Friday, May 27, 2022

KABAR DUKA: BUYA PROF. DR. KH. SYAFI'I MA'ARIF WAFAT.


Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi roji'un... Indonesia berduka. Buya Prof Dr KH Ahmad Syafii Maarif telah wafat pada hari Jumat tgl 27 Mei 2022 pukul 10.15 WIB di RS PKU Muhammadiyah Gamping. Kita doakan:
إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون. أللّهمّ اغفر له وارحمه وعافه واعف عنه وأكرم نزوله ووسّع مدخله. وأدخله الجنّة وأعذه من عذاب القبر وفتنته ومن عذاب النّار.
آمّين يآ ربّ العالمين.
Semoga beliau husnul khatimah, diterima amal ibadahnya, diampuni kesalahannya, dilapangkan di kuburnya, dan ditempatkan di jannatun na'im. Mohon dimaafkan kesalahan beliau dan do'a dari semuanya.
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Sunday, May 8, 2022

MEMAKNAI IDENTITAS: BELAJAR DARI GUS DUR


Akhir-akhir ini dalam diskursus dan praksis politik di negeri ini seringkali kita dapati tema politik identitas yg, sayangnya, sering dikonotasikan secara NEGATIF saja. Padahal siapa sih yg tak punya identitas kalau masih bernama dan bagian dari jenis manusia? Pemahaman yg tak kontekstual dan gebyah-uyah memang acap kali tak produktif. Alih-alih malah membuat bahan kegaduhan lain.

Padahal, mungkin persoalannya adalah pada bagaimana kita meletakkan identitas tsb pada maqom atau konteks yg relevan. Di samping itu, mungkin juga pemakaian identitas sangat terkait dg bagaimana si pengujar itu sendiri apakah memang cukup punya kredibilitas atau cuma dianggap sebagai retorika utk meraih tujuan & kepentingan politik sesaat saja.

Nnah, dalam hal terakhir itu saya ingin mengajak anda belajar dari almaghfurlah GD, cara bagaimana beliau mengelola identitas unruk kebaikan unklusi dan jauh melampaui kepentingan kelompok identitas itu sendiri. Almaghfurlah berangkat dan mengapropriasi wacana identitas etnis tertentu justru dwmi kepentingan kebangsaan yg lebih luas dan, ya, bahkan kepentingan nilai kemanusiaan semesta!

Lalu supaya fair, saya juga menggunakan perbandingan dg pihak yg masih kesulitan melakukan pengelolaan dalam wacana identitas, sehingga malah mbulet dan jadi kontraproduktif. Jadi persolan identitas sejatinya bukanlah negatif dalm dirinya sendiri (in itself atau an sich). Seperti dalam banyak hal, kata arau ujaran bergantung kepada pemaknaan dan relasi2 di luarnya: sosial, ekonomi, politik, dan budaya.

Anda pasti masih ingat atau setidaknya pernah baca atau melihat bagaimana almaghfurlah GD acap memakai ujaran bahwa beliau punya darah keturunan Tionghoa. Bahkan dalm banyak pidaronya, GD menyebut ber marga (she) Ma, salah satu marga Tionghoa. Konon, leluhur beliau bisa dilacak dari tanah leluhur ernis Tionghoa di daratan Tiongkok.

Dengan mengapropriasi waxana sebagai orang beridentitas non pri tsb, GD berusaha meyakinkan publik (dikomunitas nahdliyyin atau di luarnya) bahwa hal tsb tak menghalangi beliau utk bervisi, berkiprah, dan memperjuangkan ide kebangsaan Indonesia yg inklusif. Di samping itu beliau mendidik bangsa ini agar tidak picik dan xenophobia. Kenyataannya, agama Islam pun disebarkannantara lain dari negeri dan para Ulama beretnis Tionghoa, selain ada yg Arab atau bahkan Persia, India dsb!

