From the Synthesis of West and Islam to the Mazhab of Kaliurang

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Integrating communication and Islamic studies is often only done with a normative perspective and abandoning Western-style critical thinking. In fact, in the era of disinformation, there is the importance of tabayyun journalism. This is a dialog process between Muslim and Western academics, so there is a process of synthesis or dialog.

To dialogize Islam and Communication, lecturers of Communication Sciences at the Universitas Islam Indonesia wrote the book “Islam in Communication Studies”. This book was launched in conjunction with the 27th Anniversary of the Faculty of Psychology and Social Culture (FPSB) UII on May 21, 2022. The book was dissected by two academics, Dr. Basuki Agus Suparno, M.Si. (Master of Communication Studies Program at UPN “Veteran” Yogyakarta) and Dr.rer.soc. Masduki, S.Ag., M.Si. (Lecturer of Communication Science Study Program FPSB UII).

In dissecting this book, Basuki noted that to integrate Islam and communication, one must have a valid understanding. “The validity of the western perspective, also has validity in understanding the Islamic perspective itself. because if we integrate the two without valid understanding, there will be overlap and chaotic integration studies,” said Basuki.

Masduki, one of the book reviewers who is also a lecturer in the Communication Department at UII, appreciated the academic spirit, examining the Islamic perspective historically and seeing the challenges of communication and Islamic studies in the future. In terms of history, Masduki explained that the phenomenon of celebrity academics has now been criticized in Ian Fleming’s Dark Academy discourse. The themes of communication studies that refer to the government have also been criticized until academics who fight against ideology were born. “We must try to do a de-western perspective with the marginalized or periphery, the writing must depart from criticism. if we refer to Adorno and friends of the Frankfurt school, we can take a historical approach. For example, by reading Islam and mustada’fin, and criticisms of a political economy nature,” Masduki explained.

So far, said Masduki, academics have made Islam a frame, but the communication that is built remains a Western mindset. “This is a simplification. It should be like an Islamic political history book. He sees Islam as a long civilization. Criticizing Islam,” said Masduki.

Masduki explained, if then referring as recommended by Hassan Hanafi, after we criticize Communication Studies from a western perspective, we must look at this empirical one, “what these friends do in this book. For example, how Islam in digital communication. Other challenges also arise, for example, how we can see the philosophical dimension of this, what is the epistemology of Islamic PR, what is the ontology, what is the axiology,” said Masduki,

In addition to the challenges of criticizing the perspective of Western thought in the Islamic context, there are also challenges in philosophical dimensions such as epistemology, ontology, and axiology. And the next challenge, said Masduki, is the institutional challenge. “We, in UII Communication Department, will establish Kaliurang School or Mazhab Kaliurang. We start by making UII way with Kaliurang School.”