Alhamdulillah, the 6th ISDEV International Graduate Workshop (INGRAW11) was held successfully on 11-12 October 2011 at the University Conference Hall. The ISDEV annual event organised with the co-operation of Institute of Graduate Studies saw the presentation of a total of 77 papers presented in seven concurrent sessions during the one and a half day Workshop, and the involvement of about 100 participants. All papers were commented by solicited commentators with respective specialisations.
As usual, I felt honoured to be invited once again for the sixth time to deliver a keynote address at this Workshop. This year I insisted on the need to liberate graduate research on Islam and Muslims from eurocentric paradigm, farmework, assumptions and theories.
Eurocentric here goes beyond the geographical boundaries per se, to encompass Americans and Australians (now called neo-Europeans) who share the same language, culture, belief, traditions, lifestyle, et. cetera. I highlighted the danger of academic neo-colonialism/imperialism undertaken for instance by a handful of (Western) European ministers in 1999 in `internationalising European dimensions' through the creation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by the Bologna Process (arising from the Magnus Charta Universitatum), which now has been signed by 46 countries. So is the danger of the Eurocentric religio-group 10/40 Window which aims to out-reach the more than 4.4 billion `unreached and unevangelised' people living in the so-called 10/40 area of the world, including the Muslims, Chinese, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and anamistic.
Lastly, I stressed on the nature of a liberated graduate research on Islam and Muslims which dismantles the Eurocentric thinking and ideologies, to emerge from within Islamic philosophical and epistemological underpinnings itself, moulded by Islamic authentic teachings.
May Allah SWT allows the address to penetrate across the mind and hearts of the Workshop participants, InshaAllah.
|With the solicited commentators (l-r): Dr Irsyad from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), Dr Ahmad Azrin Adnan from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), and Dr Warjio from Universitas Medan Area (UMA) - all ISDEV alumni|