Dengan jurus apropeiasi identitas etnis Tionghoa tsb, apakah lantas GD dimarginalisasi atau dituding sebagai antek asing dan aseng? Secara faktual dan umum di ketahui, TIDAK. Malah ketika beliau menjadi Presiden RI beliau berhasil menjadikan Imlek sebagai hari libur nasional dan menjadikan beliau tokohbyg dihormati sebagai Bapak Pluralisme dan Bapak Bangsa Indonesia!

Tetapi sebaliknya ada beberapa tokoh yg berusaha keras menghapus jejak idenritas dengan mencoba melupakan etnis aslinya dan mengklaim sebagai bagian etnis terbesar di Indonesia. Tentu niatnya adalah memakai identitas baru yg lebih mayoritas dan menyembunyikan identitas yg dianggapnya kurang menguntungkan dalam perlombaan politik di negeri ini! Usaha ini juga sah-sah saja secara instrumental asalkan tidak melahirkan kebencian dan menafikan inklusifisme.

Sayangnya justru upaya pengelabuan identitas ini malah "kontraproduktif." Alih-alih, publik malah makin beropini utk membuktikan SEBALIKNYA: Bahwa oknum ini memang aslinya dari etnis asing dan tak ada kaitan dg suku asli di negeri ini. Di ruang publik juga malah menjadi bahan kampanye hitam yg mencemarkan nilai demokrasi yg sedang kita bangun. Yakni demokrasi inklusif yg saling menghargai, merayakan dan menghormati liyan!

Mengapa langkah identitas GD berhasil sedang yg satu lagi tidak? Sejarah yg akan mencatat. Tetapi hemat saya, salah satu sebabnya adalah landasan etik yg dipakai dlm kedua kasus politik identitas tsb memang jauh berbeda. GD mengutamakan nilai kejujuran, keterbukaan, dan kesiapan untuk memertanggungjawabkan sesuai dg landasan erika dan konstitusi. Semantara yg satunya hanyalah berlandaskan pragmatisme dan keberhasilan jangka pendek.

GD almaghfurlah melakukan manajemen identitas berdasar apa yg disebut Juergen Habermas sebagai rasionalitas emansipatoris (pembebasan), sedangkan yg satunya memakai rasionalitas instrumental dg tujuan meraih kemenangan politik kekuasaan! IMHO.

Al-Fatihah utk almaghfurlah GD🤲🤲🌹
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

PROMOTING NARRATIVES OF PEACE IN A VOLATILE WORLD: (Islamic Media Role in Preventing Extreme Violent Practices).


Assalamu’alaikum Wr. Wb.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful.

Distinguished panelists and all participants.

Thank you for having me today in this seminal event; an international conference whose theme is “Building International Co-operations to Reinforce Commitment and Practices of Islam as Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin,”. It is a joint cooperation between the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), Nahdlatul ‘Ulama (NU), and Muhammadiyah, which are major and influential civil society organizations in the nation. INFID has become one of the most highly respected NGOs since its inception in the 1980s, while Nahdlatul ‘Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah have been world-renowned as the two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia and the world.
In my understanding, the conference theme has portrayed the sense of urgency not only felt by all Indonesian citizens in general and the Islamic ummah of the country in particular but also beyond them: The entire international community and the global ummah. It has, time and again, underscored the truism that extreme violent practices, perpetrated by certain groups whose political ideologies based upon misinterpretations of religious (re: Islamic) teachings and manipulations of religious narratives have, for more than two decades, horrified and threatened the world and humanity. Those extreme violent practices have resulted in a huge number of human fatalities that are unlike that of the current deadly COVID-19 pandemic. But more than the pandemic, such extreme violent practices have also brought about the destruction of property, human dignity, human sanity, and the degradation of human civilization.

One of the devastating consequences has been that both Islam and Moslems around the Globe have become the accused and victims physically and psychologically. Furthermore, they have been forced to endure all kinds of denigrations and vilifications as if the two are the ultimate source of whatever catastrophic events just occurred and, therefore, they must take the sole burden of responsibility.

