Author : Zainal Abidin Bagir

             AA GN Ari Dwipayana

             Mustaghfiroh Rahayu

             Trisno Sutanto

             Farid Wajidi

Publisher : Center for Religious and Cross – cultural Studies/CRCS

                     Maret 2011


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.



Farinia Fianto | ICIP | October, 09 2013

ICIP met Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was invited by the US embassy to hold a number of lectures in Jakarta, in a meeting that was a very casual, small, and yet intimate. The meeting was a low key and the Imam, who was the center of the meeting attendees, was surprisingly a very humble and yet charismatic figure. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf introduced himself as the founder and CEO of the Cordoba Initiative, the Imam of the al-Farah mosque since 1983 and the visionary behind Cordoba House, the interfaith religious and community center close to the site of the former World Trade Center. He often asked by the US government to speak on Islam in order to bridge between Muslim and non Muslim in the US as well as between US and the Muslim world. He resides in New York, one of the largest cities in the US. The discussion was attended by inter religious figures comprising Muslims from different organizations including ICIP and Christians from religious institutions. The discussion mainly talked on Islam in US and its comparison with Islam in Indonesia and also the relation between Islam and other religions in US. He spoke on his experiences dealing with fundamentalism within Muslim and non Muslim communities in US. He argued that it was extremism that was a common enemy that available in any religions not only Islam. Post 9 11, many pointed out their fingers on Islam as a religion that justified terrorism and violence in the West particularly in the US. He and other Muslim figures were hand in hand until now clarifying what ‘jihad’ truly meant, disseminated moderate Islam and certainly it was not a piece of cake job. Indeed he established Cordoba Initiative, a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations. Imam Feisal has written three books on Islam and ICIP was lucky to have one of his books entitled Moving the Mountain, Beyond Ground Zero to A New Vision of Islam in America.

The book mainly talks on Islam based on his perspective as an American Muslim who was born from immigrant Egyptian parents originally that has been living in multi cultural lives (he was born in Kuwait, grew up in Great Britain, Malaysia, Egypt and then finally moved to the United States since 1965 when he was 17 years old) that has influenced and colored his life. In the introduction chapter he focused on his early experience on being new American as a Muslim that he found was a culture shock despite grown up listening to Elvis and the Beatles and watching American movies while he was in Malaysia. At initial being a Muslim in the US had pushed him to decide whether, and to what extent, to be a Muslim. Feeling dazzled on American freedom that made him feel the misery of being someone without an identity, he eventually was able to consciously and deliberately choose the religion by using that very individual freedom for which American culture is so rightly celebrated.



Tittle         : Julia's Jihad

                    Tales of the politically, sexually and religiously  incorrect: living in the chaos of the biggest muslim  democracy

Writer      : Julia Suryakusuma

Publisher : Komunitas Bambu, 2013


Elfira D. Siregar | ICIP | October, 07 2013


This book is compilation from Julia’s column which had been published in Tempo magazine and Jakarta Post newspaper from 2006 to 2013. This book collected of more than 100 columns in explaining contemporary Indonesia through Julia’s viewpoint. One thing first come in mind is the title of the book itself. She then explains “I want to embrace the original meaning of ‘jihad’ in Islam, which is ‘spiritual struggle’ in its widest sense – a basic religious duty of Muslim. The main, or greater jihad is the inner spiritual struggle to conquer your ‘demons’ to turn negative emotions such as anger, arrogance, bigotry, egocentrism, greed, hatred, jealousy, impatience etc into love, compassion, tolerance, generosity, patience, cooperation. It means surrendering your will to that of God’s, for the greater good of humankind. The search of justice and truth, and efforts to create a better society that is free of poverty, injustice and corruption are therefore also considered forms of ‘jihad’ in Islam. Julia’s Jihad is an expression of this jihad, or perhaps more specifically, ijtihad, a related term referring to another kind of religiously-ordained struggle: Islam’s tradition of independent and critical thinking, debate and dissent. This is something often overlooked in the West but as scholar as a born rebel, I obviously embrace it “(p xxiv).

