[lit-ideas] Re: Islam vs the Islamists

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:50:52 -0300

Lawrence Helm wrote:

"There may be a lot more moderates out there than I realized ..."

I think so.

In September I will be taking up a teaching position in the Graduate
department at Universitas Islam Negri in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  This
Islamic University, the oldest and preeminent Islamic University in
Indonesia, self-identifies as being "very moderate and rational"
emphasizing "critical thought and objective enquiry; understanding
other religions; a participatory, democratic and inclusive approach to
development; and respect for the humanistic, tolerant, egalitarian and
open traditions of classical Islam."  I have been asked to teach
Philosophy and Christianity with an emphasis on developing an
understanding of the peaceful role religion can have in society.  I
will be the first non-Muslim to teach at the university so I am not
exactly sure how it will work.  I also have to teach in Indonesian, so
I have a bit of language work to do as well.

I think it is fairly obvious that Lawrence underestimates the moderate
element of Islam.  Indonesia has its radical element but this school,
with over 10000 students, stands in explicit opposition to extremism.
Just think Lawrence, a Christian pacifist teaching Philosophy and
Christianity from a peace perspective to Indonesian Muslims at the
request of an Islamic University.


Phil Enns
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