MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, JAKARTA — One of the fundamental issues in the context of human rights is the freedom of religion or belief.
Freedom of religion refers to the freedom to practice a particular religion (including embracing traditional beliefs) or freedom from a certain religion (agnosticism/atheism).
According to the General Secretary of Muhammadiyah Abdul Mu’ti, Muslims should regard freedom of religion or belief as an insensitive issue since Islam is very inclusive towards differences and human freedom in belief or religion.
As mentioned in surah Al-Kahf verse 29, “And say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “˹This is˺ the truth from your Lord. Whoever wills let them believe, and whoever wills let them disbelieve.” Surely We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose walls will ˹completely˺ surround them. When they cry for aid, they will be aided with water like molten metal, which will burn ˹their˺ faces. What a horrible drink! And what a terrible place to rest!”
The verse is a guideline for dealing with differences in belief regarding the issue of freedom of religion. In religious education, the verse can also be used as a reference in instilling inclusive values and strengthening the existing religious education.
The National Education Model Conforms to Instill Inclusivity
Religion in many countries is taught through various means. Some teach that religion is a social phenomenon to create a harmonious society, while others instill religious values daily.
According to Abdul Mu’ti, of religious education models, the national education system in Indonesia is the most ideal and futuristic model, which edifies students to become pious and faithful.
Indeed, national education entitles every person to acquire religious education. To enhance an inclusive understanding of freedom of religion, students should thematically learn religious concepts from students with different faiths. Thus, they will comprehend and respect the differences.