Menimbang Civil Society dan Masyarakat Madani; Antara Mitos dan Realitas

Oleh Ahmad Fathan Aniq

Pada mulanya, saya sempat bingung ketika mencoba memahami apa yang dimaksud dengan ungkapan “mitos masyarakat madani”. Karena ungkapan ini sepemahaman saya setidaknya mengarahkan kepada dua arti. Yang pertama yaitu mitos mengenai kondisi kewargaan pada zaman Rasulullah Muhammad Saw yang selanjutnya oleh sebagian muslim Indonesia disebut sebagai representasi ideal “masyarakat madani”. Rasulullah Saw merupakan uswatun hasanah, teladan yang mulia. Sehingga wajar saja kalau Mitsaq al-Madinah (piagam Madinah) yang beliau susun menjadi pijakan hubungan sosial antara warga Madinah pada saat itu, dan kini menjadi rujukan ideal yang pada titik tertentu akhirnya dimitoskan, dengan tanpa melihat pada fakta-fakta sejarah yang ada.

Kemungkinan arti yang kedua, seperti yang diungkapkan Peter L. Berger, “mitos masyarakat madani” menggambarkan parahnya keterpurukan masyarakat pada kemiskinan dan kesusahan hidup yang pada gilirannya membentuk harapan dan pandangan mereka akan datangnya sosok ratu adil yang akan membawa perubahan kepada “masyarakat madani”. Terwujudnya masyarakat madani pada titik ini merupakan mitos dan menjadi patologi atau penyakit tersendiri dalam masyarakat.

Bagaimanapun, konsep masyarakat madani bukanlah konsep yang diterima secara bulat oleh muslim Indonesia. Walaupun ia sering disebut sebagai padanan yang pas untuk konsep civil society pada konteks Indonesia, sebagian masih tetap memilih untuk memakai istilah “civil society”. Dan kalaupun istilah yang terakhir ini harus diterjemahkan, maka mereka lebih mengartikannya sebagai “masyarakat sipil”. Hal ini bukan terbatas hanya pada perdebatan istilah, tetapi lebih kepada perdebatan ideologis dan kemungkinan dampak dari masing-masing ideologi tersebut.

Maka sebelum kita melangkah lebih jauh, ada beberapa pertanyaan mendasar yang perlu kita bahas terlebih dahulu. Apa sebenarnya yang dimaksud dengan civil society? Apa pula bedanya dengan masyarakat madani? Kalau kedua pertanyaan ini sudah terjawab, barulah kita mengajukan pertanyaan bagaimana realitas yang ada saat ini, apakah sudah sejalan dengan konsep civil society, dan kira-kira bagaimana kemungkinannya ke depan? Tulisan singkat ini dimaksudkan untuk menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan di atas.

Konsep Civil Society

Istilah civil society berasal dari bahasa Latin societes civiles yang mula-mula dipakai oleh Cicero (106-43 SM), seorang orator, politisi dan filosof Roma. Sejak saat itu sampai dengan abad ke-18, pengertian civil society masih disamakan dengan negara (the state), yakni sekelompok masyarakat yang mendominasi seluruh kelompok lain.

Dalam rentang waktu yang panjang itu, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704) dan Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) kembali menghidupkan dan mengembangkan istilah civil society (masyarakat sipil) dengan merujuk kepada masyarakat dan politik. Hobbes, misalnya, berpendapat bahwa perjanjian masyarakat diadakan oleh individu-individu untuk membentuk suatu masyarakat politik atau negara. Locke mendefinisikan masyarakat sipil sebagai masyarakat politik (political society) yang mana dihadapkan dengan keadaan alami (state of nature) sekelompok manusia. Masyarakat politik itu sendiri, menurut Rousseau yang senada dengan Hobbes, merupakan hasil dari suatu kontrak sosial. Perlu digarisbawahi bahwa pengertian-pengertian ini lahir ketika perbedaan antara masyarakat sipil dan negara belum dikenal, sehingga negara merupakan bagian dari masyarakat sipil yang mengontrol pola-pola interaksi warga negaranya.

Barulah pada paruh kedua abad 18 Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) dan Thomas Paine (1737-1809) memberi tekanan lain terhadap makna civil society. Civil society dan negara dipahami sebagai dua buah entitas yang berbeda, sejalan dengan proses pembentukan sosial dan perubahan-perubahan struktur politik sebagai akibat pencerahan (enlightment). Keduanya diposisikan dalam posisi yang diametral. Masyarakat sipil bahkan dinilai sebagai anti tesis terhadap negara, ia harus lebih kuat untuk mengontrol negara demi kepentingannya.

Pemahaman ini mengundang reaksi para pemikir lainnya seperti Hegel (1770-1831) yang beraliran idealis. Menurutnya civil society tidak dapat dibiarkan tanpa terkontrol. Ia justru memerlukan berbagai macam aturan dan pembatasan melalui kontrol hukum, administrasi dan politik. Lebih lanjut, Hegel membedakan masyarakat politik (the state) dan masyarakat sipil (civil society). Masyarakat politik adalah perkumpulan-perkumpulan yang mengandung aspek politik yang mengayomi masyarakat secara keseluruhan. Sedangkan masyarakat sipil ialah perkumpulan merdeka yang membentuk apa yang disebut sebagai masyarakat borjuis.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) sependapat dengan Hegel dalam melihat civil society sebagai masyarakat borjuis. Bedanya, Hegel menganggap hanya melalui negara, kepentingan-kepentingan masyarakat yang universal dan mengandung potensi konflik bisa terselesaikan. Dus, negara merupakan sesuatu yang ideal. Marx berpandangan sebaliknya, ia menganggap negara tak lain sebagai badan pelaksana kepentingan kaum borjuis. Oleh sebab itu, negara harus dihapuskan, atau harus diruntuhkan oleh kelas proletar. Ketika negara akhirnya lenyap, maka yang tinggal hanyalah masyarakat tanpa kelas. Visi ini berseberangan dengan visi Hegel yang mengatakan di masa depan masyarakat sipillah yang akan runtuh dari dalam, jika negara telah mampu mengayomi seluruh kepentingan masyarakat. Sedangkan menurut Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) yang juga memandang civil society sebagai milik kaum borjuis yang akhirnya menjadi pendukung negara, disamping mereka memegang hegemoni, mereka juga seharusnya bisa menjalankan fungsi etis dalam mendidik dan mengarahkan perkembangan ekonomi masyarakat. (Dawam Raharjo: 1999)

