Muhammadiyah and Progressive Islam in Indonesia

Muhammadiyah and Progressive Islam in Indonesia

On Friday 16 February, Monash Asia Institute (MAI) in collaboration with Monash University's Office of Global Engagement hosted a public lecture entitled “Islam with progress: lessons learnt from Muhammadiyah“.

Professor Ariel Heryanto, Deputy Director of MAI & Chair of Herb Feith introduced and welcomed keynote speaker Dr Haedar Nashir, Chairman of Muhammadiyah.

Dr. Haedar Nashir is the current general chairman of Muhammadiyah, the second largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia. As a major Islamic NGO in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah has strong connections in civil infrastructure, particularly in the areas of health and education, owning 9277 schools, 171 universities, 500 hospitals and nursing homes. Muhammadiyah has an estimated 50 million affiliates.

A member of Muhammadiyah since 1983, Dr. Nashir rose through the organisation’s ranks until he was elected as a member of the central leadership board (2005-2015) and then Chairman in 2015. Dr. Nashir is the author of twenty-two books on Islam, Indonesian politics, and Muhammadiyah.

During his visit to Monash, he was accompanied by 37 university representatives associated with Muhammadiyah. Dr. Nashir introduced the concept of “Islam with progress” (Islam berkemajuan), a concept that was launched at Muhammadiyah's 47th national congress in Makassar, Indonesia in 2015.

In his presentation, Dr. Haedar Nashir explored ways in which Islam with progress is enacted within Muhammadiyah institutions as an effort counter the growing narrative of Islamic conservatism and socio-economic problems in Indonesia. Islam with progress aims to disseminate the seeds of truth, goodness, peace, justice, prosperity, and the virtue of life dynamically for all mankind. Islam that upholds the glory of human beings, both men, and women, without being discriminated against. Muhammadiyah has played a pivotal role in Indonesian society since the time of its founding in 1912.

You can watch a recording of the lecture here.

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