‘Term of Reference’
Indonesia-Lebanon Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue II
“INTERFAITH DIALOGUE TOWARDS A PEACEFUL SOCIETY”
Diversity presents both advantage and anathema. It has two possible consequences, in part, diversity will render distinctiveness and enhance comparative advantage of the nation, especially were it fully managed in a civilized and ethical principle. In this regard, diversity -- touting pluralism -- is a social asset able to augment the transformation of civilization when the people seek to circumvent cleavages and promote unity for synergic outcome.
The other turns the diversity becoming a fulcrum of differences. Some self-centre conditions, “I am different from him/her” and “we are not similar to them” for example, have in fact conjured up heralded-exclusivity thwarting amity and cooperation between groups. Should it be the case, regrettably diversity will refrain from engendering constructive consequence; but rather it only turns as the seed of abhorrence.
‘Peace’ is the main key word to achieve the advantage consequences of a diverse society promoting harmonious cooperation. Peace would strengthen relation and interaction between different religious sects for a constructive end. Peace in this regard stems from the presence of harmonious life between people of different religions. Peaceful inter-religious interaction marks the prerequisite for a peaceful nation. However, there will be no peace at all among different religious community, unless constructive dialogues between them are perpetually convened.
Dialogue among religious differences is the way to form a global peaceful civilization. Dialogue is by all means aimed at fostering a profound understanding among each other. The interfaith dialogue is above all a matter of understanding the "other". It is motivated first and foremost by a natural desire to meet the other, who is different but paradoxically alike in many ways. At the end, the dialogue leads to think that everybody belongs to the same big family of human beings.
Demographically, Indonesia and Lebanon share similar characteristics in which both consist of multi-religions with various sects. Hindu, Buddhist, Christen, Islam and Konghucu for example, are part of Indonesian social existence. Likewise, Christen and Islam in Lebanon with their multi-sects have formed part of Lebanese dynamic. Thus, one thing in common is that the vibrant dynamic of the distinctive demography indeed poses opportunities and challenges to both Indonesia and Lebanon. These similar characteristics therefore endorse the importance and relevance of convening an Interfaith Dialogue between the two countries.
The first bilateral interfaith dialogue was held on October 12 – 14, 2008 and hosted by the Lebanese Dar el Fatwa in Beirut on cooperation with the Indonesian Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under the theme of “Promoting Interfaith Dialogue among Plural Society”, the event had successfully received wider attention and welcomed the participation of prominent figures from various religions including Maronite, Druz, Syiah and Sunni (from Lebanon) and Hindu, Buddhist, Islam and Christen (from Indonesia). The then Lebanese Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Fouad Siniora regards the dialogue as an important tool to bring along all parties from different religious background toward an openness, sharing of best practices and experiences as well as promotion of harmony among different religious adherents.
A two-year-implementation of what was concluded in the first bilateral interfaith dialogue has been trimmed by global complexities in social, political, economic and other sectors. The world is also exacerbated by stringent prevailing problems ranging from Fundamentalism, Extremism, Radicalism, Terrorism, Exclusivist, poverty and hunger to environment degradation. It is therefore the thrust of the Second Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue to identify a common ground which prevails universally to address the global challenge and promote peace without violent and hatred.
II. O B J E C T I V E S
The Second Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue which will be held in Indonesia is aimed at evaluating the follow up of the first dialogue. Besides, it also seeks to discover several tactical measures in the promotion of peace and harmony between different religions and discuss possible solutions for current global challenges.
To this end, the second interfaith dialogue is expected to (i) identify the role of religious leaders and prominent figures in enhancing the positive consequences of diversity; (ii) develop a joint effort to address common challenges; and (iii) discover vigorous Plan of Actions to enhance a clear and new understanding of tolerance, unity and harmony among religions.
III. TOPIC AND ACTIVITIES
1) Field Visit to several religious education centers as the role models of inter-religious cooperation and relations. The purpose of the visit is to understand the real creativity and the roles of religious leaders or figures in promoting peace and harmony.
2) Opening, speeches by (i) President / Rector of the State Islamic University of Malang; (ii) Mayor of Malang; (iii) Lebanese government; (iv) Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy – Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3) Plenary Season (Two Topics)
Plenary Session 1: “Interfaith Dialogue within the context of Global Peace on the perspective of Indonesia and Lebanon”:
a. Managing Religious and Cultural Diversity to achieve Harmonious and Peaceful Society: Indonesian and Lebanon Experiences.
b. Addressing the Challenges of Peace; Radicalism and Intolerance
c. The Role of Religious Leaders in Promoting Peaceful Society
Plenary Session 2: “Building Collaborative Community, Strengthening Cooperative Collaboration among Religious Community of Indonesia and Lebanon”:
a. Promoting Mutual Respect and Understanding through Alternative Education
b. Collaborative Join Effort and Network among Civil Society
4) Working Groups:
Working group 1: On Promoting Education for Peaceful and Harmonious Society at Base Level
Working Group 2: On Collaborative Join Effort and Networking of Civil Societies
5) Drafting the Conclusion and Recommendation by the Drafting Committee
6) Public Lecture by Lebanese Mufti (Dar el Fatwa) before the faculty members and students of the State Islamic University, Malang
7) Closing Ceremony and Press Conference
1) In the Opening Ceremony: Mr. Andri Hadi the representative of the Government of Indonesia (Director General for Information and Public Diplomacy) as Key-note Speaker;
2) In the Plenary Session: ……………….; Dr. KH. Hasyim Muzadi (Indonesia), ............................ (Lebanon); ……………………………; ……………………………; …………………………..; ……………………………….
3) In the Working Group: …………………..; …………………………; …………………………..; ………………………………
The bilateral dialogue will be attended by fifty invitees from various backgrounds of Non-Governmental Organizations, researchers, religious and official figures, academicians, etc. (in addition to fifty Invitees during the Opening and Plenary Session).
The Dialogue is hosted by the State Islamic University of Malang, on cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Religious Affairs, Indonesian Embassy in Beirut and the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS).
Indonesian government will cover all domestic facilities and hospitalities including accommodation, consumption and land transportation arrangement during the event.
All air transportation arrangement such as international flight (Lebanon – Indonesia) and domestic flight (Jakarta – Malang) must be covered by participants.
VIII. PLACE AND TIME
The Bilateral Interfaith Dialog – Indonesia and Lebanon II will be held for 3 (three effective) days from 28 February – 5 March 2011 in the State Islamic University of Malang – East Java Province and Jakarta.
The tentative agenda is attached (subject to change based on the proposal by the Lebanese counterparts).