INSIERA visit at UNIDA Gontor

Insiera again held a meeting among members on Sunday, September 4, 2016 at the Siman campus, Darussalam University, Gontor Ponorogo.

PONOROGO, INSIERA – After being formed on 12 February 2016 in Yogyakarta, INSIERA again held a meeting among its members on Sunday 4 September 2016, which took place at the Siman campus, Darussalam University, Gontor, Ponorogo. Joined at the meeting, Muslim International Relations academics from UII Yogyakarta, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya, and from the hosts themselves.

Audiensi Insiera dengan Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi, Ph.D.
The Chairperson of Insiera is having an audience with the Vice Chancellor of UNIDA, Ustadz Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi, Ph.D.

The meeting felt special with the presence of a national Muslim scholar who is also the Chair of the Indonesian Young Intellectual and Ulama Council (MIUMI), Hamid Fahmi Zarkasyi, Ph.D. On that occasion, Ustadz Hamid talked a lot about the Islamization of Science. According to him, the Islamization of contemporary science is liberating contemporary Western science from things that are not Islamic or by incorporating Islamic elements in contemporary science. Although it is recognized that the term Islamization is still not acceptable in Indonesia, that there are still differences of opinion on the naming between the faculties of science and Islam or religion, and so on, it must be realized that Islamic teachings must be taught and practiced in all aspects of life, including in the field of science. In the field of International Relations, Ustadz Hamid invites all of us to think again about “international” terminology itself. In the Islamic perspective, the state is the entire political institution at the world level. The Qur’an mentions the terms nations and tribes, not states. Thus, the terminology of “international” need to be redefined in the context of Islamic studies.

Peserta Pertemuan Insiera berpose dengan tuan rumah UNIDA
Participants of the meeting pose with the committee from the host, UNIDA

The meeting format was in a Focused Group Discussion (FGD) format and all participants actively expressed their opinions. From the ongoing discussions, several problems were identified, including: perceptions of the Islamization project which are still not accepted in Indonesia, institutional acceptance of Islamic perspectives is still minimal, there is no standard curriculum for Islamic studies in IR, academics are outpaced by the media while the media is used as a reference for contemporary issues that are not necessarily true, an indication of the lack of enthusiast of Islamic studies in International Relations, and the existence of a Western setting that localizes international issues into nation-state issues so that Islamic studies seem incompatible to the contemporary International Relations.

Participants of the meeting went to the UNIDA campus complex and the Gontor Islamic Boarding School

All participants who attended agreed to follow up the meeting by holding regular meetings in rotation from one university to another that was able to produce a scientific product. The host even stated that they were ready to facilitate the follow-up meeting and open up opportunities for book publication projects with funding from the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) based in Virginia, United States. The event continued with the discussion of INSIERA’s Statute (AD/ART) and ended with a joint visit to the Gontor Islamic Boarding School complex. Based on the agreed Statute, the meeting proposed the name Hamid Fahmy Zarkasyi to be named an honorary member in order to join the intellectual da’wah conducted by INSIERA. Alhamdulillah robbil ‘alamin.

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