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Sunday, September 08, 2013

Leiden Southeast Asia Seminar Philanthropy and ‘Muslim Citizenship’ in Post-Suharto Indonesia

By Hilman Latief

The spawning of Muslim philanthropic associations signifies an increasingly visible Islamic social and political activism, in Indonesia as elsewhere in the Muslim world. Acting as non-state welfare providers, the associations provide ‘social security’ to poor and disadvantaged groups as a means of promoting the public good. In the intricate relationship between state and citizen in this, the World’s largest Muslim country, Muslim philanthropic ideals of promoting the well-being of the community (ummah) are in turn contested. Will they lead to a more democratic citizenship? Or rather to new types of clientelistic relations within a plural society? The research discussed today deals with the following questions: To what extent are welfare issues perceived by Muslim philanthropic organizations shaping a new debate over ‘citizenship’? Can the Islamic concept of ummah be reconciled with modern ideas of citizenship?

Hilman Latief is an assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, with special interest in modern Muslim social and intellectual history in Southeast Asia and currently fellow at KITLV.

Date: Wednesday 18 September 2013
Time: 15.30 h – 17.00 h
Venue: KITLV, Room 138, Reuvensplaats 2, 2311 BE,

Leiden If you wish to attend please register with Yayah Siegers: kitlv@kitlv.nl / 071-527 2295 More seminars: www.kitlv.nl

The Leiden Southeast Asia Seminar is a cooperation of the KITLV, IIAS, VVI , the Programme in South and Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, Leiden University.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Buku Baru:
Hilman Latief, Politik Filantropi Islam di Indonesia: Negara, Pasar dan Masyarakat Sipil(Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2013).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Graduate Program, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta

In cooperation with:

The International Committee of the Red Cross/ICRC
Dompet Dhuafa

Islam and Humanitarian Affairs:
Views and Experiences from Southeast Asia
June 26-28, 2013


South East Asian countries have witnessed unprecedented development of Muslim NGOs working on humanitarian and relief projects. A series of natural calamities and communal conflicts taking place in some regions in Southeast Asia have appealed Muslim relief NGOs to deliver aid for the victims. Tsunami disaster in Aceh, devastating earthquake in Sumatra, Muslim-Christian conflicts in Moluccas, large-scale military operations in East Timor, Buddhist-Muslim tension in Rahkine state in Myanmar, clashes between the government and the politically-oriented Muslim movements in Mindanao and Southern Thailand are instances where natural and man-made disasters have witnessed the intervention of many Muslim relief NGOs in Southeast Asia..

Charity in Islam has been regulated since the very beginning of the revelation. Until recently however it belonged to the realm of social practice, or state-sponsored institutions, in Muslim societies. The proliferation of NGOs combining the rich heritage of Islamic ethics with recent organizational techniques has brought this tradition into the field of modern international humanitarian work both at a very practical level by rubbing shoulders with colleagues from other organizations in the field, and also at a discursive level in asserting the legitimacy of its principles. But rigorous studies on the notions of Islamic humanitarianism reflecting the South East Asian perspective and experience, its relation with positive law, national and international, its applicability, remain rare and are sorely needed. This workshop will investigate some key concepts, both normatively and practically, of humanitarianism and humanitarian law in an Islamic and Asian Perspective.

Objectives of the Workshop
·         The forthcoming workshop is envisaged as an international gathering of those social activists and Muslim scholars in Southeast Asia, who are concerned with humanitarian affairs, in general humanitarian law, in particular.
·         The two-day workshop will provide forum in which exchange of knowledge and experience will take place with the aim of exploring the diversity of Muslim voices on humanitarian issues in Southeast Asian countries.  
·         This workshop will portray a broader picture of humanitarian and relief activism organized by Muslim NGOs as well as will draw and map the perceived and conceptualized problems of humanitarianism in the Southeast Asian geo-political context.
·          As the workshop will emphasize on both practical and theoretical discourse concerning Islam and humanitarianism, the output of the prospective workshop is a publication of book on Islam and humanitarianism in Southeast Asia. It is expected that the publication of the book will enrich Muslim voices on humanitarian affairs which have so far produced in other countries, notably in the West and the Middle East.
·         The main objective of this workshop, beyond the publication of the book on the Muslim perspectives on humanitarianism, is to discover the ‘common ground’ among Muslims concerning humanitarian law, and to what extent the Muslim perspectives on humanitarian issues can be in line with—or complement to—the larger picture of humanitarianism in the international communities.  

Major Theme and Sub Topics
The two-day workshop on Islam and humanitarianism is expected be able to deal with three major issues: theoretical, contextual and practical. The speakers/participants/contributors may utilize various approaches, whether doctrinal, historical, sociological, or political approaches in conceiving and framing their papers in the Southeast Asian context.

In particular, this workshop is interested in exploring the following themes: 

1.      How have the Islamic concepts of humanitarian law (fiqh al-siyar) and the ethics of war and jihad been conceived in Islamic literature and interpreted by Islamic scholars and social activists in Southeast Asia?         
2.      In the scope covered by international humanitarian law, how do Southeast Asian Muslims talk about conflict, conflict resolution, the idea of peace, and public interest (maslahah) in the Southeast Asian social, cultural and political landsape? 
3.      According to "Islamic Humanitarian Principles" as formulated by NGOs how is the category of victims conceptualized and what are the rights of underprivileged groups (refugees, non-combatants, prisoners, women and children) in disaster affected spots? 
4.      How do Muslim NGOs define dakwah and humanitarian actions, discern the relationships between Islam and the West, and universalize their humanitarian principles, both discursively and practically?

Language Policy
As selected participants will be invited from other countries, the Workshop will be run in Bahasa English and Bahasa Indonesia.

