Live Radio Talk Shows on “Islam and Democracy in South Asia”

13 and 14 August 2008, Hotel Santika Jakarta

Are Islamic values compatible with democracy? Is Islam a solution to strengthening the nation state, or the opposite?

KBR68H’s Asia Calling brings together some of South-Asia’s leading thinkers on Islam and democracy with their Indonesian counterparts to debate these important and topical questions.

You’re invited to be part of the dynamic discussion. Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008, 0930-11.30 WIB
“The Road to Democracy: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia”

Is democracy compatible with Islamic values? What is the best version of democracy in Muslim-majority countries?

Leading opinion makers in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia will tackle these questions.


§ Safia Siddiqi (Afghanistan). Member of Parliament from the South Eastern province of Nangahar and a former deputy chair of the constitutional Loya Jirga that ratified the Afghan constitution. Ms. Siddiqi has also held high-ranking positions in the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and as a gender advisor at the Ministry for Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

§ Zafar Sobhan (Bangladesh), is the Editor of Forum, a monthly political magazine, and opinions editor of The Daily Star, Bangladesh’s biggest English language daily. Mr. Sobhan was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2005 and is currently a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

§ Ahmad Suaedy (Indonesia), is Executive Director of The Wahid Institute in Jakarta who has long been involved in Muslim NGO activities, in particular those related to Nadlahtul Ulama (NU). He is a founder of the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (LKIS).

Moderator: Ihsan Ali Fauzi, Program Director Paramadina Foundation, Jakarta, and the editor of the Muslim magazine, Madina.

Lunch will be served after the talk show.

Thursday, 14 August 2008, 10.00-12.00 WIB
“Islam and the Nation State: Threat or Solution?”

Is Islam really the solution to strengthening the nation state, or quite the opposite? How should secular governments deal with militant groups claiming to be enforcing Islamic law?

Leading opinion makers in Pakistan, India and Indonesia will address these questions.


§ Beena Sarwar (Pakistan), is a veteran journalist and film maker focusing on human rights, gender, media and peace. She was the founding editor of the weekly The News on Sunday. She was a council member on the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for twelve years until 2005, and a founding member of the Women’s Action Forum. She is currently writing a book about democratic struggles in Pakistan.

§ Asghar Ali Engineer (India), is internationally known for his work on liberation theology in Islam, and his work against ethnic violence in India and South East Asia. The leader of the Progressive Dawoodi Bohra movement, he is the founding chairman of the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), and head of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism. He has authored more than 40 books and many articles, some published and widely distributed in Indonesia..

§ Rizal Sukma (Indonesia), is Deputy Executive Director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the Chairman of the International Relations Division, Central Executive Board of Muhammadiyah; member of the board at Syafii Maarif Institute for Culture and Humanity; a visiting lecturer at Department of International Relations at Muhammadiyah University, Malang; and a member of the National Committee on Strategic Defense Review, Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence.

Moderator: Ihsan Ali Fauzi, Program Director Paramadina Foundation, Jakarta, and the editor of the Muslim magazine, Madina.

Lunch will be served after the talk shows.

By invitation only, please register via 021-98279935, 021-71633220 or e-mail :

RSVP: 021-98279935, 021-71633220 email

If you cannot attend the talk shows in person, tune in to Green Radio 89.2 FM in Jakarta to hear them broadcast live.


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