Banda Aceh – In Indonesia, Aceh is one of the provinces that enforces Sharia law. There is one question: how can we promote religious diversity and peacebuilding? This was discussed in Plenary Two at the International Conference and AMAN Assembly, which focused on Sharia Law and the Promotion of Religious Inclusion and Peacebuilding. Two speakers addressed this issue: Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at the State Islamic University (UIN) Ar-Raniry Aceh, Prof. Dr. Soraya Devy, M.A., and the Founder and Former Secretary General of the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), Muhammad Abdus Sabur.
In this session, Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence from UIN Ar-Raniry, Prof. Dr. Soraya Devy, M.A., explained education for the millennial generation and the role of parents in raising children. She categorized different generations’ parenting styles, such as the conservative or communal nature of millennials, while the baby boomer generation has gained wisdom from experience. She emphasized aspects of millennial parenting, including consistency between parents, quality time spent together, communication through technology, and the use of social media among millennials that affects their mental health and emotions. She encouraged parents to adapt to changes in the education system and prepare their children for the future. Promoting gender equality and equal responsibility between men and women in parenting was also highlighted. Effective communication and commitment in parenting are required, as is the importance of adapting to various family situations and promoting values such as respect and equality.
The second speaker discussed approaches to promoting Religious Diversity and Peacebuilding. This was explained by the Founder and Former Secretary General of AMAN, Muhammad Abdus Sabur. He pointed out that many people in various countries face issues of illiteracy, but progress is being made through education and civil society organizations. Religion cannot be the sole basis for unity, as seen in the separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Nevertheless, there are still diverse religious communities coexisting in Bangladesh. Respect, appreciation, and solidarity among different cultures and religions can lead to a more peaceful world. Based on his personal experiences, he mentioned that traveling and meeting people from different backgrounds erase differences.
Mutual respect, democracy, and active listening are necessary for a harmonious society. Helping each other during natural disasters can build community bonds. He stressed the importance of transcending boundaries, as it presents opportunities to connect with others on a deeper level beyond religious or nationality barriers. Solidarity among humans should transcend religion, as we all have a responsibility to support each other during difficult times.
He explained that faith communities can play a significant role alongside civil society organizations in assisting those in need. In several countries, there are still issues of homelessness and a lack of assistance for those in need. ”Understanding cultural diversity and helping each other is essential. This way, it can encourage small acts of kindness to make a difference in the world,” he concluded.
A total of 500 participants will gather for the International Conference and AMAN Assembly with the theme ”Religious Inclusion and Peacebuilding in the World: the Perspectives of Muslims” at the Auditorium Ali Hasyimi, UIN Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh, on October 14-17, 2023. Representatives from 20 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Burundi, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will attend. This four-day agenda will address religious inclusion as a significant global task for all communities worldwide.
The International Conference is designed to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas among Muslims and those of other religions and beliefs, religious leaders, academics, activists, practitioners, media, and young people from organizations and communities. They will share achievements, and challenges, including best practices on various issues related to the religious situation in Asia and the world.
This includes the achievements of Muslims in promoting religious freedom, tolerance, and peace, as well as supporting women and young people in peacebuilding. Various humanitarian issues, crises, displacement, and Aceh’s role as a destination for Rohingya refugees in recent years will also be discussed. Lastly, the resistance of communities through negotiation approaches and the extremism of young people and women in the context of extremism will be addressed.