Adapun menurut Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), masyarakat sipil tidak secara a priori subordinatif terhadap negara, tetapi lebih dari itu ia bersifat otonom dan memiliki kapasitas politik cukup tinggi sehingga mampu menjdi kekuatan penyeimbang menghadapi intervensi negara dan tidak hanya berorientasi pada kepentingan sendiri tetapi juga terhadap kepentingan publik. Pendapat Tocqueville ini kemudian diperkuat oleh Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) dan Jurgen Habermas (1929-) dengan konsep ”a free public sphere”, sebuah wilayah di mana masyarakat sebagai warga negara memiliki akses penuh terhadap setiap kegiatan publik. Penciptaan ruang publik, bagi Arendt merupakan prasyarat terciptanya civil society dan demokratisasi. Hal senada diungkapkan Ernest Gellner (1925-1995) yang memandang perlunya ruang dan kebebasan publik. Menurutnya civil society adalah seperangkat institusi non pemerintah yang cukup kuat untuk mengimbangi negara dan mencegah timbulnya tirani kekuasaan.

Secara umum saat ini, penganut sosialis banyak mengadopsi konsep hegemoni Gramsci dalam memahami civil society dimana hegemoni tidak lagi dilakukan secara fisik, melainkan melalui penjinakan budaya dan ideologi yang diselenggarakan secara terstruktur oleh negara. Sementara penganut kapitalis lebih tertarik kepada civil society versi Tocqueville dimana masyarakat dapat melakukan partisipasi mengenai pembuatan kebijakan-kebijakan publik dalam sebuah negara dan dapat saling berinterksi dengan semangat toleransi. Adapun di negara-negara berkembang umumnya, sikap Hegelian terhadap negara merupakan pandangan yang dominan. Di satu sisi mereka memandang negara sebagai wadah segala sesuatu yang ideal dan di sisi lain mereka kurang percaya terhadap masyarakat sipil.

Menurut AS Hikam, masyarakat sipil sebagaimana dikonsepsikan oleh para pemikirnya mempunyai tiga ciri khusus yaitu: pertama, adanya kemandirian yang cukup tinggi dari individu-individu dan kelompok dalam masyarakat, terutama saat berhadapan dengan negara. Kedua, adanya ruang publik bebas sebagai wahana bagi keterlibatan politik secara aktif dari warga negara demi kepentingan publik. Ketiga, adanya kemampuan membatasi kuasa negara agar tidak intervensionis dan otoriter. Selanjutnya akan kita lihat bagaimana konsep civil society ini diaktualisasikan dalam konteks Indonesia.

Konsep Masyarakat Madani

Konsep masyarakat madani pertama kali dikenal di Indonesia ketika Anwar Ibrahim yang saat itu menjabat sebagai Menteri Keuangan dan Asisten Perdana Menteri Malaysia, menyampaikan pidatonya pada Simposium Nasional pada Festival Istiqlal 1995. Istilah inipun terbilang baru, Prof. Naquib al-Attas, seorang ahli sejarah dan peradaban Islam sekaligus pendiri ISTAC-lah yang mula-mula mencetuskannya. Kata “madani” pada masyarakat madani dipadankan dengan kata hadlari, tsaqafi atau tamaddun dalam bahasa Arab yang mana mengacu pada hal-hal yang ideal dalam kehidupan.

Nurcholis Madjid yang menjadi motor utama konsep ini di Indonesia mengartikan masyarakat madani sebagai masyarakat yang berperadaban (ber-“madaniyyah”) karena tunduk dan patuh (dana-yadinu) kepada ajaran kepatuhan (din) yang dinyatakan dalam supremasi hukum dan peraturan. Ia pada hakikatnya adalah reformasi total terhadap masyarakat tak kenal hukum (lawless) Arab jahiliyah, dan terhadap supremasi kekuasaan pribadi seorang penguasa seperti yang selama ini menjadi pengertian umum tentang negara. Oleh karena itu, menurutnya konsep masyarakat madani bisa disetarakan dengan konsep civil society.

Penyetaraan ini juga menunjukkan bahwa di satu sisi Islam berpotensi untuk diinterpretasi ulang sesuai dengan perkembangan zaman, dan di sisi lain, masyarakat Madinah merupakan proto-type masyarakat ideal produk Islam yang bisa dipersandingkan dengan konsep civil society. Dengan demikian, konsep masyarakat madani menggambarkan bentuk dialog antara Islam dengan modernitas.

Bagaimanapun, konsep ini tidak serta merta menjadi suara bulat di Indonesia. Kalangan muda NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) seperti A.S. Hikam, Ahmad Baso, Abdul Mun’im D.Z., dan Rumadi lebih memilih tetap menggunakan civil society daripada masyarakat madani. Dengan mengutip Mohammed Arkoun, Baso menegaskan bahwa umat Islam seringkali terjebak dalam logosentrisme. Karena logosentrisme ini pula, pengalaman-pengalaman sejarah Barat dari A sampai Z yang akan muncul di masa mendatang akan dikembalikan dalam sejarah Nabi di Madinah. Umat Islam seringkali kurang kritis dalam melihat sejarah agamanya sendiri. Yang sering muncul adalah mitos-mitos tentang kegemilangan Islam. Hal ini menjadikan studi ke-Islaman a-historis, konservatif dan sebagai ajang mitos.

