|The signing of the MoU and MoA with HSF Germany|
|Friday, 14 January 2011|
On Monday, 4th September, UII presented an award to the founder and head of the Hanns Seidel Foundation Germany, Prof Dr HC Mult Hans Zehetmair. This was in recognition of the cooperation between Universitas Islam Indonesia’s Faculty of Law, with HSF, a leading NGO in Germany. The award was presented by the Rector of UII, Prof Dr Edy Suandi Hamid, in a ceremony held in the Kahar Muzakir Auditorium, recognizing Zehetmair as an instrumental figure in initiating and maintaining this partnership.
In order to further strengthen and develop the existing partnership, UII and HSF also signed a formal memorandum of understanding for cooperation. There were two forms of memorandum signed on this occasion – the Memorandum of Understanding, and the Memorandum of Agreement. The MoU will form the basis for all UII units to establish cooperation with HSF.
‘Hopefully, this certificate and the signing of the MoU will lead to more extensive cooperation between UII and HSF, and involve other UII faculties in addition to the Faculty of Law’ said UII Rector Hamid.
The MoA is a particular memorandum of cooperation that will involve certain units in UII with HSF branches in Indonesia, and is the realization of immediate measures taken by the Faculty of Law to translate the MoU, although cooperation was running previously.
This cooperation agreement is based on the previous memorandum of a general partnership between the two institutions. The partnership between UII and HSF has been in place since 2008, with the agreement working well, and a number of achievements realized.
In his speech, UII Rector Prof Dr Edy Suandi Hamid said that the partnership between UII and HSF had brought about many benefits for UII. ‘Through this cooperation, the UII academic faculty are provided with a twice-yearly public lecture, training on citizenship awareness, as well as scholarships granted to the Faculty of Law to study Strata Three, which will commence in the near future’, he said.
Hamid further expressed his appreciation, saying ‘Cooperation between UII and HSF has been very special, and has run very well previously, even without a formal memorandum of agreement’.
The Dean of UII’s Faculty of Law, Dr Rusli Muhammad, also spoke of his gratitude. According to Muhammad, this cooperation will not only support the commitment of UII in its ambitions to become a world class university, but it will also serve to improve the quality of the academic faculty at UII. ‘Students from the Faculty of Law in particular, are learning new material as a result of this agreement’, he said.
Prof Hans Zehetmair on Interfaith Dialogue
The Director of HSF Germany, Prof Dr HC Hans Zehetmair, stressed the importance of building interfaith dialogue, stating that it was capable of uniting cultural and religious diversity in Europe. Zehetmair said that European political, cultural and interfaith dialogue is the key to the creation of European integration. He went on to explain that most of the conflicts in the world today are caused by the failure of interfaith dialogue, or the result of interfaith dialogue never having been implemented.
‘Interfaith dialogue is more than just an informative discourse. It is not simply seeking a uniformity of religion. Inter-religious dialogue is the main basis for social life’, said Zehetmair, through a scientific oration he delivered shortly after the signing of the MoU with UII.
In a paper titled ‘Thinking About Interfaith Dialogue: A Statement from the European Perspective’, Zehetmair writes that interfaith dialogue is not simply a discussion, which is normally conducted internally through the Christian religion. Furthermore, interfaith dialogue is not encouraged by the possibility of unification. Rather, the aim is to create a genuine tolerance and mutual acceptance, even if, and because, there is a difference. Interfaith dialogue is essentially the acceptance of beliefs that are fundamentally very different.