Educating for Democracy: Ideas and Practices of Islamic Civil Society Associations in Indonesia

by Fachruddin, Fuad

Abstract (Summary)
The central question addressed in this study is How are the conceptualization and operationalization of education for democratic citizenship similar to or different within and across the two Islamic civil society associations. Using qualitative methods, I explored the ideas and experiences (practices) of two large Islamic civil society associations: Muhammadiyah (M) and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), in Indonesia. M and NU members have similar ideas about democracy, democratic society and educating for democracy. Within both organizations members argue Islam has tenets, such as shura and adl (justice), congruent with democratic ideas, but their responses to the Western conceptions of democracy vary. Accomodationists in both organizations state that Islamic tenets are conglruent with the Western ideas of democracy, while rejetioinists express that Islam has concept of happiness as the goal of democracy, sovereignty, and freedom differ from Western concepts of democracy. Moreover, although most informants from M and NU subscribe to democratic values, such as individual freedom, respect for differences or plurality, tolerance, open-mindedness, and criticism; some see the notions individual sovereignty, accepting of other religious groups beliefs, and gender equality as problematic for Muslims in Indonesia. Adopting these values in certain ways, they argue, can be seen to contravene core/fundamental Islamic beliefs. M and NU work to educate their members and the community at large by promoting democratic or civil values, political awareness, and participation. Both organizations have developed voter education and education for anti-corruption programs. In addition, NU organizes programs to transform orthodox understandings about the fiqh tradition, citizen forums to influence the provision of public services, and workshops to disseminate ideas of inclusive, emancipatory or moderate Islam. Ms programs focus on developing gender sensitivity among officials, candidates, and community members as well as on developing civil values for the students of its schools and colleges through civic education.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Clementina Acedo, Ph.D.; Paul J. Nelson, Ph.D.; Mark B. Ginsburg, Ph.D.; Noreen B. Garman, Ph.D.; R. Tony Eichelberger, Ph.D.

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:administrative and policy studies


Date of Publication:05/16/2005

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