Yogyakarta, June 27-28, 2013

South East Asian countries have witnessed unprecedented development of Muslim NGOs working on humanitarian and relief projects. A series of natural calamities and communal conflicts taking place in some regions in Southeast Asia have appealed Muslim relief NGOs to deliver aid for the victims. Tsunami disaster in Aceh, devastating earthquake in Sumatra, Muslim-Christian conflicts in Moluccas, large-scale military operations in East Timor, Buddhist-Muslim tension in Rahkine state in Myanmar, clashes between the government and the politically-oriented Muslim movements in Mindanao and Southern Thailand are instances where natural and man-made disasters have witnessed the intervention of many Muslim relief NGOs in Southeast Asia..

Charity in Islam has been regulated since the very beginning of the revelation. Until recently however it belonged to the realm of social practice, or state-sponsored institutions, in Muslim societies. The proliferation of NGOs combining the rich heritage of Islamic ethics with recent organizational techniques has brought this tradition into the field of modern international humanitarian work both at a very practical level by rubbing shoulders with colleagues from other organizations in the field, and also at a discursive level in asserting the legitimacy of its principles. But rigorous studies on the notions of Islamic humanitarianism reflecting the South East Asian perspective and experience, its relation with positive law, national and international, its applicability, remain rare and are sorely needed. This workshop will investigate some key concepts, both normatively and practically, of humanitarianism and humanitarian law in an Islamic and Asian Perspective.

In particular, this workshop is interested in exploring the following themes:

  1. How have the Islamic concepts of humanitarian law (fiqh al-siyar) and the ethics of war and jihad been conceived in Islamic literature and interpreted by  Islamic scholars and social activists in Southeast Asia?
  2. In the scope covered by international humanitarian law, how do Southeast Asian Muslims talk about conflict, conflict resolution, the idea of peace, and public interest (maslahah) in the Southeast Asian social, cultural and political landsape?
  3. According to “Islamic Humanitarian Principles” as formulated by NGOs how is the category of victims conceptualized and what are the rights of underprivileged groups (refugees, non-combatants, prisoners, women and children) in disaster affected spots?
  4. How do Muslim NGOs define dakwah and humanitarian actions, discern the relationships between Islam and the West, and universalize their humanitarian principles, both discursively and practically?

We cordially invite selected contributors (academia, NGO activists, religious leaders, policy makers) in Southeast Asia to participate in this two-day workshop, and we welcome papers exploring one of the listed sub-themes above. Selected papers from the workshop will be compiled for an edited volume that is conceived to be a follow-up of the 2012 publication of the book “Islam and IHL” (Mizan-ICRC, 2012). Organizers stand ready to communicate to potential contributors the bibliography available on the issue of Islam and IHL (see emails bellow)

Submission of Proposal

Proposals, written in Bahasa Indonesia or English, consisting of a title, 300 words abstract, and a brief personal biography, can be submitted to Hilman Latief, Ph.D. (hilman.latief@gmail.com) and Zezen Zaenal Mutaqin, LLM (zmutaqin@icrc.org) by 15 April 2013.  Successful applicants will be notified by 30 April 2013 and will be required to send a paper (5,000-7,000 words) by 1 June 2013.

 Note: Travel and accommodation support for successful applicants will be provided by the Organizing Committee.

The workshop is organized and co-sponsored by The Graduate Program-The University of Muhammadiyah-Yogyakarta (UMY) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)-Jakarta.