Reading this book, you will find Julia was writing sharp and fresh while telling the complexity of the problems in the country. Starting from the identity of muslim women, social movements, public policy, tradition, religion capitalization, to human rights. As muslim women without any specific Islamic background education, Julia seems represents the anxiety from the command muslims in Indonesia related to the current situation. Especially in relation to the development of internal peace and religious tolerance and inter-religious. Julia contrast to most of the writers and thinkers who like to cite the theories of pluralism that complicated. She chooses being herself and much represents the majority people in Indonesia. You might smile also to her when finding inserts satirical humor in a serious discussion. Instead of the humor, this book is considerably a sample of honest and ‘brave ‘work which questioning and describes current situation. It is clear that she has great hope to see the better Indonesia, with respect to the Unity and Diversity.



This film is an adaptation of the phenomenally novel Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata. This film directed by Riri Riza and scenario written by Salman Aristo.

The first day of the opening of the new class in Muhammadiyah elementary school become very stressful for two dedicated teachers, Bu Muslimah (Cut Mini) and Pak Harfan (Ikranagara), and 9 students who wait at the school which is located in the village Gantong, Belitong. Because if it does not reach the 10 students enrolled, the school will be closed.

That day, Harun, a special needs student come within last minute to save them by joining the school. The 10 students who later were named Laskar Pelangi by Bu Muslimah then create unforgettable story.



Director by Hanung Bramantyo


Sang Pencerah (The Enlightener) is a story about the founder of Muhammadiyah, KH. Ahmad Dahlan.

It is begin when the young KH. Ahmad Dahlan – prior named as Muhammad Darwis (Ihsan Tarore) is a youth in 19th-century Kauman, Yogyakarta, and the son of Kyai Abubakar, the imam of the area's mosque. Displeased with the mixture of Islam and animistic Javanese mysticism, which leads to poor Javanese spending exorbitant amounts of money on religious ceremonies, Darwis decides to go on the hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. While there, he studies what he considers the true form of Islam over a period of five years.

Upon his return to Yogyakarta, Darwis (now played by Lukman Sardi) changes his name to Ahmad Dahlan and begins teaching Islam, preaching that prayers need only come from inner peace and do not require large donations or sacrifices. Conflict soon arises between Dahlan and the local kyais (religious leaders) after he shows that the direction in which they pray is wrong, pointing not to the Kaba in Mecca but to Africa. The kyais, especially Cholil Kamaludiningrat (Slamet Rahardjo), decry Dahlan as the leader of a cult and provoke a crowd of their followers to destroy the building next to Dahlan's house used for studying prayer.


Film ini menceritakan perjalanan kiai besar pendiri Nahdathul Ulama yaitu KH Hasyim Asy’ari dimana di film ini mengisahkan bagaimana KH Hasyim Asy’ari berjuang dalam menegakan Islam dan melawan penjajah Jepang dengan pemikiran-pemikirannya.

Dengan latar belakang tahun 1942 di daerah jawa timur dimana pada saat itu pasukan jepang mulai masuk ke wilayah Indonesia dengan berembel-embelkan “Saudara Tua Asia” dan kemudian menendang belanda yang sudah terlebih dahulu masuk ke Indonesia sebagai penjajah.

Setelah jepang berkuasa banyak sekali kiai – kiai yang ditangkapi karena menentang kewajiban untuk membungkuk kepada kisar sebagai keturunan dewa yang jelas hal ini sangat bertentangan dengan ajaran islam, pertentangan itu pula terjadi di dalam tubuh pesantren tebuireng pimpinan KH Hasim Asy’ari yang dengan tegas menolak segala bentuk aturan-aturan jepang yang bertentangan dengan keyakinannya, sampai Akhirnya KH Hasim Asy’ari di tangkap oleh jepang dan dipenjarakan, walalu sudah mencoba untuk menghalangi penengkapan kiai mereka namun para santri tidak bisa melawan tentara jepang, KH Hasyim Asy’aripun tidak ingin ada pertumpahan darah di pondok pesantrennya, para putra KH Hasyim Asy’ari tidak tinggal diam melihat ayahanda mereka ditangkap oleh jepang dengan segala cara KH Wahid Hasyim, Karim Hasyim dan Yusuf Hasim dengan cara baik-baik dan diplomasi sampai dengan cara kasar mereka lakukan demi kebebasan ayahanda mareka, namun hasilnya tetap Nihil, KH Hasyim Asy’ari tetap di tahan dan dipindahkan penjaranya.