Keterlenaan ini diperparah lagi dengan pembacaan sarjana Barat seperti Robert Bellah dan Marshall Hodgson yang serba bagus tentang sejarah Islam. Coba bandingkan dengan pembacaan Muslim kritis seperti al-Jabiri, Hasan Hanafi, Abu Zayd dan Arkoun. Maka pada titik ini, kalangan muda NU menilai Madinah di masa Nabi yang dijadikan rujukan kaum modernis dalam membentuk masyarakat madani, kurang ideal untuk menumbukan civil society. Karena, disana ada satu kelompok yang merasa superior dan yang lain dianggap inferior. Hal ini sangat jelas ketika Nabi Saw mengatakan “al-a’immatu min quraisy”. Alam pikiran masyarakat saat itu mengatakan Quraisy adalah suku kelas satu sehingga mempunyai hak istimewa yang tidak dimiliki suku lain, yaitu hak untuk menjadi pemimpin. Hal-hal inilah yang lepas dari pengamatan kaum modernis ketika (kalau) membaca kitab-kitab Ibn Hisyam, Ibn Qutaybah, ath-Thabari, al-Maqrizi atau Ibn Khaldun.

Maka, dengan mengambil contoh kewargaan Madinah, ada kekhawatiran sistem masyarakat madani yang akhirnya mengendalikan negara, akan dikuasai oleh ideologi kelompok tertentu dan menafikan kelompok lain. Masyarakat madani meniscayakan negara yang dikuasai oleh suatu paham agama tertentu, jelas ini berbeda dengan prinsip civil society yang mencita-citakan persamaan (egalitarianism). Lalu, apakah dengan begitu lantas kalangan NU yang menolak masyarakat madani terbawa pada semangat sekularisasi? A.S. Hikam sejak dini sudah menegaskan bahwa civil society yang diperjuangkan bukanlah civil society dalam pengertian liberal, dan ia menentang privatisasi agama atau peminggiran agama dalam ruang privat. Sebaliknya ia menawarkan bagaimana Islam tidak terpinggir dalam ruang privat, namun dapat berkiprah dan terlibat penuh dalam wacana dan ruang publik, bukan pada level negara. Intinya, kalangan “civil society” tidak menginginkan formalisasi agama seperti yang diusung oleh kelompok “masyarakat madani”. Biarkan agama hidup dan berkembang di ruang publik dan menjadi milik publik, bukan milik negara.

Realitas dan Masa Depan Masyarakat Sipil Islam

Dari sepintas gambaran civil society dan masyarakat madani di atas, kita bisa meraba-raba perkembangan keduanya dalam realitas saat ini. Di negara-negara –berpenduduk- muslim, yang menjadi diskursus laten biasanya adalah tarik ulur antara hukum Islam dan hukum sipil (hukum positif). Tiap negara tentunya lebih menitikberatkan pada salah satu dari hukum tersebut. Di Arab Saudi contohnya, dimana negara dikendalikan oleh salah satu paham agama, hukum agama (mazhab negara) tentu lebih dominan. Bahkan secara ekstrim, agama sering dijadikan komuflase kepentingan masyarakat patriarkhi dan kediktatoran militer. Hak-hak warga di negara semacam ini sering dilanggar dan organisasi-organisasi penegak HAM, ironinya, bahkan dilarang. Disini, civil society tidak mendapatkan ruang.

Namun di dunia Islam secara umum, kedua hukum tersebut berada pada posisi seimbang. Di ruang publik, aturan-aturan civil society sudah mewacana walaupun tidak sepenuhnya diterapkan seperti; persamaan di depan hukum, penegakan HAM, kebebasan berekspresi, kesetaraan gender, demokrasi, dan pluralisme. Sedangkan pada ruang privat seperti hukum keluarga, hukum syari’ah masih tetap dijalankan, selain karena ia juga merupakan salah satu sumber hukum sipil. Keadaan ini perlu diperkuat lagi dengan kesadaran masyarakat akan hak-hak mereka terhadap hukum. Karena selama ini di dunia Islam, negara lebih menekankan kewajiban-kewajiban terhadap warganya. Inilah bedanya dengan negara-negara Barat dimana negara lebih menekankan hak-hak warganya.

Hal yang menarik tentunya perkembangan civil society di Indonesia. Dimana gerakan-gerakan kemasyarakatan tumbuh dengan subur, mengindikasikan rasa tidak cukup puas masyarakat sipil terhadap peran negara. Lembaga Swadaya Maysarakat (LSM) pun menjamur, yang mana fungsinya sebagai pengimbang negara dan kekuatan untuk memberdayakan masyarakat marginal. Fenomena ini perlu disambut dan dilihat secara positif dalam rangka berlomba-lomba untuk berbuat yang terbaik.

Masyarakat muslim saat ini masih mewarisi budaya konservatif yang telah mengakar untuk sekian lama. Reformasi dalam pemikiran Islampun baru saja dimulai se-abad yang lalu. Maka di sinilah kita dituntut untuk mengoptimalkan daya nalar kita untuk terus menjawab persoalan kehidupan. Peradaban Islam akan tetap menjadi mitos selama kita belum berani mencoba melakukan penafsiran ulang yang kreatif dan kritis –ijtihad– atas sumber-sumber pokok ajaran Islam.

Akhirnya, peradaban yang besar adalah peradaban yang mampu menciptakan lingkungan yang cocok secara ekonomi, politik, sosial, kultural, dan material dan mampu mengantarkan seseorang bisa mengamalkan perintah-perintah Tuhan dalam seluruh aktifitasnya tanpa harus dirintangi oleh institusi-institusi masyarakat, termasuk negara.

Wallahu A’lam bish-Shawab..

* Tulisan ini dimuat di Majalah AFKAR PCI NU Mesir Edisi XLVI Bulan Juni 2008

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Info Beasiswa MA Islamic Studies Leiden!

 

The Indonesian Young Leaderslogo-leiden.jpg

The Indonesian Young Leaders programme is a continuation of the intensive cooperation between the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs and Leiden University, which started in 1985 with INIS, Indonesian-Netherlands Cooperation in Islamic Studies. The Indonesian Young Leaders Programme is similar to the INIS programme as it also offers training and research in Leiden and at other Dutch Universities.

The Indonesian Young Leaders Programme is a scholarship programme – from 2006 until 2011 – which strives to enhance Indonesia’s future leadership by upgrading –present and future – human resources of institutions of higher Islamic education. The programme consist of two strongly linked and mutually reinforcing instruments: 1) International Conferences and 2) Education and training (Upgrading courses, MA and PhD).

