Developing Civil Society Through Mosque-Based Citizen Journalism



Apart from being a place of worship, since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the mosque is also useful as a place of community activities, such as business, teaching and learning activities, deliberation place, even up to a strategy of war. The mosque is a place people interactions. No wonder, in the end the mosque became the center of Islamic civilization, as all things came from the mosque.

Over time, the mosque’s role in advancing civilization, gradually fading. All worldly affairs gradually shifted to the palace, and mosque is intended only for worship only.

This also happens in Indonesia, particularly in the Islamic kingdom of Java. Mosque building separate from the palace. The palace is represented as a center of human civilization, and the mosque is part of the element of the Godhead. So that the mosque has only a secondary function, which is a tool to legitimize the power (

By shifting the function of this mosque, causing the degradation ability of the manager of the mosque. Manager mosque eventually only have the ability about how to worship and religious affairs only. Thus, mosques often have no contribution in the social field significantly in the community.

The survey ever undertaken of Research and Development (R & D), a national newspaper in Indonesia in 2009, said 81.4 percent of respondents rated the activity on the mosque is less attractive and 18.6 percent rate instead. Regarding the ability of the mosque management, as much as 53.2 percent of respondents rated the mosque managers have the skills and creativity to manage the mosque, and the 46.8 percent rate instead.

Although the mosque managers have adequate management capability, but this amount is not directly proportional to the assessments of respondents about interesting activities at the mosque (53.2 percent: 18.6 percent).

The conclusion of these surveys, respondents expect the mosque not only serves as a of worship only, but also restored its function as a center of human civilization.

On the other side, economic, socially, and culture problems at grassroots level, the more complex. Decreased level of social welfare that causes sequence widespread social problems. The government seems to be too busy with political affairs. The mass media also have a limited range, so not able to lift many cases of social injustice in society.

Society must eliminate the dependence on government and other parties if want to move forward. They must be able to empower themselves to achieve common prosperity. In this case, the mosque must be able to contribute to managing issues in society and jointly seek solutions. Activists, ulama, and manager of the mosque must be able to fill the state’s role at the grassroots level.

This solution is not in verbal form through invitations in a religious lecture which was limited to mere discourse. However, the lectures at the mosque on civil society, as deep and detailed as anything, without real action, it will never mean. Mosques have to move significantly to produce a solution, not just discourse. Communities need concrete steps of activists, ulama, and managers of the mosque.

Literacy 4 Concept

Literacy 4 Concept

Budhiana, head of Research and Publications Division of Mosque Development Foundation of Salman ITB said that ulama, activists, and management of mosques, ideally have 4 literacy, namely: cultural literacy, media literacy, information technology literacy, and network literacy.

Cultural literacy requires understanding the mosque to local issues that occur in the environment. Mosques should be able to know the community, including cultural, social circumstances, and characteristics of the society.

Media literacy refers to the understanding and ability to manage the mosque about the media. This includes making posts, create and manage their own media, and foster a culture of sharing.

Meanwhile information technology literacy refers to understanding the mosque managers to be able to use information technology. Good use of information technology, will bring positive impact on users. For example, the messages conveyed goodness have a wide reach with minimal cost. One example of an understanding of information technology is the ability to manage web and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, literacy networks, which requires the mosque has a vast community, both fellow mosque as well as other communities that exist in society. It would be better if these mosques have a community to share any information it possesses.

Then, how mosque implement the four literacy? Periodically, the mosque raised issues in his neighborhood to the media. This problem is not only removed the web site owned by the mosque, but also spread through social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Through a network of mosque communities which have been formed, then look for solutions to this problem. Solutions to the maximum extent possible to empower communities around the mosques which are networked.



For example, a village in Bandung experiencing high dropout school rates. The children in the village’s most high school only up to junior high school. It is suspected by the high cost of education and low income people in the village.

Using the concept of four literacy, the mosque raised this issue to web sites owned and distributing them to social media and community mosque. Other mosques surrounding communities have a higher level of education against the backdrop of more established economies, mobilize problem-solving solutions. For example, by sending activists to open a home-schooled mosque in the village.

Examples of other solutions are economically well-established mosques in order to empower potential entrepreneurs to send the local economy in the village. So the results can be used for local economic development that troubled village.

This concept is a reflection of activists, ulama, and managers mosque responsible for social improvement is real. In the long term, this concept could form a civil society in Indonesia. In addition, the function of the mosque as a center of civilization, can be achieved.

Translated to english by Google Translate. Published in Pikiran Rakyat Daily on Monday, May 16, 2011.


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