LibForAll Foundation supports a number of educational
projects to counter religious extremism and promote the growth of
civil and economic liberty and religious tolerance. These include:
The development of school curricula that
teach the value of tolerance and pluralism, in conjunction with
Yayasan Falsafatuna and faculty members at Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University
in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
One key focus of this program is to integrate
Sufism (Islamic spirituality) into Indonesia's national religious
curriculum, to help Muslim students understand the value of
tolerance and discourage extremism.
Muslim pilgrims (right) at the shrine of
a Sufi master whose disciples defeated radical Islam in the 16th
century and established freedom of religion for all Javanese
long before the advent of religious tolerance in the West.
The An-Nur Society is a think tank whose members and
advisors include some of the most prominent Muslim figures
in Indonesian higher education. Its goal is
to promote a tolerant and
pluralistic understanding of Islam, at peace with itself and
the modern world.
component of Libforall Foundation’s Global Network project, the
An-Nur Society provides fellowships to support the activities of
carefully-vetted Muslim intellectuals and theologians, who are
engaged in a global “struggle for the soul of Islam”
with well-financed Islamist
extremists who claim to speak for all “true” Muslims worldwide.
Abdul Munir Mulkhan (left), a LibForAll fellow, heads the An-Nur
Education to counter religious extremism:
LibForAll Foundation provides scholarships
that enable poor children to receive a quality education
that teaches tolerance, the dignity and value of each individual,
and respect for different beliefs, while preparing them to
succeed in the modern world. We currently support orphans
and other impoverished children in Central Java, Yogyakarta
and the tsunami-ravaged province of Banda Aceh.
Some of the children supported by LibForAll
Foundation attend school (right) in Klaten, Central Java.
Ichsan (orange t-shirt) with his
younger sisters, brother, mother (in orange skirt) and aunt.
Student Profile: Ichsan
Although barely thirteen, Ichsan Ahadi
knows what it's like to feel the pangs of hunger, sorrow and wishing he’d never been born.
His father – a bicycle rickshaw driver
without money for doctors or hospitals – died slowly of heart
failure. He left behind an uneducated widow, Waginem, who not only mourned the loss
of her husband, but also had to endure the mental and emotional agony
of not being able to support their four young children by
tormented by his family’s suffering, there was little Ichsan
could do. After her husband’s death, Waginem and her children moved into a small, crowded house with her sister,
unable to afford rent on her own. She often told Ichsan that
had to be clever and successful in life, to help his family escape their suffering. That's why she wanted her eldest son to continue
his studies, despite the high cost of tuition, even in state-run
Yet Ichsan decided to drop out of
school at the age of 12. He could no longer stand burdening his mother
– who works as a simple house servant earning less than $30
a month – knowing that his school fees were crippling her
That’s when LibForAll
Foundation heard about Ichsan, from a local schoolteacher
(left, in orange headcovering) worried about the bright young boy’s future. A LibForAll
staff member visited the family, spoke with Ichsan and his
mother, and arranged to pay for the boy’s education, so that
he can realize his dream of becoming a successful manager or
diplomat one day.
Not surprisingly, given the
circumstances of his life, Ichsan’s biggest ambition is to
make his mother happy, and to take care of his younger
sisters and brother as well.
Student Profile: Elly
Elly Wahyuni (center) is a young girl who
dreams of becoming a doctor. Although born into a poor family,
she’s never lacked curiosity or enthusiasm to learn. In fact, her poverty
has always been a motivating force in her determination to excel
Wahyuni’s father, Sumardi (right), is a 58-year-old
part-time farmer who has no land of his own. Because he's weak and sickly, he
can't earn enough to support
his family. That’s why Wahyuni’s mother Tumiyem, 48, also works
as a common field laborer. What little money she manages
to earn goes to buy food and clothing for her children.
It's not easy to
live in extreme poverty like Wahyuni, but the young girl accepts
her fate with a smile, and neighbors say that she never
complains. Her mother Tumiyem had often told Wahyuni that she
must study hard to improve their life, for the family’s hope for
the future rests upon her, as the eldest daughter. Yet with two
younger brothers and a sister (left) now of school age, the
family had no money to continue Wahyuni's education. Thy
young girl was convinced she had no choice but to quit school
Thanks to a local teacher in Sleman who
volunteers her time to identify young children in need, a
LibForAll Foundation scholarship is helping
Wahyuni move one step closer to her dream of becoming a doctor,
instead of another tragic statistic in a country where millions of
poor children like Ichsan and Wahyuni drop out of school each year.
Please help us make a difference
in more young lives, with your generous donation to
|"In the five years since the fall of Suharto, the Saudis
have dramatically scaled up their presence in Indonesia,
to repeat their success at radicalizing the Pakistani and
Afghan populations.... Al Qaeda recruits in Indonesia come
schools. In many cases, poor kids do not have access to
education and the religious schools represent their only
chance to learn
to read and write. Once there youths are steered down a
dead-end street of violence and hatred." ~ Wall Street Journal
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