Ladies and gentlemen,

At least for more than two decades, the global community and ummah have engaged in the ongoing struggles for combating extreme violent practices even if the efforts have, arguably, been painstakingly slow and difficult. In my humble opinion, one of the most persistent problems has come from the fact that there has been a wide gap between the religious (re=Islamic) narratives of peace and the reality of violent extremism originated from inside and outside the ummah itself.

The need to narrow the gap down between the two seems to be one of the most pressing tasks, to demonstrate to humankind that Islam is the religion that becomes “rahmatan lil ‘alamin” or the blessing for the universe and it has to be based upon the reality of the Moslem ummah throughout the world.

Here the role of the media, unquestionably, is pivotal. In a world that has become globalized the role of media in disseminating information from the source to the audience, particularly in the current volatile situation, is essential. The notion of real-time information sharing can be one of the key factors in determining our efforts to establish national, regional, and global networks to mitigate the ever-flowing of distorted information in the forms of fake news, propaganda, hoaxes, et cetera. However, the media itself does not exist in a vacuum. Political, economic, and socio-cultural realities on the ground cannot be ignored and they would eventually appear in the media and be known by the public no matter how sophisticated the former is in trying to hide and manipulate the truth.

Distinguished conference participants,

I do hope that all distinguished speakers of this particular session would address the intricacies and complexities associated with the role of media in this global environment in much detailed manner based on their academic eminence, experience as well as wisdom, the purpose of which is mobilizing and strengthening our efforts in curbing extreme violent practices that have been remaining a real threat to humankind.

Of particular importance is the issue of extremist violent practices perpetrated among the predominantly Moslem countries where structural injustices, in its broadest sense, have been rampant and remained unresolved. So much so that even if we might have access to the most sophisticated media or most powerful control over it, but without addressing and narrowing down such a gap between the narratives of peaceful religion and the existing reality of structural injustices, there would be no effective way to solve our human misery, including extreme violent practices.

Distinguished panelists,

In closing, allow me to quote the Qur’an, Surah 49, Al-Hujurat (The Chambers), from verse 6:

“O, you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.

May Allah bless all of us, Amin, and thank you.

Wassalamualaikum wr wb
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Thursday, January 20, 2022

