UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta Awards Honorary Doctorate to Three World Leaders in Interfaith Harmony

UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta awarded honorary doctorate degrees to three world figures. The three figures who received the honorary doctorate degrees are: Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board, KH Yahya Cholil Staquf, former Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Central Board for the 2005-2010 period, Dr. Sudibyo Markus, MBA, who currently serves as an Expert Council of the Muhammadiyah Social Services Assembly and Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican, Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot MCJJ. The conferring of the honorary doctorate degrees was held during an Open Senate Meeting at the Prof. H.M. Amin Abdullah Building on the campus of UIN Sunan Kalijaga on February 13, 2023. Present at the event were the Rector of UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Prof. Al Makin, all the leaders of UIN Sunan Kalijaga, and the academic community of the campus.

The event was also attended by national figures such as the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Prof. Mahfud MD, the Secretary General of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), Dr. Hasto Kristianto, the Governor of DIY, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, the Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment, H. Abdullah Azwar Anas, the Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, local and national artists, local and national interfaith figures, leaders of PTKIN, leaders of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and local, national, and international media colleagues.

The awarding of the honorary degrees was based on appreciation for the three figures who have made significant contributions in the field of religious harmony, not only on a national scale but also on a global scale. The event began with a speech by the Rector of UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Prof. Al Makin. In his speech, the Rector stated that the conferring of the Honoris Causa degree was a bold step and ijtihad (independent reasoning) taken by UIN Sunan Kalijaga. He emphasized that the differences and harmony of the three different religious communities and their wise and nurturing leaders not only symbolized the three faiths and denominations but also symbolized diversity and differences.

In his speech, Yaqut Cholil Qoumas expressed his happiness with the conferment of Honorary Doctorate to three wise religious leaders from three major faiths. Yaqut stated that this award is significant not only for NU, Muhammadiyah, and Catholicism, but also for diversity and differences in the spirit of interfaith relations, as a characteristic of UIN Sunan Kalijaga.

During their acceptance speeches, each honoree contributed their thoughts on the current state of religious communities, both nationally and internationally. The first speaker was the Chairman of PBNU, Yahya Cholil Staquf. He addressed the position of religions and the Islamic response to the New World Order. "We (NU) choose to invite Muslims to pursue a new vision, to develop a new discourse on fiqh, which can prevent exploitation of identities, prevent the spread of hatred between groups, support solidarity, and respect differences among human beings, cultures, and nations in the world, as well as support the emergence of a truly fair and harmonious world order. An order based on equal rights and the dignity of every human being," said K.H. Yahya Cholil Staquf, representing the mission of Nahdlatul Ulama.

dr. Sudibyo Markus, MBA, a figure from Muhammadiyah, became the next presenter. In his academic speech, dr. Sudibyo Markus raised the importance of reorganizing the dream of global humanity, especially from the perspective of cross-cultural encounters - from what was previously a commitment to be continued into concrete actions. Furthermore, dr. Sudibyo Markus stated that NU and Muhammadiyah are two brothers in the Islamic movement who are proud of the Indonesian community, as part of the mainstream Islamic movement in Indonesia. Washiyatul Islam, which is part of history, has saved the country from threats, challenges, obstacles, and disturbances. Therefore, it is necessary to share and understand the history of the past, not only among religious leaders but also at the community level, which will involve all elements of various beliefs in their respective environments.

Lastly, Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J. was given the opportunity to deliver his academic speech, which raised the importance of interfaith collaboration that can and must support the rights of all human beings, in all parts of the world at the same time. "We are all part of a family, and therefore we have the same rights as well as responsibilities and obligations in this world. That humanity is the root of the commonality of cooperation and dialogue between religious communities. Thus, actually, we do not start from scratch. But we have shared our humanity with all aspects of existence and practice that provide the necessary foundation for meetings.

After delivering their keynote speeches, the three figures received certificates from the Rectorand Senate of UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. (Ihza)