Written by Haris Fatwa Dinal Maula – CRCS UGM Student
Translation by Maurisa Zinira – ICRS Doctoral Student
As a social norm that is intended to apply universally, the existence of Human Rights (HAM) is an inseparable part of the discourse and life of Muslims in today’s world. Formally, Muslim countries that are part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) affirm the existence of human rights values through the contents of the opening of the OIC Guidelines Charter in 1972. This commitment is also shown by the number of Muslim countries that ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICSER) which was ratified in 1966. However, this formal acceptance did not necessarily make the human rights discourse accepted smoothly by the Muslim world. One of the crucial points in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which is being debated is about freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). On the other hand, the implementation and enforcement of human rights in Muslim countries is also still weak and is often in the spotlight.
Written by Krisharyanto Umbu Deta – CRCS UGM Student
Translated by Athanasia Safitri – ICRS Doctoral Student
Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), as part of the Human Rights (HR) value, is often seen as an advocacy tool oriented for the minority groups. However, this view tends to depreciate FoRB significance for a broader community, not just any particular group. In the Public Lecture International Conference on Religion and Human Rights, July 18, 2022, entitled “The Contribution of Freedom of Religion or Belief to Societal Peace”, Heiner Bielefeldt – who had served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2010-2016 – raised one interesting perspective on FoRB which has a potential contribution in bringing societal peace into life. This point of view is vital to review the interconnection between issues of peace and freedom which often do not go hand in hand. In the name of peace, harmony and order, violations of human rights and freedoms of the citizens may occur. For this reason, the paper re-examines Bielefeldt’s main ideas regarding the contribution of the FoRB to peace-building projects that are oriented towards genuine peace that is “noisy” instead of “tranquil”.
Written by Maurisa Zinira
Right-wing populism continues to show signs in various countries. By adhering to claims of privilege as the dominant group, they further their politics by mobilizing hatred against minorities. They don’t even hesitate to use vigilante methods to set up domination. Using the extra-legal mechanism for politics, right-wing populism perpetuates the chain of violence that threatens democracy. The micro picture of the relationship between right-wing populism and vigilantism is discussed remarkably in the 8th Reading in Social Science (RISOS) by reviewing Sana Jafrey’s article entitled “Right Wing Populism and Vigilante Violence in Indonesia” that was published in the journal Studies in Comparative International Development (2021) 56:223–249. The forum was held on 29 August 2022 by inviting two researchers in the same study, Laurens Bakker from the University of Amsterdam and Iqbal Ahnaf from Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, UGM.
Written by Athanasia Safitri
History has written that religion and its religious traditions, no matter how personal and sacred they may be, have involved the active participation of a community. Considering the variety of religious traditions, apart from the six acknowledged religions in Indonesia, there have also been many different teachings and rituals among the indigenous beliefs which are still practiced by Indonesian communities. This leads to potential arguments, inevitable tensions, and even religious conflicts at times. We understand that, occasionally, disagreement does not only happen between different religions but also within the religion itself related to its denominations. Therefore, when we talk about religious engagements, we cannot help but also include both interreligious and intra-religious relations since these two affect one another.
Good Practices and Obstacles to Fulfilling the Constitutional Rights of Adherents of Indigenous Religions
Written by Jekonia Tarigan
After the decision of the Constitutional Court No.97/PUU-XIV/2016 related to the inclusion of indigenous beliefs as part of the religion column on the national identity card (KTP), as it concerns the rights of followers of indigenous religions, ideally there should no longer be discrimination in terms of having an equal position before the law and acquiring domicile documents equivalent to other citizens. [[i]] But, has the decision been properly implemented in people’s lives, especially in relation to public treatment and services to indigenous communities? This was the main question at the Kamisan Daring Forum (FKD) on August 18, 2022. This forum was held by several institutions including the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), and the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan).
The Contribution of Adherents of Indigenous Religions and Defenders of the State to the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia and Strengthening of the Nation
Written by Jekonia Tarigan
In the discourse on indigenous religions in Indonesia, two issues that are often discussed are recognition and the wealth of wisdom and culture held by these indigenous religious groups. Meanwhile, the role of adherents of indigenous religion in various aspects of state life seems to be forgotten. Yet, these groups played an important role in the independence struggle and the strengthening of national values. This was the focus of an online forum held on Thursday, 11 August 2022 and organized by the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), and the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan).
Written by Maurisa Zinira
The development of Islam in Indonesia shows various trends over time. These changes are influenced, among other things, by the encounter of religion with politics and the market. Though Islam was marginalized from the economic and political sphere in the 1980s, it showed a radical turn in the 1990s, in which it began to shift the market and even redirected Indonesian politics towards political Islam. This change cannot be separated from the economic liberalization in Southeast Asia that usurped the hegemony of the New Order. Through the commercialization of television media, the contestation of various Islamic discourses is hardened and perpetuated in various spiritually nuanced shows that became the entertainment commodity of the Indonesian Muslim community.
Theories of Religion & Society (Required, 4 Credits)
Dr. Dicky Sofjan & Dr. Paul Martens
This Graduate Seminar on “Theories of Religion and Society” discusses the study of religion as an interdisciplinary field. It serves as an introduction to classical and contemporary theories of religion and how it relates to society. It examines the works of influential past and present scholars about the nexus between religion and the many aspects of societal life. The Graduate Seminar is expected to stimulate critical thinking about the study of religion in the academic context and its influence on the wider context i.e. society, culture, politics, economics and international relations. Considering the vastness of the field now called “religious study”, this Graduate Seminar explores important facets of the academic study of religion and inter-religious studies. The course problematizes the categories of “religion” and “agama”. In addition, this doctoral seminar will examine the political construction of religion in terms of how political power defines religion and the academic construction of religion/agama in terms of how religion is “invented in the act of studying it. This will ultimately include its impact on public discourse and policy making. Other aspects of understanding religion will be discussed in relation to other concepts such as identity, gender, democracy, freedom, human rights, dignity, etc.