Dida Darul Ulum
Dida Darul Ulum adalah lulusan Departemen Falsafah dan Agama, Universitas Paramadina. Ia kini menjadi peneliti di Megawati Institute dan aktif mengelola Sekolah Pemikiran Pendiri Bangsa (SPPB). Bisa dihubungi melalui email: [email protected] dan akun twitter @didasobat. Dida juga mengelola blog pribadi, www.darul-ulum.blogspot.com
Is it true that Islam is against the idea of liberty, democracy, and human rights? How does Islam as a religion see the concept of free trade and free market? Can we really blame anyone for thinking Islam as an intolerant and aggressive religion? These are the questions that many people, including non-Muslims who live in North America and European countries, ponder.
There are many events in our contemporary society, such as the terrorists attack of 9/11, the Afghanistan crisis, the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, and the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), that draw the world’s attention to the Arab people and Islam in particular. Many people are interested in the question whether the religion initiated by Muhammad more than a thousand years ago really encourages terrorism. Is it true that Islam is extremely intolerant that the followers of the religion want to kill those of the other faith whom they call ‘kafir’ (infidel)?
The relation of Islam and liberty is a complicated matter and still hotly debated today. One of the reasons is the fact that the majority muslims in many parts of the world are still allergic to the idea of liberty, or liberalism to be more specific.
In this regard, I define liberalism or liberty in broad manner. I consider individual liberty not only as the right to life, but also as religious freedom, economic freedom, political freedom, etc. All of which end in the liberty for any person to live their life as they see fit.
There are two types of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty (Berlin, 1969). Simply, negative liberty means the freedom from any external barrier or interference to exercise one’s own will. Meanwhile, positive liberty means not only the freedom from external intervention, but also the freedom to have the means to achieve one’s ends. These are the very basic concepts of liberty.
Pew Research Center (PRC), which focuses on the issues of religion and public life, has released the results of their research on 2 April 2015, The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050. It mentioned that Islam was the most developed religion. This is because of the religion’s rate of growth and bigger size of the population of young people.