Indonesian students urged to fight radicalism

The Maarif Institute, a leading campaigner of Islamic pluralism, has set up a programme that enables university students to engage in research projects on sectarian views in the country.

The institute has appealed to students nationwide to apply for its new fellowship programme to conduct research on global and national sectarian issues.

Ahmad Imam Rais of Maarif Institute said that studies on the issues were of great importance to quell sectarian tensions.

"Sectarianism has raised global concerns following the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]," Imam said during the launch of the 2015 Maarif Fellowship.

Imam said that threats posed by the Islamic State (IS) movement, also known as ISIS, could be felt in other regions of the world, including Indonesia.

"Sectarian conflicts in the Middle East have adversely affected security in Indonesia," he said.

A member of the jury for the fellowship programme, Erry Seda, said the programme could promote pluralism and tolerance.

"The programme is expected to create 'inclusive' students who can promote pluralism and tolerance," said Erry.

University students and fresh graduates are encouraged to submit research proposals on sectarian issues for the fellowship programme.

Selected candidates will have the opportunity to become visiting researchers at the institute and participate in a six-month training programme, as well as obtain access to publish their work in national media.

In the long term, they could join the institute as associate researchers.