Religion, Human Fellowship, and Our Wounded World: The Relevance of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Declaration in Our Post-truth Society

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Raymundus I Made Sudhiarsa

Abstract

This paper discusses the role of religion in reducing the trend of rising radicalism in Indonesia’s educational institutions. Educational experts in the country, such as Ahmad Syafi’i Ma’arif, Bagong Suyanto, Sidharta Susila, and many others, find that educational institutions in this country ‘have been turned into arenas for the ideological movement of radicalism’ and have produced intolerant individuals. “Radicalism and intolerance in educational institutions not only creates complexity and obscures the focus of education, but also threatens the existence of this country,” claims Sidharta Susila, illustrating his concern in one of the nation’s most well-regarded newspapers (Kompas, 17-06-2022). Negative prejudices against ‘others’ have increasingly intensified in the last few decades, and hate speech has become daily consumption. This phenomenon is especially true among religiously homogeneous schools, Bagong Suyanto asserts (0906-2022). How should we respond to this rise of intolerance? The Abu Dhabi Declaration on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahman Al-Tayyeb (2019) seems to offer relevant reflections. This paper argues that Indonesia must devise purposeful multicultural religious education for young people who must learn to dismantle the exclusive mindsets of those who misuse their powers.

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