Monday, September 12, 2011

Indonesian Scholar to Discuss the State of Islam and Democracy in his Nation, September 21

CHESTERTOWN, MD — A professor of international relations from Indonesia will share his thoughts about religion and democracy in his country on Wednesday, September 21 at Washington College. The lecture by Dr. Mohammad Mohtar Masoed, titled "Islam, Democracy and Indonesia," will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public.
With approximately 240.3 million people, Indonesia is the world's fourth-most populous nation and home to the world's largest Muslim population. The Indonesian government is organized as a democratic republic and provides constitutional guarantees of religious freedom for the six religions it recognizes: Islam (86.1 percent of the population), Protestantism (5.7 percent), Catholicism (3 percent), Hinduism (1.8 percent), Buddhism (about 1 percent), and Confucianism (less than percent).
Dr. Masoed teaches at Gadja Mada University, Indonesia's largest and oldest university, located in the province of Yogyyakarte—the center of Javanese culture and learning. He is Director of the University's Center for Peace and Security Studies. Since 2004, he has served on the board of directors of "Indonesian Community for Democracy," an organization that runs one-year "Democracy Schools" in eight provinces throughout Indonesia to help young political activists prepare for leadership in a multi-party democracy. Earlier this year, he organized the "School-Based Conflict Management" to teach high school students how to deal with social problems and to help eliminate the root causes of religious fundamentalism.
Dr. Masoed earned his B.A. in International Relations from Gadjah Mada University in 1975, and earned both a master's and a doctorate in political science from Ohio State University. He has authored or co-authored numerous books and written dozens of articles on political and economic issues for professional journals and conferences.
He will spend a week in Chestertown visiting classes and meeting with students as a guest of the College's Institute for Religion Politics and Culture (IRPC) and its Program in Islamic, Turkish and Near Eastern Studies.
In mid October, as part of the same program, the IRPC will sponsor a "Conference on the Arab Spring" in Paris, bringing experts from eight international universities to the French capital to discuss such issues as the roles played by women and social media in the uprisings and the cooperative actions of Muslims and non-Muslims. And on October 24, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf will visit the Washington College campus and deliver a talk. For more information:

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