REST IN PEACE NAMBORU RENTA


By Lily Hikam
I count myself extremely lucky to be blessed with not just one or two, but three mothers. My biological mother or Mami, my mother-in-law Ibu, and my Namboru Renta.
Namboru Renta came into my life when I was just one scared, confused 15 year old in a new country with almost no one to turn to. Her brother, Uda Toman (Toman Hutabarat), who is a friend of my father, had called her up and said a friend of his had a daughter who would like to go to school in America. And just from one phone call and a brief visit to her house in New York, she took me in and raised me for the next two years until I graduated high school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and continued raising me until I got my BSc (Pennsylvania State University, PSU), MS, and Ph.D. (both at the University of California at Irvine, UCI).
Namboru is not just a 'foster' mother to me. She’s my role model. I remembered one afternoon in my 11th grade sitting at her office doing Calculus homework while waiting for Namboru to finish with work so we could go home together. Then Namboru told me some good news about a drug she was developing with her team had a breakthrough, in which that drug helped a hemophilia patient not to have to worry so much about internal bleeding and that the patient can now live a relatively normal life. I remembered how happy she was that her work helped people live a better life, and I remembered how at that moment I wanted to be just like her: I want to dedicate myself to biomedical research so I can help cure and treat diseases to make the world just a bit better to live in, and have fun doing it.
One of Namboru Renta’s greatest virtue is her supportiveness. She was the first person who encouraged me to pursue biological science as a field of study and the person who got me my first internship gig where I discover my life-long love affair with molecular biology and stem cells. She was also the first person who met my then-boyfriend & current husband Zakiy and saw how good he could be for me and was very supportive of our relationship from the beginning.
Namboru Renta lived her life to the fullest. She loved life, she loved a good joke (even though at times it might be morbid or raunchy) and good food and drinks. The way she showed her love and affection is by treating us to good food, so much so that she refined our palate and elevated our taste. When we, her children, went to live on our own and tried to buy the same brand or type of food she used to buy us at home, we would be shocked by the price and in awe at how much she would be willing to spend on us to make us happy.
Namboru always said she wanted to be like her Papi, Ompung Doly. Stories of his kindheartedness and patience were something that she always shared with us. One story that always stuck with me was the story of how Ompung used to always have hungry students at home, and feeding them, much to the annoyance of Ompung Boru. Ompung Doly’s generosity was so huge and touched so many lives that when he passed away it took almost one week of people paying their respects at the funeral home before the family could fly him back to Medan for the funeral. If it wasn’t a pandemic, I have no doubt that there will be as many people paying their respects to Namboru.
The last words Namboru ever said to me was “Don’t cry”. But I’m sorry, Namboru, that’s one order I can’t obey for now, because now I have to live in a world that doesn’t have you in it, and my world is less bright now because I have lost you. I can never hear your voice saying “Halo, Inang!” nor can I ever hear your laughter ever again or sing Batak songs loudly and off-key. But I will try to be less sad as time goes by because it’s what you would have wanted. You would have wanted us to remember the good times and celebrate your life. You’re probably happier now because you get to be with Spike, Fluffy, Jaime, Parish, Chloe, and Krissy again. I know how much you’ve missed them and how you’ve longed to see them again.
Goodbye and Rest in Peace, Namboru.😪💐❤️
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

IN MEMORIAM: DR. RENTA MAGDALENA HUTABARAT (1956-2022)


Kabar duka itu datang sekitar jam 20-00 WIB, atau jam 8.00 waktu Boston, Massachusetts, AS, melalui telepon. Kami kehilangan salah seorang teman dekat, mentor, dan role model yang sangat berjasa dalam kehidupan keluarga kami: Dr. Renta M. Hutabarat dalam usia 65. Kak Renta, demikian saya dan isteri memanggil beliau, dan Namboru atau 'Bou Renta, begitu puteri saya memanggil beliau, telah tiada setelah sakit yg tak lama di RS Bingham Young, Boston, AS.


Kami saling kenal melalui Bang Toman Hutabarat, kakak dari mendiang, ketika sedang mencari sekolah utk Lily, puteri semata wayang kami selepas SMP. Bang Toman menyarankan agar saya mengontak adiknya, Dr. Renta Hutabarat, yg tinggal di AS. Lily akhirnya sekolah SMAnya di Boston dan tinggal dg keluarga kak Renta. Beliau seorang perempuan yg benar-benar sesuai sebagai role model puteri kami yg sedang tumbuh: Saintis, independen, manajer perusahaan yang kompeten, dan pelindung keluarga besar. Beliau dengan adik bungsunya, kak Heidi Hutabarat, tinggal serumah bersama naka-anak angkatnya, mbak Indah Hutabarat dan mas Bimo.


Kami yg berbeda latarbelakang etnis dan agama, tetapi sesama Indonesia menjadi seperti saudara-saudari. Lily menganggap Namborunya sudah seperti ibunda, dan rumah di Boston sebagai rumahnya yg kedua. Bahkan setelah melanjutkan ke S1 di Penn State dan S2-S3 di UC Irvine, Lily selalu "mudik" ke Boston selama libur Natal dan Tahun Baru. Kahilangan ini bagi keluarga kami, khususnya bagi Lily adalah sebuah kehilangan yg luarbiasa. Kak Renta telah berjasa menjadi obor penerang dan pengawas bagi Lily dalam menapaki kehidupan di masa remaja yang sampai menjadi perempuan dewasa yg mandiri.

Selamat jalan Kak, bersitirahatlah dengan tenang. RIP. Amen.🌺
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