Concerning the Global Humanitarian Problems
Prof Dr H Haedar Nashir, MSi
Global humanitarian problems were discussed in two congresses from the Yogyakarta congress in 2010 to the Makassar congress in 2015. Muhammadiyah’s attention shows that this Islamic movement does not only work on the public and national da’wah at the national level, but in general and actual global humanitarian problems.
If in the past week Muhammadiyah and other components of the Muslim ummah have massively mobilized moral, political and humanitarian support for our Rohingya brothers and sisters, this is not only an exclusively religious issue but inclusively concerns humanity as a form of rahmatan lil-‘alamin. Because of the political and humanitarian issues when it comes to oppression of mankind, Muhammadiyah shows its attitude and concern as a religious calling.
In addition to the issue of “Human Existence on Earth” in the 47th Congress of 2015, strategic issues of universal humanity were discussed as reviewed in this month issue. There are other problems that still become part of Muhammadiyah concern, namely the issue of “Protection of Minority Groups”, “Utilization of Communication Technology”, and “Problems of Refugees”.
Protection of Minority Groups
Various incidents of discrimination against minorities occur in various parts of the world. Ethnic, religious, racial and cultural minorities are often subject to pressure, intimidation, discrimination and violence by the majority group. Minorities are not only in the field of religion, but also groups that are marginalized or are socially subordinated, such as workers, homeless people, disabled groups, and so on. Various negative attitude such as racism and even ethnic cleansing continue to occur in several countries.
If the discrimination of the majority against the minority is not stopped, the world will continue to be filled with violence. When the minority became a large group, they would take turns oppressing the small. So the chain of discrimination must be broken. Muhammadiyah views that ukhuwah insaniyah as contained in the Al-Quran Surat Al-Hujarat verse 13 upholds universal humanity regardless of ethnic background, religion and other primordial elements as an important part of Islamic teachings.
The presence of Islam is a blessing for the universe. Based on the Sunnah of the Prophet, Muhammadiyah also views that the large group or the majority must always protect and love the poor and the minority. On the other hand, small groups or minorities must respect the majority. Therefore, Muhammadiyah advises all institutions under it to always be a protector of oppressed minority groups.
Utilization of Communication Technology
The world has entered the digital era as a result of the very rapid advances in communication technology. Humans who are physically separated by geographical distances are always connected to one another quickly. Information somewhere scattered all over the world. Even so, physical interactions between humans are very limited. Various social media communities are able to bring people closer to the virtual world, but they are far from one another in the real world.
Information technology as well as other technologies has benefits for its users. Muslims absolutely must master information technology, not just being passive users. The ability to master technology will be useful for means of preaching and disseminating the main ideals. Links between people can be developed into a network of ideology, advocacy, and fun cooperation. It is necessary to develop a virtual ethic that upholds politeness, respect for others, and noble morals so that social media relations will not go wild and remain within the corridors of noble human values.
Overcoming Refugee Crisis
The wars that have occurred in several regions have caused suffering for innocent people. Thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands of others have been displaced as refugees, driven from their hometowns. Many of them are Muslims who come from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Somalia, Eritrea, and so on. The refugee problem is getting more complex in the midst of the economic crisis. Many countries are rejecting and expelling refugees from their homeland.
Therefore, in relation to the handling of this refugee problem, the United Nations (UN) and world-level humanitarian agencies need to take quick steps to pressure UN member states to provide services and protection for refugees. The United Nations and the superpowers should not be trapped in a double standard political stance in dealing with countries that violate human rights. There must be regulations that guarantee the fulfillment of the rights and protection of refugees so that they are free from exploitation and human slavery. There needs to be strict sanctions for the Government that violates human rights and human trafficking.
Now Muhammadiyah, apart from being active in the national realm, has gone global. In the context of globalization and modernization of the 21st century, there will be more and more universal humanitarian problems that come and go. The endless political turmoil in the Middle East, the political expansion of strong countries to weak countries with all their greedy interests, and tensions between regions will increasingly produce universal humanitarian problems. So not only in issues of thought, but also in humanitarian praxis and being involved in building centers of excellence are important for Muhammadiyah.
Muhammadiyah in this universal humanitarian movement must of course continue to appear as a systemized da’wah movement as a large modern organization, not as an individual. This is where the importance of discussion, dialogue and deliberation in addressing universal humanitarian problems so that solutions and collective organizational actios are found institutionally. Muhammadiyah’s strength lies in the movement of its organizational system, so that the movement is institutionalized, sustainable, and systematic. In this, the Muhammadiyah’s cosmopolitan movement is inevitable in every step of the way, which in the Qur’an is called “kal-bunyan al-marshus”, like a neatly arranged solid building!
Source: SM Magazine 19/2017