Muhammadiyah Affirms Role to Contribute to Nation
Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah are looking to step up the contribution of thoughts and ideas given what they see as the many problems in people’s lives and aspects of nationalism and humanity.
After a two-year delay, Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah are commencing the 48th Congress on Saturday (5/11/2022), with the two-day event being convened virtually before being followed with an offline gathering on Nov 18-20.
JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, and its women’s wing Aisyiyah are continuing to affirm their roles in contributing to the development of humanity, community and the nation as a whole. Various issues, such as religion-based power, community polarization, electoral system and the 2024 state leadership succession are on the discussion agenda at the 48th Congress. The gathering, which is being held in hybrid form, is expected to yield input for the state administration to advance Indonesia and enlighten the world.
Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah are looking to step up the contribution of thoughts and ideas given what they see as the many problems in people’s lives and aspects of nationalism and humanity. "Muhammadiyah wants to be present more actively and play a more constructive role in national life," Abdul Mu'ti, general secretary of the organization’s central board, said during a press conference on Friday (4/11/2022).
This symptom is indicated by the phenomenon of coercion of religious understanding,
One of the problems that has become the focus of Muhammadiyah in social interactions is the increasing symptoms of religious regimentation, in which certain religious beliefs or jurisprudence are forced into control over others. This symptom is indicated by the phenomenon of coercion of religious understanding, especially Islam, committed by large religious community organizations in collaboration with political forces. In addition, there is coercion of religious understanding into monolithic interpretation because of the strong oligarchy of power and religious authority.
With Indonesia being a country based on Pancasila, not religion, Muhammadiyah is encouraging all Islamic organizations to go for religious moderations and appealing to the state to get control over religion-covered up greed for power and religion politicization.
Regarding the issue of religious life in correlation with national interactions, Muhammadiyah sees the need for the deradicalization policy to be evaluated. The issue of radicalism being pushed ahead without counteracts against the root of infectious radicalism will never yield a complete solution to the problem. In the end, deradicalization seems to be only a project by an interest-vested clout of people who are after material gains from the problem of radicalism that threatens the socio-religious ecosystem.
2024 leadership succession
The congress is also going to discuss the impending leadership succession following the 2024 general election. Muhammadiyah sees the five-year democratic festivity as being traditionally overshadowed by fear of conflict due to political polarization, identity politics, ethnical, religious, racial and social (SARA) sentiments, coercion and retaliation. Such a pathetic condition is exacerbated by widespread practices of money politics, political oligarchy and pragmatism. Low political literacy among citizens leads to the choice of the leaders not being based on an assessment of work programs offered by legislative candidates, presidential, vice presidential and regional head candidates.
Election campaigning rallies only motivated by ambition for electoral counts have also given birth to polarization and divisiveness. People become indifferent to how to be well-behaved over political differences, which may result in unity and integrity of the nation being threatened.
Political parties should be able to produce legislative or executive candidates who are willing to foster the values of Pancasila, religion and nationalism.
Given this phenomenon, Muhammadiyah is inviting all elements of the nation to encourage leadership that shows strong vision about the nation and state, respects diversity and possesses a commitment to a united and advanced Indonesia. Political parties should be able to produce legislative or executive candidates who are willing to foster the values of Pancasila, religion and nationalism.
"The administrators of this state must be statesman figures who prioritize the interests of the nation and detach themselves from power co-optation that can divert the state from constitutional function, orientation and compliance," Mu'ti said.
Through the congress, Muhammadiyah is also looking to discuss ideas to contribute to the betterment of democratic practices in the country, considering that the five-yearly elections have yet to become a hallmark of democracy despite their routine organization. Elections are still embroiled in perennial problems, especially money politics and identity politics, in addition to the weakening of morality, political party system, gripping oligarch power and liberalism-natured electoral system.
Muhammadiyah views that the political awareness and morals among the citizens, election organizers, and political parties’ elite need to be improved in order to realize more reliable elections. On the other hand, the electoral system needs reform, one of which is by changing the open-list proportional system that has been implemented so far.
According to Mu'ti, the change in the electoral system is crucial to the prevention of divisiveness in society. "For example, [we] change it to a closed or limited open electoral system and integrated executive elections to eliminate money politics, the excess of identity politics and community divisiveness," he said.
Another issue on the discussion list is technological advances, which according to Mu’ti must be pursued side by side with enlightenment of society’s spiritual piousness. That the world is rapidly transforming into digitalization should not erode the values of piousness and wisdom. Muhammadiyah hopes there is a movement to encourage educators, scholars, intellectuals and young people to develop “digital piety.”
Meanwhile, the Aisyiyah is also concerned about the issues of community, nationalism and humanity. The women’s lynchpin of Muhammadiyah has drafted 10 issues to discuss, including strengthening the role of Muslims in the context of nation enlightenment, fostering a peaceful and united Indonesia, as well as pushing for civilized and democratically substantive elections.
"Soon in 2024, we are faced with elections. We hope for peaceful elections and not simply procedural but substantive ones that produce populist leaders," Aisyiyah secretary Tri Hastuti Nur Rochimah said.
Contacted separately, Ma'arif Institute executive director Abdul Rohim Ghazali said Muhammadiyah had to be resolute against the politicization of religion, “as was the case in the past when leading Muhammadiyah, Buya Syafi’i, used to adopt a firm attitude to prevent identity politics.”
Muhammadiyah is expected to be able to draw a distinct demarcation line to distinguish politics committed under cover of religion, which is feared to taint religion and threaten to divide the people.
The two-day online gathering sees the Muhammadiyah Congress on Nov. 5, followed by Aisyiyah on Nov. 6. The offline gathering will be held at the Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta, Central Java, on Nov. 18-20, with the main agenda of electing Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah new board administrators. (Z05)
This article was translated by Musthofid.