MA Course information

In sum, 30 MA fellowships will be made available and allotted to the Islamic Studies programme in Leiden over the course of five years. The focus of this MA programme is on research methodology and consists of both classical disciplines and social sciences. It aims to equip students with a critical attitude and the necessary intellectual instruments to analyse societal and religious issues.

The students will study in Leiden for the period of some 18 months: 12 months for taking classes and 6 months for writing a thesis. The application deadline for the first ten scholarships is 15 October 2006. After selection a two-month English pre-departure training will be given in Jakarta. The MA programme in Leiden will start in February 2007. Deadlines for the subsequent two batches are 15 March 2007 (start programme in Leiden in September 2007) and 1 February 2008 (start programme in Leiden in September 2008).

MA Requirements

To be eligible for the Indonesian Young Leaders programme, the candidate must meet the following requirements:

– be an Indonesian national
– have a S1 degree from either a state sponsored or non-state sponsored Islamic Indonesian University
– have a background in Islamic Studies
– willing to take part in the programme fulltime for the complete duration of the scholarship.
– have a high level of English proficiency (TOEFL 550, after pre-departure English training)
– be in good health
– not be above the age of 40 years (men) or 45 years (women) on the application deadline

MA Application Procedure

Please submit the following documents in threefold by the application deadlines at the latest:

a. Application form (available here)
b. Motivation Statement
c. Curriculum vitae (format available here)
d. Proposal for either your proposed upgrading course or MA thesis (500 words)
e. A copy of your KTP
f. A copy of your passport
g. A legalized copy of your birth certificate
h. Two recent photographs (3×4; colour)
i. A certified true copy of your S1 diploma
j. A copy of the original of your statements of grades and a translated transcript
k. Two letters of recommendation

Based on the academic assessment Leiden University will create a short-list of students, who will be interviewed by NEC (Netherlands Education Centre). An Independent Selection Committee will select the candidates to be awarded a scholarship.

Please send the files in threefold (on A4 format) to:

Netherlands Education Support Office Indonesia (NESO)
Menara Jamsostek 20th floor
Jl. Gatot Subroto no 38
Jakarta 12710, Indonesia

 

 

The Tourist Industry; Is It Beneficial to Local People?

By Ahmad Fathan Aniq malimbu-lombok-island-indonesia.jpg

Some days ago, I read Iwan Mucipto’s paper on tourist industries in Lombok. The paper itself is entitled “Development for Whom? The Tourism Industry in Lombok, Indonesia” which was presented by Mucipto in the Ninth INFID Conference, “Good Governance in Regional Development” in Paris 1994. I found this paper in a bulk material about Lombok in the KITLV library. The paper is so impressive. When I was reading it, I felt myself flying back to my island and found many places with their atmospheres like what Mucipto described. He described many interesting tourism destinations in Lombok Island. However, what I found is not the beautiful scene of these places nevertheless terrible stories about unfortunate societies living in those places. Besides smiles and cheerfulness of the tourists visiting the places, there are weeping and sorrow of local inhabitants. Here, I want to briefly share my reading on Mucipto’s paper.

Lombok, which is located precisely east of Bali, is well known for its natural beauty. There are many interesting tourist destinations which can be found on this small island. Beaches, waterfalls, mountains and Segara Anak Lake are among the most popular destinations that have invited many foreigners to come to Lombok which in turn has become a big source of income for the local government, the West Nusa Tenggara Province. However, this advantage is not always beneficial to local people. It barely makes significant positive changes within society. For its poverty, some say that Nusa Tenggara Barat really stands for Nusa Sengsara Barat (Heavy Sorrow). Below some examples of how in the name of tourism, local people did not get any beneficial from their own land.

 

Senggigi

The Senggigi beach was the first area in Lombok to be developed for tourism. The UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) recommendation to develop Lombok’s tourism sector has long been kept secret among investors and government agencies. Knowing this recommendation, many investors and government officers rushed to purchase land in the area which has driven prices up tremendously. In order to acquire the land from the local people at cheap prices, investors together with the government ask villagers to sell it or threaten to confiscate it.

Approximately two decades ago, the Senggigi area was a well-known fishing area and a fish market. As Senggigi has now been developed as a resort area, many villagers have been forced to move further inland. This forced relocation has had a huge effect on the local-people-economic life since they had to change their occupations and they had no experience in those new occupations. New hotels around the beach also do not absorb many local people as their worker either in building the hotels or in operating them. Most of the employees originated from Java, Bali and foreign countries. It is difficult to prove that the Senggigi community is realizing any benefit from the development of the tourist industry in their area.

Gili Terawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air

gili-lombok-indonesia.jpg These three Gilis are located in the Tanjung Resort Zone. Up to 1979, Gili Terawangan could not be inhabited due to a thick mangrove forest and various pests like mosquitoes and rats. In 1976, a corporation got a permit to open the area up for coconut plantation and then they recruited labors from Lombok. However, the pests destroyed all of the harvest and the company abandoned the plantation and its employees on the Gili. The labors continued their substistence life through plowing, fishing, an herding small livestock.

In 1985, a German tourist spent a night on the island. He then wrote a travel guide mentioning Gili Terawangan as an ideal tourist destination, noted for its gentle and hospitable local people. Ever since, thousands of German tourist have visited this Gili and the local people started to build small-scale tourist industries. Gradually, their quality of life improved as more and more people came to stay in the Gili and the locals became absorbed into the tourist economy.

However, in 1991, the previous corporation returned to the island and reclaimed their former plantation land which they had abandoned years earlier. They demanded that the locals demolished their bungalows on the grounds that the land is government-owned. The local government supported this claim and requested that the people relocate elsewhere.

The people in Gili Terawangan insisted that they had been utilizing the land for more than two years and had acquired land certificates a long time ago. They claimed that under the law they were eligible to utilize the land as long as they had been utilizing it continuously for at least two years.

In the Lombok New Order era, if someone talked about opening a business in the tourist sector, we would often hear the following remarks: “I know the former General X” or “I was asked by the son of General X to join a business”, or “I will introduce you to Mr. X who is a former high-ranking government officer from department of Y”. There was a strong belief that without proper “backing”, a given enterprise would not have the assurance that their business would still be in operation once a stronger, more well-connected businessman enter into the game.