This workshop is organized by the Graduate Program-Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) in cooperation with The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Dompet Dhuafa. 

Steering Committee (SC)
Rector of Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta
Director of Graduate Program
ICRC Representative-Jakarta
Hilman Latief, M.A., Ph.D. (Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta)
Zezen Zainal Muttaqien,  LLM (ICRC-Jakarta)
Rahmawati Hussein, MCP., Ph.D.

Organizing Committee (OC)
Chairperson     : Dr. Imamuddin Yuliadi
Secretary         : Taufiq Hidayat
Treasurer          : Bambang Arintoko

Secretariat: The Graduate Program of UMY will provide Secretary of OC with several staff members to assume responsibilities in (1) networking/collecting personal data on participants, (2) contacting funding agencies, (3) management of finances and logistics, (4) collection and production of papers for the workshop, (5) documentation of proceedings of the conference for publication, etc.

Date and Venue
The international workshop/seminar on Islam and Humanitarianism will be held in the Seminar Room, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) on June 26-28, 2013.

Budgeting and Funding
The ICRC and the Muhammadiyah University, with the support of other funding/donors (NGOs, research center, government agencies, etc.), will be responsible for budgeting and financing the workshop.

The prospective speakers can be classified into three: 1) Academia/ Muslim intellectuals/researcher who have committed to the study on Islam, humanitarianism, and perhaps humanitarian law; 2) religious scholars (clerics) who are acquainted with humanitarian issues, and familiar with Islamic literatures; 3) Muslim social activists who are involved in humanitarian NGOs. The numbers of participants will be 50 persons: 15-20 speakers and 30 participants/audiences. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Islam and humanitarian affairs The middle class and new patterns of social activism

Hilman Latief

IntroductionThe major concern of this chapter is to discern the distinct nature of ‘Indonesian Islam’ by sketching the similarities and differences between Islamic social activism in Indonesia and that in other parts of the Muslim world. In order to do so, we will examine the humanitarian and relief activism organised by Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which is increasingly characterised as ‘social Islam’ in the Indonesian nation-state. This new development in the social, economic and political spheres, both regionally and internationally, provides us with an opportunity to look further at the dynamic relationships between faith, the state, the market and civil society, as well as at the widespread engagement of Muslim civil society organisations, at the discursive and practical levels, with humanitarian affairs. We note that the visibility of Islam in the public sphere in post-Suharto Indonesia has gradually become more pervasive, and the growth of Muslim NGOs and social institutions whose work focuses on social welfare, education, economic enterprises, charity activism and humanitarian assistance, with their distinctive religious symbols and values, has also considerably restructured the pattern of Islamic activism.

Further reading see: Hilman Latief, “Islam and Humanitarian Affairs: the Middle Class and New Patterns of Social Activism,” in Kees van Dijk and Jajat Burhanuddin (eds.), Islam in Indonesia: Contrasting Images and Interpretations (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press-ICAS, 2012), 173-194.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Hilman Latief
(Fakultas Agama Islam, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta)

 This article discusses the extent to which pesantren in a rural area finances its activities and operates social programs by revitalizing Islamic philanthropic scheme. By way of a case study in a village at Kulonprogo District-Yogyakarta, where a small Muhammadiyah pesantren, which is Darul ‘Ulum, has been operating since the 1930s,  this article suggests that the ability of the pesantren in engaging the villagers in religious and social activities has made this pesantren survives until now.  Unlike other pesantrens, notably in  urban areas, pesantren Darul ‘Ulum functions as an educational institution that provides an opportunity to thus students coming from low-income households, including orphanages, to study. This paper asks to what extent a small pesantren in a rural area can resolve its budget constrains, how community supports and the culture of giving can, or cannot, underpin pesantren’s social and educational activities, and what sort of challenges for this pesantren to increase its institutional capacity?
            Keyword: pesantren, philantrhopy, and community innitiatives

Artikel ini mendiskusikan bagaimana pesantren yang berlokasi di daerah pedesaan mebiayai aktivitas-aktivitas dan melakukan program-program sosial dengan merevitalisasi skema filantropi Islam. Dengan mengambil kasus di sebuah desa di Wilayah Kabupaten kulonrpogo Yogyakarta, dimana sebuah pesantren kecil milik Muhammadiyah berdiri sejak tahun 1930an, artikel ini menyatakan bahwa kemampuan pesantren dalam melibatkan masyarakat setempat di mana pesantren itu berada dalam kegiatan-kegiatan sosial keagamaan menjadi salah satu peneybab mengapa pesantren inimasih bisa bertahan hingga kini. Tidak seperti pesantren-pesantren lainnya, terutama yang berada di daerah perkotaan, pesantren darul ulum berfungsi sebagai sebuah lembaga pendidikan yag menyediakan kesempatan kepada para santri yang berasal dari kalangan tidak mampu, termasuk yatim piatu untuk mendapatkan akses pembelajaran. Artikel ini merumuskan dalam konteks seperti apakah sebuah pesantren kecil di pedesaan dapat menyelesaikan kendala finasialnya, bagaimana dukungan masayrakat dan tradisi memberi dapat, atau tidak dapat, menjadi penyangga aktivitas sosial dan keagamaan pesantren, dan  tantangan seperti apakah yang dihadapi pesantren dalam meningkatkan kapsitas institutinya?
Kata kunci: pesantren, filantropi Islam, initiatif masyarakat

Hilman Latief, "Filantropi Islam dan Aktivisme Sosial Berbasis Pesantren di Pedesaan," Afkaruna: Jurnal Ilmu-ilmu Keislaman, Vol.8 No.1 Januari - Juni 2012, pp. 50-71.  



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