Lukman Hakim Saifuddin: This is not a de-Arabization process

islam nus lhn

They are wrong because they understand Nusantara Islam as an ideology. It’s one approach (to religion). For example, how to look at the status of women. In a number of Middle Eastern countries, women have no freedom. They are not allowed to drive a car on their own, they cannot go out by themselves, they are even disallowed from going to places of worship. In Indonesia, women do all of those things. The understanding of religious values is linked to the reality of an Indonesian context. Admittedly, there are others using different approaches. They go against tradition. They discard or destroy tradition.

JAKARTA

After his preoccupation with the controversy over the Javanese-intonation reading of the Qur’an, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin now must focus his attention on the Nusantara Islam issue. This involves the debate of a genre of Islam that is unique to Indonesia, one that is being unofficially supported by the government.

The rejection by hard-line Islamists has not dampened the government’s plan to keep pushing for a Nusantara (archipelagic) Islam. “They got it wrong. Nusantara Islam is not an ideology,” said Lukman, in a special interview with Tempo reporters Sugiharto and Sunudyantoro, last week.

You promote Qur’an reading in the Nusatara intonation. How do you explain this to your detractors?

Nusantara Islam is not Javanese Islam. It is in no way the Javanization of Islam, and neither is it a de-Arabization process. Essentially it’s about preserving tradition. The Nusantara intonation is very common in pesantren (Islamic boarding school Ed.) found in Java’s rural areas. I am aware that among the Muslim community, there are those who are for it and those oppose it. Again, this is about approach. If some disapprove of it, no problem.

Will there be some kind of consensus over the Nusantara-intonation Qur’an reading?

We will leave it to the public. Always to the public, whether they want to turn this into a content or not. It’s up to the people.

Regarding Nusantara Islam, how are you managing the hard rejection by some groups?

They are wrong because they understand Nusantara Islam as an ideology. It’s one approach (to religion). For example, how to look at the status of women. In a number of Middle Eastern countries, women have no freedom. They are not allowed to drive a car on their own, they cannot go out by themselves, they are even disallowed from going to places of worship. In Indonesia, women do all of those things. The understanding of religious values is linked to the reality of an Indonesian context. Admittedly, there are others using different approaches. They go against tradition. They discard or destroy tradition.

Indonesian Islam is more accommodating towards culture and tradition.

Islamic values have gone through acculturation, insofar as tradition, in principle does not deviate from the core religious values. For Indonesians, this works best. For example, how does religion relate to the state. In a number of countries, relations are formalized, and that’s how Islamic states are formed. In Islamic countries, in order to ground Islamic values, the state must officially be involved. This is what happens in Middle Eastern countries. But there are countries which totally separate religion from the state. They are called secular states. Religious issues depends on the individual. Indonesia is not an Islamic state, although the majority people are Muslims. Conversely, Indonesia is not a totally secular country. In our Pancasila and the constitution, religion plays a very important role.

How do you deal with groups opposing the concept of Nusantara Islam?

There must be a dialog. Supporters of Nusantara Islam as well as those who oppose it must be wise about this. Supporters of Nusantara Islam must be modest and open in explaining it to their opponents. Nusantara Islam does not negate the Arabic influence.

How can Nusantara Islam reach those whose ideology embraces violence?

The urgency and relevance of Nusantara Islam is to seek a momentum in the midst of a growing tendency to easily attack other (religious) groups. The world is probably thinking, maybe the Indonesian Islam model is the right one for all Muslims.

So Nusantara Islam is like an option to those who tend to regard other religions as kafir or godless?

Yes, this is optional, like a model to apply Islamic values that can be emulated by others. Islamic values was grounded in peace. Basically, peace and harmony is the ideal of us all. (*)

TEMPO.CO
Tuesday, 14 July, 20

ISLAM NUS KUDS

http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2015/07/14/241683858/Lukman-Hakim-Saifuddin-This-is-not-a-de-Arabization-process

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