Meanwhile, in the case of Gili Meno, collusion among bureaucrats and investors is even clearer. Here, from its hamlet leader to its district leader took parts in sacrificing the local people regarding land matters.

In the Gili Air case, the land take-over went smoothly as the village leaders were under threat by the investors to mediate the sale of the villagers’ land. It could safely be concluded that in the case of Gili Terawangan and Gili Air, a Bupati and even a Governor cannot adequately protect citizens’ rights, In other words, power became a loose cannon. It was not used to maintain societal interest instead of investors’ interest.

 

Kuta and Sekaroh

The Kuta beach, located in the south coast of Lombok, was declared a restricted area in 1989, and BPN (State Land Agency) was instructed not to issue any ownership certificates in the area. However, as many as 200 hectares was eventually authorized to the Lombok Tourist Development Corporation (LTDC). This corporation is a joint venture between PT. Rajawali and Pemda (the local government) that has split shares of 65% and 35% respectively. The LTDC planned to construct the tourist resort “Putri Nyale” on the site.

Residents of the area were informed that they would have to move and would receive some compensation. This resulted in unrest and social conflict. Despite their refusal to move, the villagers were forced to leave their lands without adequate compensation resettlement.

Another aspect being jeopardized by tourist development in Kuta is the cultural aspect. There is a tradition of Sasak or/and Wetu Telu community in Lombok to gather in the Seger beach at the full moon in February. At the determined time, all the customary leaders gather on the beach to look for the swarms of Nyale (worms). Through Nyale, local people believe that they can predict whether or not they will have a successful harvest and whether or not they will find their perfect mate in life (a matchmaking ceremony).

This ceremony is a ritual key for Lombok society which is held as an annual jamboree. For investors this ritual ceremony has been translated into a commodity. The location of the ceremony has been fenced off, forcing the locals to walk around the swamp and squeeze among cars and motorcycles of tourists from the cities to access the site. The local government has also interfered as the Governor himself has Instructed that Bau Nyale should be conducted during the weekends in order to persuade more tourists to come. In response, the villagers eventually relocated the ceremony to a more isolated area in Sekaroh. Unfortunately, however, investors are now looking for land in Sekaroh for the tourist industry.

The Tupat War in Lingsar

Cultural abuse and selling local cultural assets can also be found in Lingsar. Here, the tourist industry is eagerly promoting the Lingsar temple and the Tupat War ceremony as “tourist objects”. A stage for tourists was erected around the temple and guides from the city lead tourists to the place. The Tupat War is practiced among the Balinese and followers of Wetu Telu (the indigenous community of Lombok) to celebrate peacefulness between these two societies. The ceremony symbolically means that they no longer throw spears at each other but throw blessings instead, which is tupat (a traditional Indonesian dish made of rice cake, boiled in a rhombus-shaped packet of plaited young coconut leaves).

Investors have constructed platforms for tourists to watch the ceremony. They have definitely not been invited, but the platforms enable them to witness the cultural events free. Tourists make no financial contribution whatsoever to the locals and all of the tourist dollars go to the travel agents.

 

Tanak Awu International Airport

In addition to what were mentioned by Mucipto, it is also noteworthy to talk about Tanak Awu case in which people were sacrificed by the government. In order to increase the amount of tourism on this island, the local government has a plan to build a new international airport in the centre of the island. With the international airport, foreigners who want to go to Lombok are able to go immediately to the island without transiting first in other Indonesian airports. The recent airport, Selaparang, is considered inadequate for this purpose. Therefore, the government looked for another piece of land, namely Tanak Awu, in which to build the new airport.tanak-awu.gif

The conflict between the government and the owners of the land started in 1995 when the state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura 1 expropriated 850 hectares of fertile land by an administrative act. Since then, the local leaders have oppressed the peasants. Most of the Tanak Awu villagers are poor peasants. They have been living in the area for generations. However, the project continues.

This one-sided decision made the peasants angry. They did not want to leave their land. Although the local police had notified them to leave the fields, they kept on planting rice and other plants. Finally, the conflict could not be hindered. The peak of the conflict was on 18 September 2005, when the local police fired more than 700 peasants who gathered to commemorate Indonesia’s National Peasants’ Day. Many people were wounded and hospitalized. Some other people were arrested.

It is too ironic that the governments on the one hand try to be very friendly to foreigners by enabling them totally nice trips, but on the other hand they become very unfriendly to their own society. The Tanak Awu case is another example of how the poor hardly benefit from their natural resources. In this respect the resources were exploited for tourism. Building a new international airport, which sacrifices the poor, is not the only way to increase the number of tourists coming to the island. For me, many other things can be done for this purpose such as promoting the island through the media and cutting many illegal taxes which burden tourists. To build a good image is better than to build a new airport.

Leiden, 24 December 2007

The Future of Islam

By Ahmad Fathan Aniq

The future of Islam is an interesting issue to be discussed. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and moreover after the attack of 11 September on the twin World Trade Center buildings, Islam has been considered as a threat to the peaceful world and at the same time some people have regarded it as a new rebirth. Shortly after the terrible tragedy, many people wanted to know more about Islam and its teachings which legalize, if true, such kinds of inhuman action. Many books have been written and published regarding the tragedy either by those who blamed Islamic teachings as the main cause or by those who tried to explain that Islam is a tolerant religion.

Meanwhile, many universities in Western countries have opened studies of Islam and Muslim communities. In these universities, scientists try to understand the sociological aspects of Muslim communities and try to predict the future of Islam. In this short article, I also want to give my opinion on what the future of Islam over the next decade is.

