MERIT Research: Intolerance Dominating Social Media

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PPIM.UINJKT.AC.ID – Research on “Media and Religious Conservatism” (MERIT) conducted by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta, showed that intolerance had dominated discourses in social media.

The result of the research was presented by research coordinator Iim Halimatusa’diyah on Friday (9/10) in a virtual seminar series of #ModerasiBeragama (Religious Moderation) themed “Social Media for Religious Moderation”. The seminar was organized by UIN Jakarta through Convey Indonesia program.

The MERIT research studied the development of debates over religious views in cyberspace from 2009 to 2019 and found that conservative views had dominated religious narratives, particularly on Twitter, with the percentage of 67.2%. Moderate, liberal and Islamist narratives followed with 22.2%, 6.1% and 4.5%, respectively.

“Conservative and Islamist ideologies mostly promote intolerance and oppose the opinions that are different with them. They also tend to be exclusive and alienate non-Muslim groups,” Iim said.

In a bid to counter such an exclusivity, Iim encouraged people to open dialogues with other groups of people with different faiths. It was important for social media users to connect with other users with different religious views in order to open the door for religious moderation in cyberspace.

“We should make friends with people who have different perspectives, so that we can see the beauty of diversity. If we always see the white, we will not recognize the black. But if we are willing to see all colours, our life will be more beautiful. So, don’t be allergic to differences,” Iim said.

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 Ismail Fahmi, PhD., the creator of Drone Emprit application, and Abdul Karim Munthe, M.H, Head of Islamic Media Syndication, as speakers.

Writer: Aptiani Nur Jannah
Editor: M. Nida Fadlan

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