“The Philippines, through Indonesian Ambassador, asked me to [teach about] Pancasila, because they think that will be useful to learn about respect and tolerance like Indonesia does,” Lili Nurlaili, Education and Cultural Attache of the Indonesian Embassy in Manila, said on Friday (4/9).
She was speaking in a virtual seminar series of #ModerasiBeragama (Religious Moderation) themed “Religious Moderation and Cultural Diplomacy” organized by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta through Convey Indonesia program.
Lili responded to a statement made by Convey Indonesia Team Leader, Jamhari Makruf, that Indonesia should open the opportunity for Muslims in Marawi and Minandao to go to schools in Indonesia. Jamhari said that such a program could enhance intellectual relations among ulama from Indonesia and Minandao.
Lili revealed that people in Marawi, South Philippine, were currently facing social conflicts. Marawi was the only city in the country that still had a monarchy located in Cotabato capital city. The area was still under tension.
“Marawi has been destroyed. The conflict is not between Muslims and Christians, but between two Muslims groups, each of which wants to take power in the area. The old leader lost to the new one. Both of them are Muslims. As a result, they attacked each other, bombing the area. The biggest mosque in the area has also been destroyed,” Lili said.
The border issues occurred among Philippine, Indonesia and Malaysia ended up in a meeting table of the three countries in 2017, which resulted in 15 points of agreement. One of the points was to fight against extremism through education, the involvement of religious leaders, and the promotion of tolerance and religious moderation.
Besides promoting peaceful religious messages, another cultural diplomatic strategy conducted by the Indonesian Embassy in Manila included organizing “Glimpse of Indonesia”, a three-day event that performed dances, songs and other art performances by students from universities in Indonesia. The event was held in several universities in Philippine. Art performances were held every four months, while Indonesia-Philippine Cultural Fair was held every six months. The Embassy also had annual story-telling and speech competition, fashion show, as well as weekly training on making batik and dancing.
The virtual seminar on Religious Moderation is held every Friday via “Convey Indonesia” and “PPIM UIN Jakarta” official Youtube channels. The discussion, moderated by Convey Indonesian Team Leader Jamhari Makruf, also presented other speakers, including Abdurrahman M. Fachir (Vice Minister of Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry 2014-2019) and a number of Educational and Cultural Attaches from the Embassies of the Republic of Indonesia – Dr. Din Wahid (Indonesian Embassy from the Hague, Netherlands) and Professor Mustari (Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand).
Writer: Herda Maulida
Editor: M. Nida Fadlan