Azyumardi Azra: Dialogue Can Solve the National Problems

159Jakarta, UIN News Online – Professor of History and Islamic Civilization from the Faculty of Literature and Humanities UIN Jakarta Prof Dr Azyumardi Azra CBE MA asked the people Indonesia to prioritize the dialogue in solving various national issues. This is necessary to maintain the harmony of socio-cultural diversity In Indonesia.

This was conveyed by Azra in his speech after he received Sarwono Prawirohardjo Memorial Lecture (SML) 2017 award from Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in Jakarta, Wednesday, (8/23/2017). This award was given directly by the Acting Head of LIPI, Bambang Subiyanto, to the former Rector of UIN Jakarta for the 1998-2006 periods on his achievements in science, culture and humanity.

According to Azra, Indonesia is a country with a heterogeneous cultural background. This condition makes Indonesia more culturally rich other countries. However, such conditions necessitate a process of dialogue that is believed to be more effective in building Indonesia as a Muslim country with a strong democratic system.

“We are a show case for other countries to prove to other countries that diversities can make Indonesia stronger,” said Azra.

Historically, Azra who received the title of Commander of the Order of British Empire of the United Kingdom in 2010 also added that the rolonged conflicts create political fragmentation that has a major role in the setbacks of science and technology in Islam.

Fragmentation of politics itself led to the emergence of two other factors that helped push the setbacks of science and technology in the Islamic World. First, the bad economic growth that caused the fall of financing ability on science and technology activities in the Islamic world. Second, the increasing of religious sectarianism.

For Indonesia, Azra himself is still optimist that the tolerant culture in Indonesia is strong enough to be maintained, so the conflict such as religious conflicts can still be avoided. That way, high economic growth can still be maintained and religious sectarianism becomes less massive. Even in 2017, Indonesia became one of the countries with GDP revenue reached Rp 1,000 trillion. “If Indonesia remains secure and stable, the prediction that Indonesia would become the fifth strongest country in terms of the economy can become a reality,” he added.

On the same occasion, Acting Head of LIPI, Bambang Subiyanto said that Azyumardi is a critical thinker in the progress of culture and diversity in Indonesia. “He is an exemplary figure, all his thoughts are devoted in many writings, contained in 36 books and papers as well as national and international scientific journals,” said Bambang. (usa)