Islamic history which emerged in many parts of the Muslim world is often tainted by conflicts. This eventually creates a negative image of Islam although Islam indeed encourages its followers to build a peaceful society in which ethical values such as tolerance, being open to cooperate with others, and being moderate, hold pivotal roles. In this framework, Striving Islam is an important issue to be presented as the solution to various humanitarian problems which can be applied for today and better future through various collaborations with other communities based on values of tolerance. Thus, AICIC is designed to provide a holistic understanding of Islam on the canvas of global civilization and to build a base of strength for Muslims through scientific dialogues of Islamic higher education institutions. The concrete target to be achieved are establishing a consortium of Islamic higher educations throughout the world and publishing a reputable proceeding (indexed by Scopus, Thomson, Scimago).
The course of Islamic history which emerged in many parts of the Muslim world from the Persian Gulf, Eastern Arabia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, to America (Suriname and Guyana) is often tainted by conflicts triggered by various aspects ranging from political, economic and religious issues. Hence, due to all of these conflicts, the stability of social life has not been able to be realized yet. Burdah (2014) describes that the post-collapse condition of the ruling regimes in Arab Spring has even aroused more conflicts.
Meanwhile, the conflicts have also manipulated the religious constellations (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as the sources of difference. With the widening gap at the State level, people's religious attitudes have increasingly been more exclusive as they compete with each other among different religious followers and even the followers of the same religion. Such condition can still be found in some countries like Palestine, Syiria, Lebanon, etc. where violences or even wars in the name of religion still continue. It hence is natural that Armstrong (2014) asserts that the followers of the three Abrahamic religions often display violences that they articulate religiously.
This eventually affects the image of Islam as a religion of hatred, terror and destruction. Thus, being a Muslim is a frightening, terrifying, and exclusive figure to other people, as Watt (1983), declares Islam a malignant religion which is spread through swords. It somehow neglects the facts that Islam is able to encourage the stability of the world community life based on human values, including cultivating science. Alkhateeb (2014) explains that the first hundred years after the death of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims led the world in advancing science to new boundaries. This fact has reshaped the history of science around the world.
Islam indeed encourages its followers to build a peaceful society in which ethical values such as tolerance, being open to cooperate with others, and moderate hold pivotal roles. Thus, Ma'arif (2015) strongly believes that the Qur’an is far more tolerant than some Muslims. It therefore is customary if Islam needs to be placed in a strategic position to colour the life of the society and state that are aligned with universal human values. At this level, Baqir (Kompas, January 9, 2016) posits that the religion we must develop is a culture-friendly religion if it is not to be referred to as a cultural religion or even a merely ideological or legal religion.
Apart from the above-mentioned situation, Indonesian Islam is often referred to as a model of Islam which offers diversity of understanding and interpretations. Among various versions of Islam developed in Indonesia is Islam Berkemajuan (Striving Islam). It aims at bringing and presenting Islam as a religion in line with the progress of human civilization that promotes open mindedness in understanding basic doctrines of religion and contributes to the sustainable development of human civilization, in general, and Islamic civilization, in particular.
In this framework, Striving Islam is an important issue to be presented as the solution to various humanitarian problems. The values it establishes are ethically normative, arising from the understanding of the Qur’an and as-Sunnah, oriented to the present and future and implemented in a form of amal shalih (good deeds). Therefore, Islamic higher education institutions as the base of intellectualism should take parts in building understanding of Islam that gives a solution and contribution to the development of the world civilization.
The concepts promoted in Striving Islam are inseparable from the main pillars of Tawheed (Oneness of God). The implication is that while Striving Islam is being implemented, the Qur’an and as-Sunnah function as "directions" and "normative guidances" which inspire every dimension of Muslim’s life such as in politics, economics, culture, education and the construction of science and technology. All of these concepts are applied for today and better future through various collaborations with other communities based on values of tolerance. Thus, AICIC is designed to provide a holistic understanding of Islam on the canvas of global civilization. In addition, this activity is expected to build a base of strength for Muslims through scientific dialogues of Islamic higher education institutions and other constructive activities to be able to contribute to the development of global civilization.
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