Banyak yang akan diceritakan dari film “Sang Kiai”, tidak saja ketika sang pendiri Nahdlatul Ulama tersebut harus terkurung di penjara demi keyakinannya, tapi ketika KH Hasyim Asy’ari nantinya bebas dan membantu perjuangan Indonesia lewat pemikiran-pemikiran serta ajaran-ajarannya. Berjuang demi kepentingan umat melalui jalan diplomasi, ketika nanti juga KH Hasyim Asy’ari masuk dalam organisasi bentukan Jepang, sekaligus menjadi ketuanya. Dari segi produksi, apa yang sudah ditampikan “Sang Kiai” bolehlah dikatakan epik, dari awal penonton sudah diajak merasakan seperti apa tahun 40-an, setting yang dibangun pasukan artistik “Sang Kiai” benar-benar membawa penonton masuk ke jaman itu, ketika Indonesia sedang dijajah oleh Jepang. Dari pemilihan lokasi yang memanfaatkan gedung-gedung kuno, penempatan kendaraan-kendaraan perang, hingga ke tata kostum. Dukungan artistik yang jempolan itu memang kemudian jadi daya tarik lebih dari film yang ditulis oleh Anggoro Saronto (Sang Pialang), membuat saya semakin nyaman menjelajahi kisah hidup KH Hasyim Asy’ari, ditambah penataan gambar yang menarik berkat olahan sinematografi Muhammad Firdaus. Well, ya diakui “Sang Kiai” itu memang begitu mantap ketika memamerkan tetek-bengek teknisnya—termasuk juga tata suara dan scoring-nya yang kerap jadi tersangka utama yang membuat emosi saya terombang-ambing.

Film ini juga bisa digunakan untuk meluruskan makna Jihad, bahwa jihad yang sesungguhnya tidak harus menggunkan senjata dan pertumphana darah melainkan bisa dengan pemikiran-pemikiran seperti yang dilakukan oleh KH Hasyim Asy’ari.

Name of the Book: The True Face of Islam-Essays on Islam and Modernity in Indonesia


Author :Nurcholish Madjid



Publisher: Voice Centre, Ciputat, Indonesia, 2003



Pages: 356, ISBN: 979-95248-4-9



Reviewed by: Yoginder Sikand




Among the most well-known Indonesian writers on Islam is Nurcholish Madjid, rector of the Paramadina University, Jakarta. This collection of essays is the first major English translation of Madjid's writings. The essays cover a diverse range of issues but are shaped by a common concern for an understanding of Islam that takes into account the myriad challenges that Indonesia is today faced with. They reflect Madjid's quest for developing a contextually relevant interpretation of Islam that, departing from traditional notions in some significant respects, can help in the process of building a pluralist and more democratic society based on social justice.







Broadly speaking, three views have emerged with regard to Islam and democracy. One view, often favored by the Western media, holds that Muslim societies are unable to develop a liberal culture and hence Muslim countries have not been able to achieve democracy. Another, although a majority view among Muslim intellectuals, and not generally supported by the political practice, claims that democracy is not only compatible with Islamic teachings but also that Islamic polities in history have been more democratic than any other system in the world. The third view maintains that democracy is a foreign Western concept and does not go along with Islamic teachings. Islamic democracy, i.e. a democracy defined from the perspective, differs from "Western" democracy in form as well as in objectives. Whatever the perspective, studies on Islam and democracy never fail to stress the point that building democracy in Muslim countries is a formidable task. The present essay analyzes the following four texts that illustrate these three views: (1). Martin Kramer, "Islam vs Democracy" (1996); (2). Khalifa Abdul Hakim, The Prophet and his Message (1987); (3). Amin Ahsan Islahi, Islami Riyasat (1977); and (4) Qari Tayyib, Fitri Hukumat (1963).





Title: Wajah Liberal Islam di Indonesia
Editor: Luthfi Assyaukanie
Publisher: Jaringan Islam Liberal, Jakarta, 2002
Pages: 317


Most Indonesian people, not only Indonesian Muslims, still assume that liberalism (liberal ideas) pertain to ideas of free sex, individualism, hedonism, and secularism. This stigmatisation foments the unwillingness of Indonesian people to accept all liberal ideas. If we use "liberal" as an adjective in regards to Islam, then it means that Islam concurs free sex, and other kinds of pathological human behaviours.