Educating for Islamic Pluralism: Lessons from Indonesia


  • Asna Husin



Islam views diversity in the human family to be the inherent divine order in creation (sunnat Allah) for such differences aim at promoting mutual understanding (ta'aruf) and partnership between distinctive human individuals and groups. The divine purpose in creating plurality is to allow religious communities to ‘strive with one another as in a competition’ in establishing benevolence and goodness in this world. The author looks at how Indonesian schools teach pluralism to youth through religious and non-religious courses. The model is exclusive loyalty to Islam with an underlying Islamic tolerance and respect for other faiths. She also surveys how an Islamic view of plurality is being taught in post-Suharto Indonesia through both conventional approaches to instructing religion and non-religious based initiatives of civic education. Her discussion ends with the practical teaching of plurality through ‘aqidah/ akhlaq-peace education in Aceh, highlighting a viable new synthesis in teaching religion through creatively presenting the qur’anic worldview of plurality reflecting Islam’s high-minded generosity toward other faiths. As she argues, teaching Islam in our global age should be accomplished in as attractive a manner as possible to young Muslim minds and hearts, without compromising the sacred nature of religion and its special position in human consciousness, aspirations and activities.


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How to Cite

Husin, Asna. 2009. “Educating for Islamic Pluralism: Lessons from Indonesia”. ICR Journal 1 (1).