21st Century COE Program Archive


Date: December 18, 2004
Location: Siseikan, Imadegawa Campus, Doshisha University
Title: People and Human Rights in Islamic Law
Speaker: Atsushi Okuda (Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University)
Title: Tolerance and Exclusivity in Islamism in Indonesia
Speaker: Ken Miichi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University / Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Special Researcher)
  Dr. Okuda explained that 'human rights' as understood in Islam are given with the mere fact of being human, and aim at the realization of individual and social welfare. According to Dr. Okuda, five essential elements should be maintained for their realization. These are religion, life, reason, offspring, and property. He also indicated that there is a serious separation between the reality and the idea of Islamic 'human rights.' He discussed the possibility of preservation of human rights with reference to the sacred texts and other Islamic scholars’ writings. However, the preservation of rights is basically in God’s hands. Humanity can protect them and is required to do so, since 'God does not start anything unless man makes efforts.' For such 'efforts,' Dr. Okuda emphasized the concept of rabbaniyah ('resulted from the Lord') as peculiar to monotheistic religion, and stressed its importance as something to be reexamined from the perspective of monotheistic religions.
  Dr. Miichi introduced his analysis of 'tolerance' and 'exclusionism' in Indonesian Islam in relation to the case of the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Prosperous Justice Party), or PKS. This party rose from the student movements of the 1970’s and took numerous seats in congress during the election of 2004. Their motto is unity and integrity through Islamic belief and practice, rather than through political agendas. They can be distinguished from the other Islamic parties by several factors. They prefer social Islamization in a moderate form, expansion of Islamic pop-culture, and the use of the market for the achievement of these goals. This party also has a firm organization and significant publicity through the media.
  According to Dr. Miichi, in the Indonesian context 'tolerance' means the preservation of a plural unity, and this 'pluralism' includes not only religions, but also nations, generations, and even views about Zionism. Exclusionism also has several elements, so that the concepts of 'tolerance' and 'exclusionism' reflect the complexity of Indonesian society.
Asuka Nakamura (COE Research Instructor, CISMOR, Doshisha University)