC.

Farinia Fianto, ICIP staff, joined The Rights at Home advanced training from June 22 – July 20 in Zahle Lebanon.

ICIP Executive Director Dr. Syafii Anwar presented a paper on ‘Political Islam in Post Soeharto Indonesia: The Religio-Political Contest between “Radical Conservative” and “Liberal Progressive Islam” at the International Seminar ‘Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Duree’, Asia Research Institute Singapore on August 17 – 18.

ICIP Executive Director Dr. Syafii Anwar, along with Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, invited by the East West Center Hawaii USA to participate at the international workshop on ‘Islam in South and Southeast Asia’ that took place in Singapore on September 23 – 24.

ICIP Deputy Director joined an international seminar organized by Australian National University (ANU) Canberra and had a chance to present a paper on ‘Muslim Liberal Reinterpretation’ at the end of September.