Nationalism Education Key to Caring for Diversity

Kompas, page 12

Higher education as a forum of intellectuals having the moral responsibility and the strategic role of addressing the issue of nationalism. This can be done by voicing moderate views in the learning of nationality, nationalism, and love for the nation. Such is the common thread of the Nationalism Gathering of the Professors and Academics of Higher Education Institutions (PT) of Central Java, Semarang (15/3).

The activity initiated by Walisongo State Islamic University, Semarang was attended by professors and academics from 23 universities in Central Java. They signed the petition to maintain the diversity of Indonesia, titled “Despite Differences, We are Brothers”.

The petition which is produced at the forum includes eight points, generally containing academic commitment to maintain/guard Pancasila and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. That commitment is realized by making higher education (PT) as the nationalism learning center. They also urged the government to take firm action against the perpetrators who carry the ideology of anti-diversity and hate speech.

UIN Walisongo rector Muhibbin said the, academicians should take a role in the midst of the issue of intolerance and radicalism. They must stem the seeds of disintegration of the nation. Now the nationalism issue cannot be solved only politically. He revealed, in Central Java, understanding of religious texts increasingly hardened so that a number of people/circles have difficulty in accepting other people’s opinions. It triggers identity politics that lead to the attitude of intolerance. In the midst of this condition, academics should appear to voice tolerant attitudes and behaviors in appreciating all the differences.

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