Most pesantrens in Indonesia are affiliated culturally to Nahdatul Ulama (NU), a moderate Islamic religious organisasion with more than 30 million members throughout the country. The largest muslim organisation in Indonesia and the world. Pondok Pesantren Sidogiri is among those NU affiliated pesantren which follow a moderate type of Islam.
Last night I spoke to around 1000 Tarbiyatul Muallimin students of Sidogiri on seminar about muslim disintegrity and non-muslim leader in a muslim majority countries.
What I see is surprising: they are strongly taking anti-Ahok stance. What is even more surprising, some of them cannot accept the fact that there are some legal opinions both by classic and contemporary ulamas stating that non-muslim ruler is allowed in a muslim majority country so far as it does not go beyond executive minister position. Meaning, range of minister and governor and below are allowed to be held by a non-muslim.
It looks to me that radical discourse has usurped into NU pesantren. Something that the elites circle are not aware of this. At least, so far as Sidogiri is concerned.
In addition to this, I saw the situation and academic environment in the seminar seems to be declining. Here’s my scrible about it:
- The moderator was not chosen from the senior or teaching staff against the last two seminars I attended before.
- The moderator was picked up from among the students and was not well aware of how to manage the discussion according to basic standard known commonly. He just gave an intro about the keynot speaker profile and after the latter had done giving the introduction, the former just gives time to any students to ask any question without giving moderation between the questioner and the speaker.
- The moderator didn’t intervene when the participant was asking and talking too much. This makes times wasted and inefficient.
My advice to seminar committee
- Next time when such event is conducted, make it professional by inviting professional moderator or at least, training the would be moderator in such a way that make the discussion run smoothly.
- Give the students a briefing about how to ask a question in a seminar. Asking question in a seminar is a lot different compared to, say, musyawarah or bahtsul masail, a weekly conducted discussion in which case someone ask to one another many times in a heated debate until time gone. Question and answer in a seminar is not about who win what. It’s about expressing your agreement or disagreement about the presentation and hearing what the response from the speaker are.
- Give the students a training about how to behave during listening and talking to any speaker.
My Advice to Sidogiri elites
- I see the santries get radicalised in their opinion about politics and other stuffs. The elites should be aware of this. If we used to be banned to read such a book as Muktazilah arguments, be aware that now Muktazilite danger is no longer exist. Or at least there’s more school of thought which is much more dangerous than muktizilite. Those are: Wahhabism and Tahrirism (HTI).
- The elites should get updated about the latest information on whatever a new school of thought which are currently prevalent in muslim discourse and hence find the way how to solve the problem and avoid the santries from getting influenced by such astrayed thought.
- If the elites doesn’t do whatever necessary to stop the radicalisation in pesantren, I am afraid that Sidogiri will be known in history as a NU pesantren which has changed without the elites even knowing it.
- Review any books which are sold in Sidogiri bookstore or available to read in library. Books which are written by Islamists should be banned.
- I still hope that Sidogiri will be the NU pesantren that still maintained the moderation, not turning to right or left. Stakes are too high for such pesantren to get radicalised.