Remembering Gus Dur’s Wisdom: Upholding Pancasila as the Nation’s Vision from the Threats of Radicalism

(UKWMS-4/10/2018) A threat to the Nation that is based on Pancasila can come from various elements. On September 1965, the threat to Pancasila was rooted in the heat of struggle and politicization of ideology between the ruling political parties and the military force at that time. Within the last twenty years, we’ve witnessed various threats to Pancasila that came from acts of religious radicalization. Gus Dur’s roles in suppressing the effects of religious radicalization were the true efforts in saving the NKRI (the Unitary Nation of the Republic of Indonesia) and Pancasila. In the midst of increasingly strong religious radicalization from various lines, especially in social media, the impact can be felt on the emergence of extraordinary fear and terror carried out by hardliners against minority groups.

In commemorating of the National Day of Pancasila that falls on June 1, the Women and Youth Development Institute of Indonesia (WYDII), working together with Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya held a panel discussion with the theme of “Remembering Gus Dur’s Wisdoms: Upholding Pancasila as the Nation’s Vision from Threats of Radicalism.” This discussion presented Prof. Dr. A. S. Hikam, who was the former Minister of Research and Technology during the presidential era of Gus Dur, as the keynote speaker. Prof. Dr. A. S. Hikam, therefore, was also very close to Gus Dur’s personal and national ideas. The panel discussion aimed to arouse, reflect on, and strengthen the understanding and thinking of Pancasila during this time of political atmosphere that is more democratic, especially the struggle to continue to enforce Pancasila that has been carried out by the nation’s previous strong historical figures such as Gus Dur.

“For me, Gus Dur was a multidimensional person. He could be seen from many sides. If we want to remember Gus Dur’s thoughts and wisdom, we must know which side to look at,” said Prof. Dr. A. S. Hikam when opening the first session. He also added that Gus Dur was actively seeking ways to allow different religions find a common ground where they can establish harmony.

Gus Dur’s own thinking can be formulated into four formulas. First, to have unity between people from many different religions and provide mutual protection to each other, especially the minority groups. Second, to oppose religious radicalization by participating in a variety of efforts to develop harmony among citizens from many religions and to not tolerate acts of religious radicalization in society. Third, to strengthen the role of the community in de-radicalization within communities by conducting an early detection and a formal and approved mentoring program for former followers of radical groups or combatants who were against the government and society. Finally, to specifically increase awareness and protection of women and children who are often vulnerable and potentially exploited—even though women can also function as a moderating factor in dealing with conflicts—by working with relevant parties to increase awareness of anti-terrorism.

The discussion that was held in room A301 Dinoyo Campus was divided into two sessions. The first session focused on Gus Dur’s ideals in upholding Pancasila. The second session discussed the issue of radicalism as related to social media, women and children, as well as the religious aspect represented by pesantren. The speakers who attended the second session included the Chairperson of Fatayat Nadhlatul Ulama in East Java, Hikmah Bafaqih; a lecturer from the State Institute of Islamic Religion (IAIN) Jember, Dr. Fawaizul Umam; and a professor from WMCUS, Prof. Anita Lie, M.A. Ed.D.

The thought of radicalism in Indonesia is identical to the ethnic and religious context. The majority group who feels superior may ultimately manifest itself in an attitude of discrimination against minority groups. It is this discriminatory attitude that makes the minority groups feel that they are not given the opportunity to contribute in the development process of this country. “We must do what should be done as citizens. If it’s hated, it’s okay. The most important thing is that we have done it,” explained Prof. Anita Lie.

Dr. Fawaizul Umam also explained that radicalism can be prevented in two ways. “First is the revitalization of the values developed by Gus Dur like this discussion. The second way is to learn religious values from other aspects of life,” he explained.

Hikmah also added that learning religious values is also needed in order to understand each other. Discussions between religious groups must also be carried out frequently. “Meeting with other religions is necessary. Such activities also do not need to wait for conflicts or interfaith conflicts to happen beforehand,” she said.

In addition to studying religious values, other aspects of life, such as science, can also be studied without limitations. “For example, you want to learn English, and then in front of you there are two people of different faiths. The first person was a religious teacher who was very smart and mastered the science of religion, but could not speak English, while the second person is a professor of English who is a Catholic. Then who will you ask to help you for your study? When I asked several students, they answered the second person. Now, this is the thought that we must continue,” she concluded. (yov/Red)

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