When we talk about the golden era of a certain community, usually we refer to the time when the community became the most civilized community in the world. In this respect, each community will compete with other communities. It has long before the WTC attack, when Samuel P. Huntington proposed his thesis about the clash of civilization. In his book, he says that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. According to this view, the world must be understood as distinct cultures and civilizations which have a very different way of looking at reality. Furthermore, Huntington regarded Islam as the foundation of a unique civilization. This is not surprising since Islam rules everything which is conducted by Muslims. Everything from political aspects to the manner of entering toilets has been determined by Islam. Of course, Islam tends to be a huge civilization and will be a main competitor of the United States of America, in which Huntington bestowed his thesis, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

To some extent, Huntington’s thesis is true. Most communities usually have their own motto which says that the community will triumph. This includes Islam. Muslims have mottos such as “Al-Islamu ya’lu wa la yu’la ‘alaih” which means Islam will be the winner and no one will be its superior. However, I think what Huntington proposed only shows the inclusive aspects of communities. It will create a sharper clash of civilization. Why do we not promote the supportive competition of civilization, instead of the clash of civilization, which is more humanistic?

Islam has existed since the sixth century. Throughout this time, Islam has proven itself that it is a flexible religion as can be seen in the saying: “Al-Islamu sholihun likulli zamanin wa makanin” which means Islam is fine in every time and place. That people convert to Islam is one of the interesting phenomena of this religion. While in modern societies religious adherents tend to leave their religions, on the contrary, many people convert to Islam.  

Muhammad Imarah states that this phenomenon happens because of the moderate aspect of Islam, not because of its strict understanding which is usually shown by fundamentalist (scripturalist) Muslims. The moderate Islamic understanding promotes social justice, tolerance, egalitarianism, a prosperous society, respecting religious pluralism and diversity of cultures. Although these aspects are mostly found in Western countries, they are also the goals of Islam. Moreover, many Muslims are now living in the West. They will study these positive aspects and will apply them in other Muslim communities. Therefore, I believe that in the next ten years, if Muslims keep in performing these moderate understandings of Islam, many people will be interested in Islam and Islam will find its high-lost civilization.

Leiden, 16 November 2007

The Danish Prophet Cartoons and Freedom Of Expression

By Ahmad Fathan Aniq

On 30 September 2005, Jylland Posten, the biggest Denmark daily newspaper, published 12 cartoons which were claimed to be cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In Islam, it is taboo to draw the Prophet. However, there were no big reactions in the first two months since the cartoons were published. Nevertheless, in December after the Islamic Conference Organization had announced its opposition to the cartoons, the cartoons were republished in many other newspapers in various countries, and there were many reactions from Muslim societies. The cartoons generated strong protests from those who were offended. They burnt flags and embassies of Denmark as a symbol of their disappointment. In an extreme case, some people in Afghanistan died as a result. Why did Muslims react so strongly against the cartoons? Can we justify such reactions? Was what the Danish cartoonist drew a kind of freedom of expression? This short article tries to discuss these issue.

            To understand why there were many reactions from Muslims against the cartoons, we should first understand how Muslims’ view the drawing of their Prophet. For Muslims, to visualize the Prophet is something forbidden. The Prophet is the messenger of Allah. Everything that he did, spoke, and ignored becomes rules for Muslims called sunna. Consequently, he is the most perfect person in the universe. Therefore, to draw the Prophet, as Muslims believe, will reduce this kind of perfection. The reduction itself is also considered as a lie, and it is highly forbidden in Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Those who intentionally lie about me, just prepare their place in hell!” (Transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim). Based on this hadith, ‘Ulamas agree about forbidding Muslims from drawing the Prophet.

            Apart from the Muslims’ view above, the Danish cartoons clearly show something which is offensive to Muslims’ belief. In one of the pictures, the Prophet is visualized as a man who is wearing a turban from a bomb which is ready to explode. Muhammad is illustrated as a man who teaches suicide bombings. He not only harms other people but also himself. If the perfect example is illustrated as a suicide bomber, it means that all of his followers are also suicide bombers. Everyone, I believe, will consider this picture as an insult. Muslims are very offended by this picture. They love their Prophet more than they love themselves. Therefore, when their Prophet is insulted, they will protect his image. This is why there were so many reactions against the Danish cartoons.

            However, I disagree with the violent reactions of Muslim societies to the cartoons. Such reactions, in fact, strengthen the stereotype of the vicious faces of Muslim that were illustrated through the Danish cartoons. Muslims should look for another more rational way to express their disagreement and disappointment of the cartoons. It may really hurt Muslims’ feelings but Muslims should not create new problems when they react to the issue. The Prophet (PBUH) himself throughout his life never acted in a coercive way in order to achieve his aim. A famous story in this regard is when he was thrown by the Thaif people until he was injured when he was trying to deliver da’wa or in invitation to the religion of Islam. It is told that the Angel Gabriel was very angry at the Thaif attitude to the Prophet. Then, when the Prophet was resting and thirsty, the Angel Gabriel came and said if the Prophet allowed him, he would throw the Thaif people by the Uhud mount. Nevertheless, the Prophet answered that he was coming there not to damage the people but to show them guidance. Then the Prophet prayed, “Oh God, guide my community since they do not know the guidance”.

To slow down our emotion, we can say that the cartoons are only the imagination of the foolish cartoonist. They will never be similar to the Prophet. All former prominent pictures such as those of Mary, Jesus, and Muhammad are fake. Furthermore, I also disagree with the cartoons. The cartoons intentionally offend Muslim societies. In this respect, we should redefine what freedom of expression is.

Western people, especially the Danish government and the Jylland Posten crews, argue that what the cartoonist did was right since it was a kind of freedom of expression. For me, this is a wrong way of thinking in defining the meaning of freedom of expression. For them, as I understand, freedom of expression is an unlimited freedom. Everybody can express everything he thinks about. There is no limitation for this expression. This is what I disagree with. The freedom for me is the freedom with a responsibility. It means that our freedom is socially limited by other people’s freedom. Everybody may express his opinion as long as it does not hurt other people. To freely express our opinions, and at the same time hurt other people means we have freedom of expression without responsibility. In this case, freedom which breaks other people’s freedom cannot be called freedom. It is oppression or it can also be called jungle law.


