Young Indonesian Muslims visit Archdiocese of Melbourne (1 June, 2010)

Young Indonesian Muslims visit Archdiocese of Melbourne

Each year, the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Indonesia Institute’s Australia-Indonesia Muslim Leaders Exchange (managed by the Islamic Council of Victoria in conjunction with the University of Melbourne) hosts small groups of young Indonesian Muslims for a study tour of Australia.

Over the years, a visit to the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission has become a regular part of their agenda. On Tuesday 1stJune, 2010, five members of the Commission and Catholic Interfaith Committee met with Mr Bayu Jatmiko, Mr Mi’rajurrahman and Mr Muhammad Irsyadul Ibad for a discussion lasting about an hour. They were accompanied by Mr Rusfi, a local Indonesian student who is also the Liaison Director of the Muslim Exchange Programme for the ICV.

Our discussion covered many topics, including interfaith marriage, Catholic schooling and the significant part that the local Jewish community plays in our local three-way dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths. After the meeting – and a short photo stop – we treated our visitors to a tour of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Here is more detail on the “leadership” that each of these young men provide in their local community in Indonesia:

Mr Bayu Jatmiko (Gorontalo, Sulawesi) B.A. (Russian Literature), University of Indonesia, Jakarta

Mr Jatmiko has professional qualifications in Islamic Studies and Arabic studies. He is the head of an Islamic education institution in Gorontalo (Madrasah Aliyah Negeri), which is recognised by the Department of Religious Affairs as an institution of international standard. The Department has a specific program in offering full scholarships at the institution for students throughout Indonesia. He teaches English at Madrasah Aliyah Negeriin Gorontalo, and is the head of the Student Forum of Islamic Studies in Central Jakarta. He also has a regular speaking appearance on Peran Budaya, a television talk show broadcasted in Gorontalo.

Mr Mi’rajurrahman (Matapura, South Kalimantan) B.A. (Education), Pontianak, Kalimantan

Mr Mi’rajurrahman speaks fluent Arabic and teaches English at an Islamic boarding school in South Kalimantan, Pondok Pesantren Darul Hijrah. He is actively involved in projects at the school outside of English Teaching role aimed at building understanding between ‘Islam and the West’. He is responsible for supervising Foreign/International English teachers at Pondok Pesantren Darul Hijrah. For two years, he was outsourced by The American Indonesian Exchange Foundation as a liaison between Egypt and Indonesia.

Mr Muhammad Irsyadul Ibad (Yogyakarta, Central Java) B.A. (Arabic Studies and Psychology), State Islamic University, Universitas Islam Negeri, Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta

Mr Ibad is the Media and Cultural Coordinator at Yayasan Lembaga Kajian Islam dan Sosial (LKiS), the Foundation Institute of Islamic and Social Studies. He is an active member of Nahdlatul Ulama (the largest traditionalist Sunni Islam organisation in Indonesia), and teaches Islamic Studies at an Islamic boarding school in Yogyakarta, Pondok Pesantren Pangeran Diponegoro. Currently he is coordinating a project, through the LKiS, in encouraging the Muslim Youth to use the internet as a means of promoting a tolerant and moderate Islam.

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