Where we go to study Indonesian Islam

For many, to study Islam means going to an Islamic institution. That’s why some Indonesian students go to the Middle East or to local Islamic higher learning institutions such as the State Islamic University (UIN) in Jakarta or Yogyakarta. This idea is partly justified if your understanding of the word 'study' is to convert to a certain understanding of Islam. But it’s certainly incorrect if by 'study' you mean to explore knowledge.

Religion as a knowledge does not belong to religious institutions, but rather to secular higher learning colleges. And if we speak about qualified higher learning institutions, Western universities are the most competitive ones. Thus, if you want to study Islam, particularly Indonesian Islam, it should not be at UIN or a Middle Eastern institution, but rather at such universities as in the Netherlands, the United States or Australia. Let me explain why.

Like many other branches of disciplines, Islam has become a form of knowledge, even an industry. For some, it is not only a religion but also a career. (By Luthfi Assyaukanie, Leiden)

Internet minded: The file photo taken in April shows students of Darul Ulum Islamic boarding school making use of mobile Internet in Pamekasan, Madura, East Java. Internet access is provided for free to students in a bid to familiarize them with information technology. Antara

Sumber: The Jakarta Post, Thu, 07/01/2010

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