Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Indonesia: Ulema should be certified to prevent radicalism: Sociologist
“The quality of their sermons is very low, as they are lacking certain knowledge necessary to interpret the teachings of Islam. Their role is often politicized and appeals to the interests of some fringe groups instead of the majority of Indonesian Muslims.”
Source/Credit: The Jakarta Globe
By Jakarta Globe | September 3, 2012
A sociologist has proposed that the Ministry of Religious Affairs should issue certifications for Muslim clerics — also known as ulema — in order to curb the proliferation of radical sermons.
“Since lecturers and teachers must be certified, it could be possible to apply the same system to ulema in order to maintain their credibility,” Nia Elvina, a sociologist from Nasional University, told Antara news agency on Monday.
Nia claimed that many ulema are former prisoners and thugs and thus have low credibility. She noted that Islam in Indonesia has seen a rise in radicalism, exemplified by several recent conflicts sparked by religious intolerance.
“The quality of their sermons is very low, as they are lacking certain knowledge necessary to interpret the teachings of Islam,” she said, adding that misinformed sermons have the potential to set off social unrest. “Their role is often politicized and appeals to the interests of some fringe groups instead of the majority of Indonesian Muslims.”
Roisul Hukama, a member of the Ulama of Nangkernang village, Karang Gayam, Sampang, was recently arrested and named as a suspect for provoking hundreds of people through a mosque’s loudspeaker to attack dozens of Shiite students and teachers. Two died in the attack and many others were injured.
It was revealed later that Roisul — leader of a Sunni Muslim associated with the Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama — had a personal feud with his brother, Shiite leader Tajul Muluk, that wound up turning into a community-wide conflict.
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