Leiden, 26 Oct 2007

Memaknai Idul Fitri

Oleh: Ahmad Fathan Aniq

Bulan Ramadhan telah berlalu dan tibalah kini hari raya Idul Fitri. Setiap kali Hari Raya tiba, umat Muslim selalu diliputi dua perasaan. Di satu sisi mereka bersedih karena harus berpisah dengan bulan yang sangat istimewa yaitu bulan Ramadhan. Bulan dimana Allah SWT. dengan ke-Mahapemurahan-Nya memberikan banyak bonus pahala ibadah dan dibukakan-Nya lebar-lebar pintu ampunan bagi hamba-Nya. Betapa banyak umat Muslim yang bersedih karena ditinggal bulan yang penuh kasih sayang Allah ini. Mereka merasa belum optimal menjalankan ibadah puasanya. Namun begitulah hari-hari terus berganti sesuai dengan hukum Allah. Yang bisa kita lakukan agar tidak termasuk orang merugi adalah dengan terus meningkatkan kualitas iman dan amal baik kita.

Di sisi lain, umat Muslim juga berbahagia, karena hari Idul Fitri atau lebaran yang dinanti-nanti akhirnya tiba. Bagaimana tidak, ini karena Idul Fitri diyakini sebagai hari kemenangan oleh umat Muslim di seluruh dunia. Kemenangan setelah sebulan lamanya kita mampu mengendalikan hawa nafsu. Idul Fitri juga bisa digambarkan sebagai hari kelulusan dari sekolah Ramadhan. Pada hari ini semua siswa yang telah mengikuti pelatihan dengan baik di sekolah Ramadhan akan berbahagia karena mereka lulus dengan predikat muttaquun (orang-orang yang bertaqwa).

Idul Fitri secara etimologi atau bahasa berarti “kembali berbuka”. Ini sekaligus meluruskan pemahaman kita selama ini yang mengartikan Idul Fitri dengan “kembali ke fitrah”. ‘Id berasal dari kata ‘aada yang berarti “kembali”, sedangkan al-fitr berasal dari akar kata fathara yang berarti “berbuka”. Selama ini al-fithr sering disamakan dengan al-fithrah yang memakai ta marbuthah yang berarti suci. Kedunya memang memiliki akar kata yang sama tetapi memiliki masdar yang berbeda (Lisaan al-‘Arab 5/55-59). Dalam teks hadits Nabi Saw., penyebutan Idul Fitri tidak menggunakan ta marbuthah. Jadi, secara bahasa Idul Fitri lebih tepat bila diartikan dengan kembali berbuka.

Namun bagaimanapun juga, dalam sejarahnya, Islam tidak terlahir dengan paradigma materialistik. Ditetapkannya hari raya Idul Fitri tentunya bukan sekedar untuk memenuhi hajat dan tuntutan perut. Jadi, terlalu sempit kalau mengartikan Idul Fitri semata-mata sebagai momentum untuk diperbolehkannya kembali makan dan minum. Tentunya ada makna yang lebih dalam dari Idul Fitri.

Dalam hal ini, ‘ulama ahli hikmah melihat ‘Idul Fitri dari kacamata filsafat. Mereka mengartikan ‘Idul Fitri sebagai kembalinya manusia dalam keadaan suci sebagaimana mereka baru dilahirkan setelah jiwa dan fisik mereka ditempa selama bulan Ramadhan. Pengertian ini sejalan dengan tujuan yang ingin dicapai selama menjalankan ibadah puasa, yaitu menciptakan manusia yang bertaqwa. Ibadah puasa bagi umat Muslim merupakan sarana untuk penyucian diri sebelum akhirnya mencapai tujuan akhir puasa yaitu taqwa. Karena logika seperti inilah akhirnya pemaknaan ‘Idul Fitri sebagai hari kembali kepada kesucian menjadi kuat dan populer di masyarakat Indonesia.

Orang yang melaksanakan ibadah puasa dengan benar maka dosanya akan dihapuskan. Dari Abi Hurairah Ra, Rasulullah Saw. bersabda: “Siapa yang menegakkan Ramadhan dengan iman dan ihtisab, maka Allah mengampuni dosanya yang telah lalu. (HR Bukhari dan Muslim). Dalam beberapa hadits juga dikatakan: “…bersih/suci bagaikan bayi yang baru dilahirkan”. Dengan Kasih Sayang-Nya, Allah mengampuni semua dosa hamba-Nya kepada-Nya. Yang tersisa tinggallah dosa sesama manusia. Untuk menghapus dosa ini tentu tidak cukup dengan memohon ampun kepada Allah SWT. Allah memerintahkan kita untuk meminta maaf dan memberi maaf kepada sesama manusia. Karena dalam menjalani hidup, kita tentunya teramat sering menuruti hawa nafsu dan menyakiti orang lain demi untuk mencapai ambisi-ambisi duniawi.

Teramat banyak ayat dan hadits yang memerintahkan kita untuk saling memaafkan. Saling memaafkan inipun merupakan salah satu ciri orang-orang yang bertaqwa sebagaimana juga yang dicitakan oleh puasa. Allah SWT berfirman: “Dan memberi maaf itu lebih dekat kepada takwa.” (QS. Al-Baqarah: 237). Dalam ayat yang lain Allah SWT juga berfirman: “Dan bersegeralah kamu kepada ampunan dari Tuhanmu dan kepada surga yang luasnya seluas langit dan bumi yang disediakan untuk orang-orang yang bertaqwa. Yaitu orang-orang yang menafkahkan, baik di waktu lapang maupun sempit, dan orang-orang yang menahan amarahnya dan mema’afkan orang lain. Allah menyukai orang-orang yang berbuat kebajikan. (QS. Ali Imran: 132-133).

Hari Raya ‘Idul Fitri menjadi momen yang tepat untuk saling memaafkan. Memang, Rasulullah Saw. mengajarkan kita untuk saling memaafkan sesegera mungkin setelah kita berbuat kesalahan. Tetapi terkadang hati dan mental kita belum siap untuk melakukannya. Meminta maaf dan memaafkan bukanlah perkara mudah. Oleh sebab itu, setelah menjalani pelatihan mengendalikan nafsu, umat Muslim diharapkan memiliki mental yang cukup kuat untuk saling memaafkan di Hari Raya ‘Idul Fitri. Jadi, saling memaafkan di hari ‘Idul Fitri seharusnya tidak sekedar menjadi ritual dan formalitas tanpa makna. Budaya saling memaafkan di Hari Raya ‘Idul Fitri atau biasa disebut halal bihalal kini menjadi tradisi positif di Indonesia.

