TEACHING PEACEFUL ISLAM

Indonesia has the largest muslim population in the world with 90% of its 250 million population are muslims. Islamic teachings and education are common in the day to day life where almost every night there are koran readings and study. In school, religion is a subject matter to teach, it is part of the national curriculum.

But one of the most important element of Islamic educations are the Pesantren (Islamic Boarding Schools). There are 27,230 pesantrens according the ministry of religion report in 2012 with over 3.65 million students. Parents who want their son to learn Islam intensively would send them to one of these boarding schools mostly headed by prominent Islamic clerics.

Among these pesantrens there are a few favourites. One of the is Lirboyo, located in Kediri in East Java province, Lirboyo has the largest number of santri (pesantren students). Founded in 1910 by Kyai Haji Abdul Karim who moved to the village of Lirboyo to spread Islam and to educate the locals in Lirboyo which at that time was notoriously unsafe with high crime rate.

As years goes by, one small building and a mosque that started Pesantren Lirboyo grown as more and more people from out of Kediri know its reputation and wanted to become a student. Now Lirboyo complex has over 19 hectares of area and more than 17,000 students.

Lirboyo is considered a highly moderate Islamic Boarding School whose former students consisted of former minister, head of Islamic organizations and highly respected clerics.