June 8th: Relay Lectures!

Selamat malam! It’s been another day of fun and excitement for the USIPP participants! It all started with a very bright and sunny Wednesday morning. As we intended to show many varieties of food in Indonesia, the menu of our meals should always be different. The menu this morning is Bubur Kacang Ijo or Burjo. It really was a really different type of meal in comparison the the others we had, and too the comments on it from the US students were slightly different: “interesting…”. We also showed Salak, a tropical fuit that existed in nearly all parts of Indonesia, one said: “well this is definitely not my favorite food”. Which is a good variation, since they’ve been saying that everything is good the moment they came here! So the day’s agenda was basically a relay of lectures from well-known and respected people in their scope of knowledge, and Indonesia to an extent. The fist lecture was by Muhammad Najib Azca, Ph. D. Mr . Najib is a is a lecturer at the Department of Sociology and researcher at the Center for Security and Peace Studies (CSPS) University of Gadjah Mada . He has just received his Ph.D at Amsterdam School for Social science Research (ASSR) of Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) working on the issue of religious violence and social movement. His dissertation then was published into a book entitled “After Jihad”. The topic of the lecture was “Radicalization and Deradicalization of Islamic Movements in Indonesia” which means the process through where people become less and more committed to radical social change actions/movements. He explained the microsociology of radicalization: that people become terrorist through Radical Reasoning (moral shocks, cognitive opening, act of identity). Many other terms and concept were introduced by Mr. Najib, including the kinds of radicalization, the streams of Islamic radicalization, the sources of it, and also it’s genealogy. An important part (and one that catches my interest most) is the concept of deradizalization. Especially the process of doing it. As for what I understood the participation of a certain someone in such big activity oraction group (eg: Al-Qaeda) makes them part of some sort of contract, making it hard for them to be able to cross the ring. On the other hand, if we do manage to deradicalize them what happens if the people from the group starts attacking the deradicalizors? And so forth. This question is answered by Mr. Najib later on, and he explained that in order to have a safe deradicalization we have to involve the police officers and authorities, and this is a must. The second is, when we deradicalize it is not only an act of an individual but also collective. Thus the rebellion would not be as harsh. The next lecture is by Ibu Titik Firawati, who obtained her Master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and B.A. degree from International Realtions UGM. She is a researcher at CSPS, UGM. Her lecture was about peacebuilding. The main discussion was regarding the factors that contribute to conflicts and how to resolve and face these sort of situation. One result of research actually proves that many conflicts are resolved well without a high number of death. It may only be the glasses of prejudice used by the community to percept what was happening that makes everything seen subjectively, thus it may seem like every conflict ends into a total disaster. Another thing that is very interesting is the fact that the spread of conflicts and the resolution to it is not spread equally across Indonesia. As an example, the area with the hughest number of conflicts is West Java, but the number of the highest death rate occurs in North Maluku. It was indeed great to see that there were evidence to a different and positive perspective. The last lecture of the day was by Ibu Siti Musdah Mulia. She is a great women’s right defender. Her most favorite quote, I noticed, is “humanizing humans”. She keeps repeating that most humans do not realize that they are human, that all are not equal. Thus men thinks they can be harsh and violent, and on the other hand women thinks they have no right whatsoever to defend themselves. This is what Ibu Siti was trying to fight for. Inorder to do this, the people that are dealt with must be not only people with legitimacy, but also from the grassroot. Thus everyone understands thoroughly. Each and every one of these speakers has great perspectives and has done many great deeds and contribution to the community. For me, what matters are not the rights and wrongs to what they are saying and doing. After all, what is right and what is wrong are subjective. What matters most is that these people care enough to see the reality outside their own world and enhance the things that was nothing but a headline of an article. These are great examples of people who will be renowned all their lives for trying to make a change. So everyone, heads up, get yourselve together and lend a hand for a better Indonesia..


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