Standardization for Preachers Important

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PPIM.UINJKT.AC.ID – Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta considered that the standardization for religious preachers remained important, because there were still many of them who had low religious literacy.

“Research by PPIM has shown that the religious literacy of the preachers in several areas tends to be very low, because they rarely receive additional training to upgrade [their literacy]. The materials they present [in the preaching] also tend to be conventional,” Director of PPIM UIN Jakarta, Ismatu Ropi, said yesterday.

He responded to a recent statement made by Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi about radicalism and good-looking hafiz (Muslims that have memorized the Quran).

“To me, it’s not the matter of good looking or the hafiz. We should see case by case. What we should be concerned about is that several mosques invite preachers whose understanding in diversity is not in line with the government’s efforts to disseminate religious moderation,” he said.

He was of the opinion that there must be some standardizations for preachers, regardless who would execute that. “[The executors] can be the ministry or MUI [Indonesian Ulema Council].”

However, Ismantu warned that this issue should not be a commercial project that could, otherwise, lead to a new problem, or become a tool to execute the groups with different views and different sources of reading.

“If the government intervenes too much, we must criticize them as well. Religions and the state, with politeness and manners, must be in balance,” Ismatu said.

On the other hand, a number of groups strongly criticized the minister’s statement, including the MUI. “Citing the attitude and point of view of the minister, I personally reject any certification program for preachers that involves the MUI,” said MUI Secretary General Anwar Abbas in a written statement shared to journalists. (Bay / H-1)

Source: Media Indonesia, 7 September 2020

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