Hal lain yang perlu ditegaskan kaitannya dengan ‘Idul Fitri sebagai simbol kemenangan setelah berpuasa adalah sejauh mana ibadah kita selama sebulan itu mampu meningkatkan kepekaan sosial kita. Inilah sebenarnya yang menjadi cita-cita luhur dari berpuasa. Disamping ibadah vertikal kepada Sang Khaliq, tidak kalah pentingnya juga kita dituntut beribadah secara horizontal. Dalam Surat al-Ma’un Allah SWT dengan gamblang menyebut mereka yang tidak memperdulikan anak yatim dan orang miskin –yang menjadi simbol sosial masyarakat- sebagai pendusta agama. Yatim dalam hal ini bukan saja anak yang ditinggal wafat bapaknya. Penafsiran seperti ini lebih dipengaruhi kondisi Timur Tengah dimana bapak menjadi tumpuan hidup. Yang lebih penting adalah adanya keterputusan antara seorang anak dengan tumpuan hidupnya. Dalam hal ini di Indonesia bisa kepada kedua-duanya antara bapak dan ibu.

Dalam ayat lanjutannya Allah bahkan mengancam mereka yang lalai dengan salatnya, yaitu celakalah bagi mereka yang salatnya tidak membawa efek sosial. Terlebih lagi mereka yang memamerkan kemewahannya di atas penderitaan orang lain dan enggan untuk memberikan bantuan. Akan sia-sia amal ibadah seseorang kalau hubungan horizontalnya dengan sesama manusia bermasalah.

Melalui momentum ‘Idul Fitri ini, sekali lagi marilah kita saling memaafkan dan membuka hati. Kita tumbuhkan jiwa dan rasa kepekaan sosial kita. Selamat ‘Idul Fitri, semoga Allah SWT. meridhai setiap detak dan gerak langkah kita. Amin. Kullu ‘am wa antum bi khairin. Ja’alana Allahu wa iyyakum minal ‘aidina wal faizina wal maqbulin.

Leiden, 12 Oktober 2007

Westerners’ Misconceptions About Islam

Written by Ahmad Fathan Aniq

Islam according to its believers, is a perfect religion. Its teachings touch all aspects of life. However, Westerners may look at it from a different perspective. They frequently have misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam. Some stereotypes that are usually addressed to Islam are first, that Islamic teachings tend to create extreme fanaticism. This fanaticism often leads to terrorist actions. Secondly, Islam discriminates against women. They may assume that many prohibitions on women reflect that Islam pays no attention to the violation of human rights. Thirdly, most Muslims live in impoverished countries or in the third world such as Indonesia. Therefore, the Westerners may assume that Muslims are poor people. Fourthly, because of its poverty, the quality of education in the third world countries is not as good as that in western countries. However, it is time for western society to understand Islam and Muslims properly, specifically Muslims in Indonesia, in order not to have stereotypical thoughts about Islam.

Since the 11 September attack on the WTC, Westerners have started to notice Islam and its teachings once more. Is there any relationship between Islamic teachings and many terror acts? Does Islam teach its believers to act coercively to other religious believers? Is Islam an exclusive religion? Such questions have become big questions for them. Therefore, they have started to read many books about Islam. In the USA and some other Western countries, books about Islam have been sold well and have been reprinted several times.

Islam is a peaceful religion. It teaches its believers to respect other believers. No active war is in Islam. Wars are only allowed when Muslims are attacked. In other words, wars are as a defence for Muslims. As regards the many bombing attacks verifiably perpetrated by Muslims, we should not look at them as an attitude of other Muslims generally. They are only acts of certain Muslims with their own background experiences. Muslims who act radically may be in stressed conditions that let them defend themselves. They also may have partial and wrong interpretations of some war verses in al-Qur’an.

Another stereotype of Islam is that Islam discriminates against women. Many rules on women are interpreted as violence on them. This is a wrong understanding about women in Islam. Some teachings, such as wearing a veil, aim to protect women. Most Muslim scholars say that it is highly recommended, however, it is still debatable among others. Islam respects women more than other religions do. It is the religion that gives rights for women to participate in political, economic, and academic lives. In contrast to Westerners’ stereotype on women in Islam, I will say that Islam is a good example of an equal gender society when it is practised properly. Besides all these, we may find some unequal treatments of women Indonesia. For me, these treatments are related more to the heritage of negative Indonesian cultures that position women as second class.

That Muslims are poor is also another stereotype that is addressed to Islam. This assumption appears since most Muslims live in a third-world country. I as a Muslim acknowledge that. This happens perhaps because Muslims more concerned with the hereafter than this world. Islam teaches its believers to make a balance between the world they live in and the preparation for the hereafter. Another factor which causes the backwardness of Muslim countries, is, I think, because of their ignorance in imposing zakat as alms of social taxes. The social tax is not handled well in Muslim countries such as Indonesia. Therefore, one can still find a big gap between the rich and the poor in this country.

The backwardness in economy, however, affects the quality of education. Children in Indonesia, the highest Muslim populated country in the world, still find it difficult to get an education, especially if they are poor. Although the government has applied the obligation of nine years study and has made it free, many schools still take illegal payments from students’ parents. This makes many children who are unable to pay the school fee lose the opportunity to study. Therefore, the educational problem needs a serious commitment to solve it, not only from the government but also from all elements of society.

The main source of these stereotypes about Islam is the news media. On the one hand, the media often broadcasts inaccurate news about Islam. They do not cover both sides. There are many tendencies and interests in spreading news about Islam. On the other hand, western society knows about Islam mainly from the media. Therefore, it is better for western society not to take news about Islam for granted. They should compare news from Muslim media and Western media.

In conclusion, I hope that with this brief information, Westerners will change their stereotypes about Islam. It is not fair to blame each other without really understanding what we are talking about. We should learn about each other’s understanding in order to make us wise in seeing the beautiful life.

Leiden, 16 September 2007