The concept of religious pluralism in Indonesia: a study of the MUI’s fatwa and the debate among Muslim scholars

Muhammad Hilaly Basya


In 2005 The Council of Indonesian Ulama (MUI) issued a controversial fatwa. The
fatwa states that it is prohibited for Muslims to develop the ideas of religious
pluralism. The fatwa had provoked heat debate among Indonesian Muslim scholars.
For the opponent of the fatwa, the modern Indonesian state should be supported
by the ideas of pluralism. They are disappointed with the fatwa, since it
would diminish religious pluralism in Indonesia. On the other hand, the protagonist
of the fatwa said that the MUI has done good decision. The ideas of pluralism
are seen by them would threaten Islamic faith. They believed that those who
campaigned for the idea of pluralism are the agent for “western” interest. The
debate regarding the MUI’s fatwa banning Muslims to adopt pluralism ideas indicates
that the concept of pluralism campaigned by some Muslim scholars is not
monolithic. This paper would like to explore various conceptions of religious pluralism
among Indonesian Muslim scholars.

Pada 2005, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) mengeluarkan sebuah fatwa
kontroversial. Fatwa itu menyatakan haram hukumnya bagi kaum Muslim untuk
mengembangkan gagasan-gagasan tentang pluralisme agama. Fatwa telah
mengundang perdebatan panas di kalangan sarjana Muslim Indonesia. Bagi para
penentang fatwa, Negara Indonesia modern harus didukung dengan gagasan
pluralisme. Mereka kecewa atas fatwa karena telah mengurangi pluralisme
keagamaan di Indonesia. Di sisi lain, para pendukung fatwa menyatakan bahwa
MUI telah mengeluarkan keputusan yang benar. Bagi mereka, gagasan pluralisme
akan mengancam keimanan Islam. Mereka yakin bahwa orang-orang yang
mengampanyekan gagasan tentang pluralisme merupakan agen kepentingan
Barat. Perdebatan mengenai fatwa MUI yang melarang kaum Muslim mengadopsi
gagasan pluralisme menunjukkan bahwa konsep pluralisme yang dikampanyekan
sebagian sarjana Muslim tidaklah monolitik. Kajian ini akan mengeksplorasi
berbagai konsep pluralisme keagamaan di kalangan sarjana Muslim Indonesia.



MUI’s fatwa; Religious pluralism; Muslim scholars; Islam

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