MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, NEW DELHI—Vice Chair of the Muhammadiyah Council for Primary, Secondary, and Non-Formal Education Alpha Amirrachman became a speaker at the G20 Interfaith Forum ‘Partnerships in Action: towards One Earth, One Family, One Future’ in New Delhi, India, on Sunday-Tuesday (7-9/5).
The forum aimed to discuss mechanisms and networks which best support religious actors as they work to ad-dress global issues and push forward innovative solutions on a global scale for evolving problems.
It addressed issues in ethics and technology, vulnerable communities, education, social protection and humanitarian reform, climate change, and peacebuilding.
Muhammadiyah was invited to the forum due to its active roles in creating intercultural and interfaith cooperation funded by the Leimena Institute followed by thousands of Muhammadiyah school teachers, according to Alpha.
“This forum had a significant impact in promoting religious moderation in education within Muhammadiyah,” said Alpha.
Alpha spoke at the “Looking Ahead to Education” session, moderated by Prof. Michael K. Young, former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and a number of participants as Maria Lucia Uribe from Ethics in Education, Arigatou International; Brinver Singh Mahon from the Nishkan School Trust; Tengin Gurung from the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute; Jigyasa Gulati, a peace education practitioner from ACWAY; and Shailendra Sharma, Advisor to the Minister of Education and Director of Education, Government of New Delhi.
Alpha presented best practices in Muhammadiyah schools, especially in eastern Indonesia and other regions where there are significant numbers of non-Muslim students. “Some graduates of Muhammadiyah schools have even become leaders in their respective regions, such as mayors and city council members,” said Alpha.
According to Alpha, Muhammadiyah has shown exclusivity among students by decreasing dichotomous differences between Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. The decreasing exclusivity was reflected by most Catholic students, who viewed Muslim students without being suspicious. The Catholic students told that there is no significant difference between Christians and Muslims except for their different beliefs. Thus, the religious education model applied in Muhammadiyah schools does not generate marginalization, discrimination, and intolerance among students.
The trust built among interfaith communities is not only cohesive but also convergent social identities. Social-cultural convergence marks the fading of the dichotomy among identity groups and contributes to interfaith harmony.
The 48th Congress (Muktamar) of Muhammadiyah also highlighted the importance of utilizing digital technology. Hence, the Muhammadiyah Council for Primary, Secondary, and Non-Formal Education developed a Muhammadiyah Digital Education (EduMu) platform to enhance students’ and teachers’ digital competences. The use of technology was expected to improve transparency, openness, and inclusivity among Muhammadiyah schools and to enable Muhammadiyah students to have interaction with foreign students.
For information, the forum was also attended by the Chairman of the Waqf Bord of the Islamic School of Tebuireng K.H. Abdul Halim Mahfudz; a member of the Advisory Board of the Pancasila Ideology Development (BPIP) Prof Amin Abdullah; the Chief Expert at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) of the Republic of Indonesia Prof. Siti ;Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, Dean of the Faculty of Ushuluddin and Islamic Thought, UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta Prof. Inayah Rohmaniyah; and the Executive Director of the Leimena Institute Matius Ho.