Organizer: Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
“We have conferred dignity on the children of Adam, and borne them over land and sea, and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life, and favoured them far above most of Our creation”(Al-Isra’: 70)
Fifty years ago, in 1969, official representatives of the Muslim Nations have convened as part of the formation of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with the aims among others, to ensure peace and security for Muslims worldwide, alleviate all forms of injustices faced by the Ummah,reiterate the commitments of Muslim leaders towards ensuring the rights of all must be respected in the spirit of solidarity; a divine order to acknowledge the honour of human dignity. But still, after fifty years, in. many parts of the Muslim world, the duty for human rights protection had remained unachievable.
In a new Malaysia, a voice of political reform that would lead towards the advancement of human rights and dignity, however, seemed to have been silenced. The early commitment to be part in solidarity with the global human community by ratifying the international conventions on human rights; such as the international conventions against racial discrimination – ICERD, and the Rome Statute for international criminal justice remain unresolved. The vocal pressure of the populists, nationalists and conservatives, and mostly the loud voices of hard-liners in their mission to protect the so-called rights of the Malay-Muslims in the country; such key principles on respect, equality and non-discriminatory towards other fellow human-beings became a lesser priority.
These conditions raised some important questions on the principles of Islam in addressing the various concerns of democracy and human rights locally, regionally and globally. What are the key lessons and inspirations that could be taken from the Qur’an and the legacy of the Prophet for the greater benefit of humankind? And how could Muslims take the responsibility and duty in living the spirit of the Qur’an to ensure the spirit of democracy and respect towards human rights and human dignity of today and for the future generations?
Dr Najib Burhani, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesia
Dr. Faisal Tehrani, National University of Malaysia (UKM)
Dr. Pradana Boy, Universitas Muhammadiyah, Malang, Indonesia
Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa (IRF)
Session 7 Public Forum:
Topic: The Role of Islam in Advancing Democracy and Human Rights in Muslim Societies
Discussion & Session Summary
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Dr Ahmad Najib Burhani is senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jakarta. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara, USA. During the last year of his study, he won the Professor Charles Wendell Memorial Award from UCSB for the academic achievement in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Since his doctorate, Najib Burhani has been active in publishing articles in top academic journals such as Asian Journal of Social Science (NUS/Brill), Indonesia and the Malay World (SOAS/Roudledge), Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations (Birmingham/Roudledge), Sojourn (ISEAS), Contemporary Islam (Springer), and Asian Politics & Policy (Wiley-Blackwell). He also contributed articles for edited volumes published by Palgrave Macmillan Press, Amsterdam University Press, ISEAS, and so on. His monograph includes Sufisme Kota (2001), Islam Dinamis (2001), Tarekat Tanpa Tarekat (2002), Muhammadiyah Jawa (2010), and Muhammadiyah Berkemajuan (2016). Currently, he serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Masyarakat dan Budaya (jmb.lipi.go.id) and an editorial board of the journal of Contemporary Islam (Springer). Najib Burhani was a fellow at the Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC), Drew University, New Jersey, USA; IIIT (International Institute of Islamic Thought) Virginia, USA; ISIM (International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World) Leiden, the Netherlands; and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) Kyoto University, Japan. Since June 2017, he is a visiting fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.
Dr. Pradana Boy Zulian is the Head of The Center of Islam and Philosophy Studies (PSIF) University of Muhammadiyah Malang in Indonesia. His expertise is in the field of Islamic legal theory and thought as well as contemporary Islamic thought. Other than Islamic Law, his interests include the history of Islam, Islamic philosophy and religious studies. He completed his degree in Islamic law from the University of Muhammadiyah Malang and obtained a master’s degree in contemporary Islamic thought and movements from Australian National University. In 2015, he completed his PhD at the Department of Malay Studies at the National University of Singapore. He is actively involved in many social and voluntary projects including providing informal education at the community level and organising charity for the poor and those who are economically and socially underprivileged.
Dr. Mohd Faizal Musa (Faisal Tehrani) is Research Fellow at Institute of the Malay World and Civilization (ATMA), National University of Malaysia (UKM). His current research areas are in adopting a human rights approach concerning religious minorities with specific reference to Shia and Ahmadiyya adherents, and Human Rights in Malay Literature. He also maintains his weekly column at malaysiakini.com/bm. Dr. Mohd Faizal Musa is also a well-known novelist in Malaysia with two, among his celebrated works of twenty-three novels are, Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang (2011) and Perempuan Nan Bercinta (2012). His key publications are The Malaysian Shi‘a: A Preliminary Study of Their History, Oppression, and Denied Rights (2013, Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies), and The Axiology of Pilgrimage: The Malaysian Shi’ites Ziyarat to Iran and Iraq (2013, International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology ). His recently published book is Wacana Sastera Islam di Malaysia dan Indonesia (2012, Penerbit UPM). He graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Sharia (Islamic Studies), University of Malaya; received his MA in Comparative Literature from University Science of Malaysia, in 2000 and a PhD. in Comparative Literature from Institute of the Malay World and Civilization (ATMA), National University of Malaysia (UKM) in 2010.