The Jakarta Post
Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saefuddin has said santri, or students of Islamic boarding schools (Pesantren), have an important role in maintaining the solidity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
“It is hoped that we all can modernize Islam and make it an enemy of extremism,” he said during Halaqah Santri Nusantara, an event that literally means the study circle of Indonesian santri at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University on Wednesday.
Lukman said young santri must stay alert against the free flow of information online in the current era of information. They must examine thoroughly each piece of information they receive so they will not be easily influenced by Islamic teachings that are either very conservative or, on the contrary, very liberal.
“Some people are very extreme in comprehending religious texts [scriptures], which later makes them tend to deny logical thought. However, some others tend to prioritize logical thought and deny texts,” Lukman said.
Maintaining solidity: Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saefuddin gives his remarks during "Halaqah Santri Nusantara", an event that literally means the study circle of Indonesian "santri" (students of Islamic boarding schools), held at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in Yogyakarta on Wednesday. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)
The minister further said in many countries, the ongoing fight between these two camps had led to bloody conflicts. Unlike those countries, Indonesia is a nation that needs to be protected because of its special characteristics, namely religiousness and diversity.
“We must maintain its unity,” said Lukman. In the event, the minister handed over scholarships to 290 students selected in this year’s government-funded assistance program for santri with high academic achievements.
Islamic education director general Kamaruddin Amin said the program was initiated in 2015 as the state’s efforts to prepare younger generations to face the 4.0 Industrial Revolution. (ebf)