The Way of NU in Belgium Eliminates Islamophobia
Jakarta, NU Online
Islamophobia is still prominent in Europe. That's why, as Nahdlatul Ulama ambassador in a foreign country, The Nahdlatul Ulama Special Branch (PCINU) has a crucial role in playing second-track diplomacy.
To maximize its role, in this case, the Belgian PCINU realizes it through partnerships with various parties such as the Indonesian Embassy in the country and existing Muslim communities, as this cannot be done alone.
"PCINU Belgium will work closely with several strategic partners, especially the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Belgium, the Belgian Muslim Study Family (KPMI), and the Nusantara Cultural Center (NCC) Foundation," said Miftahul Huda, the elected Chair of the Belgian PCINU, to NU Online on Tuesday (27/7).
Under the NCC coordination, he explained that PCINU is currently raising funds through NU-Care LAZISNU to purchase a multipurpose building that will be used as a center for Indonesian cultural studies. It is also being projected as Indonesia's first mosque in Belgium. The building is expected to become a living laboratory that can display a miniature of Islam Nusantara.
"European people can see how Islamic and national values live in harmony in (Indonesia), the third-largest democracy in the world with various ethnic, racial, language, and religious or beliefs," said the doctoral student in linguistics and literature at the University of Antwerp.
Through the integration program with the NCC, for example, the Belgian PCINU can influence, balance, or even dominate the contestation of discourses and transnational movements, which, in some cases, are still dominated by hardline Islamic groups.
"The Belgian PCINU has a very strategic bargaining position to introduce the ideas and programs of Nahdlatul Ulama abroad so that the contribution of Nahdlatul Ulama in building an Islamic civilization called rahmatan lil 'alamin is truly felt by the international community," he said.
In addition, the Belgian PCINU is also committed to promoting friendly Islamic dakwah through social media. One of the main factors that encourage the emergence of Islamophobia is the negative representation of Islam in the mass media.
"We will systematically design programs so that we can take advantage of many social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and websites to build communication, strengthen social networks, provide fast service, and share information to present a positive image of Islam," said Miftah, the lecturer at Islamic State University of Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang, East Java.
He hopes that the optimization of the Belgian PCINU in dakwah through social media can later reduce even eliminate the symptoms of Islamophobia in Europe or even in the world.
Reporter: Syakir NF
Translator: Muhammad Faizin