For the weekly Wednesday Forum held on December 16, 2009, the invited speaker was Uma or Subhani Kusma Dewi. She earned her B.A. degree in Islamic Philosophy from the State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga and completed her Masterâ€™s degree at CRCS-UGM, both in Yogyakarta.
During her presentation, Uma perceived that the coming of Islam in East Nusa Tenggara was around 15 C.E. and 18 C.E. which involved many elements of agents not only through the merchants’ mission but also by fishing activity around the coastal areas of the province, as well as the undeniable role of the ulama (Muslim cleric agents). The latest group of agents was peripherally discussed by the major historical record, though their significant influence could not be ignored easily.
Uma also argued that critical study of Islam’s revival in the archipelago was a stepping stone of the research in order to carefully look for the dakwah Islam. Later, the study turned its focus on the activity, strategy and impact of dakwah Islam in a more current on local context of fishermen system which played a very basic social system of society and had to do with all three variables of study which are: the strategy, activity as well its impact on current muslim society. The discussion session will be good a chance to speak about those three major variables of dakwah Islam despite the open-ended dynamic of Muslim / non-Muslim interaction in this eastern province of Indonesia.
During the open forum, several questions were addressed to her, like the one from Pak Joko, an ICRS student, who asked about the basic assumption and basic social system in a family in building their wealth, whether it really came from religious ethical background or from any others? Saber, another ICRS student tried to criticize the Muslim kinship in Solor by comparing it with the pattern of Arab Muslim kinship. Uma presented his interesting research output for almost an hour, and the forum ended at 2:30 in the afternoon. Uma is originally from Blitar, East Java. Her research includes Perlindungan Islam atas Perdagangan Anak di Daerah Pasca Bencana (Studi Kasus Bencana Tsunami di Aceh tahun 2004-2006); Lannggar Etan Community and Their Cultural Attempt Against Modernity (The Case of Leran Village, East Java, 2006); Pendidikan Agama di SMU-se Yogyakarta (Research Assistant, 2007); Pernikahan Beda Agama antara Santri dan Abangan di Kota Solo dan Yogyakarta (Research Assistant, 2007); and The Role of Dakwah on Economic Activity: The Muslim Fishermen in Kupang Gulf East Nusa Tenggara, AMAN (2008-2009).
In addition, she has conducted a joint research with the American Friends Service Committee Indonesia entitled Analisis Situasi Sosial di Timor Barat (Analysis on Social Situation at West Timor). She has done also a film production on Religiosity and Diversity “Menikahi Agama” (Interaith Marriage Case in Yogya and Solo).
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