ISLAMCINTA.CO – The National Statistics Agency (BPS) had predicted that Indonesia would face a demographic bonus in 2030-2040, a condition where people in productive ages (15-64 years old) would dominate the highest graphic, the first time in Indonesia’s history. The number would expectedly reach 64% of the total 297 millions Indonesian population. That would be a good signal if we could make use of it correctly.
However, it was important to note that the generation that would significantly dominate the number would be those who currently lived in the society full of conservatism and religious identity.
Several research in recent years showed that in both micro and macro conditions of the freedom of religions in Indonesia had been getting worse, and that had influenced the young generation and affected the education sector.
A survey by the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta in 2017 about Muslim Generation Z (post-millennials) found that 37.71% of young generation agreed that jihad was a practice of fighting against non-Muslim people. They also agreed that suicide bombing attacks were forms of jihad in Islam. Around 61.91% of them agreed that Islamic caliphate was a concept of state recognized in Islam.
The survey had signalled that the phenomenon could be “a fire in the husk”, which could explode at any time if preventive actions were not taken immediately. One of the root causes of such a problem was the rise of religious conservative groups that had entered the rooms of the young generation, as stated on the result of research by UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta’s Graduate School in 2017-2018.
Therefore, since 2018, Gerakan Islam Cinta (Movement of Loving Islam) or GIC worked with the PPIM UIN Jakarta and CONVEY Indonesia to launch “Literasi Cinta” (love Literacy) program.
GIC had published 20 popular literature books about “friendly Islam” in pop culture genre, with creative and attractive packaging to attract the young people. Around 500 copies of each book had been distributed. Each book was also available in the form of free downloaded e-books, especially for reading clubs. In 2018, GIC organized a “Love Literacy” Roadshow to various cities in Indonesia such as Bukittinggi, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Jakarta. The roadshow, held under a collaboration with various organizations, reading communities, and youth activists in several cities in Indonesia, was expected to optimize the distribution of the books. The messages of peace contained on the books were also spread on social media with the hashtag #AyoSebarCinta (Let’s Spread Love) and # Believe in Respect.
The activities held in several cities across the country had contributed to positive impacts, proven by the responses from the public.
“These activities are like fresh air. We really appreciate it because students and young people in Bukittinggi really need these kinds of activities,” said Dr. Gazali, M.Ag, Dean of Ushuluddin Faculty of IAIN Bukittinggi. As an appreciation, IAIN Bukittinggi and GIC signed an MoU and the campus became the first place to launch Gen Islam Cinta Reading Club. The event was also attended by a number of lecturers, students of the university, and activists from various youth organizations in Bukittinggi.
Muhammad Said, a researcher from ISAIs UIN Yogyakarta, said that “the Love Literacy program answers everything. It gathers moderate Islamic literature and provides attractive access to the reading. It even facilitates various discussions that will create more reading clubs. The clubs are expected to be strategic movements if we can manage them well,” he said. “This roadshow has raised the awareness of young people in Yogyakarta so that they know that there is a good movement that should be voiced up.”
In Bandung, precisely at the city town square, the roadshow activities included book discussion and bazaar, along with a social campaign of “pay with your smile” during car free day. The activities received positive responses and were reported by online and offline media portals, such as Kompas, Harian Jabar, Tribun Jabar, Pikiran Rakyat, and so on.
The peak of the roadshow was held at One Bellpark Mall, South Jakarta, which presented poetry and design competitions, the launching 20 series of books of Gen Islam Cinta, and talk show about Love Literacy. The event attracted a lot of audience of all ages.
Citing the success stories of previous roadshows and high public interest, GIC held another Love Literacy Roadshow in 2019 to Banjarmasin (18-19 September), Bandar Lampung (23-24 October), and Surabaya (6-7 November). The event was, again, held under a collaboration of GIC with PPIM UIN Jakarta and CONVEY Indonesia.
In general, the 2019 roadshow aimed for spreading the spirit of love-based literacy and encouraging young people to: (1) uphold a critical and open-minded thinking; (2) support interfaith dialogues and promoting inclusiveness, moderation, egalitarian, and tolerance; (3) raise public awareness towards diversity as well as extremism and radicalism, and embracing each other; and (4) gather young people to encourage them to be the agents of peace.
In accordance with the activities that had been done in 2018, this year’s roadshow also held a book discussion of Gen Islam Cinta book series and, again, spread the messages of peace on social media through hashtag #AyoSebarkanCinta and #MeyakiniMenghargai. Slightly different with previous roadshows which targeted university students, this year, the roadshow addressed high school students and Generation Z.