How Islamic organisation that won Zayed Award uses education to spread peace in conflict zones

Muhammadiyah supports the Palestinian cause by opening schools, giving scholarships, offering humanitarian aid, empowering women


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Tue 12 Mar 2024, 6:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Mar 2024, 8:03 PM

Muhammadiyah, the oldest Islamic organisation in Indonesia (the most populous Muslim-majority country) has been using the power of education to develop a culture of peace in conflict zones.

Last month, Muhammadiyah was honoured with the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity for its humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts. Dr Syafiq Mughni, a top official from Muhammadiyah, told Khaleej Times how the organisation has been promoting religious harmony in Indonesia while undertaking peacekeeping efforts to resolve conflicts in Central Africa, as well as providing humanitarian aid to vulnerable populations in the Middle East region and Asia, including the Rohingya refugees.

“Our organisation was established in 1912. We have been working to establish a culture of peace through education and preaching.”

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

The organisation has more than 60 million members and operates thousands of educational institutions and hundreds of universities, hospitals, clinics, and orphanages in Indonesia.

“Through education, preaching, and different activities, we spend our effort and dedicate our energy to maintain the moral standard of our society.”

Dr Syafiq Mughni
Dr Syafiq Mughni

Muhammadiyah has been supporting the Palestinian cause by opening schools, giving scholarships to students, offering humanitarian aid, and empowering women.

“We are providing financial resources to help Gaza. In the past five years, we have started many educational programmes. We give scholarships to Palestinian students. We help build hospitals and mosques. We offer humanitarian aid like food, essential kits, and medicines. We support women's empowerment by enabling them to work on their own in Palestine.”

The organisation has been involved in ensuring peace agreements and the well-being of people in several crisis zones in Asia.

“Muhammadiyah participated in peace processes between the Government of the Philippines and Bangsamoro in the southern part of the Philippines until an agreement was reached on autonomy. Also, we engaged in humanitarian actions in Myanmar like for the Rohingya, especially for the refugees living in the Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. We established a peace market in Rakhine State in Myanmar. We built schools in Myanmar.”

Muhammadiyah has been supporting communities affected by natural disasters and other tragedies, and helping restore the lives of those affected the most. In the past years, the group has also developed programmes to tackle issues of climate change and participated in COP28, Abu Dhabi Forum for Peace, among others.

“Our current challenges are in the forms of tensions, conflicts, and wars in many different parts of the world. There are problems in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Challenges in Indonesia are how to enlighten the societies in fighting corruption, fraud, and moral decay in our society. There is no guarantee that the future will be better than what we see now. So, it is our job to maintain the moral standard of the society. We do what we can and have to do.”


More news from UAE