Chronicles of Economics Cycle: Perspective of Economics Power from the Lens of Student Traveler

Traveling has become “the most essential” part of human activity. History recorded a great scholar, Ibn Battuta as the traveler scholar who spent 30 years wandering around the world to learn a deeper understanding of life. He further emphasized that traveling leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a great storyteller. Yes, a great storyteller as you deeply learn wisdom and knowledge that otherwise are difficult to obtain if you are stuck with your comfort zone and the status-quo. Augustine of Hippo backed that importance with his legendary quote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page”. I have traveled to 20 countries in 3 different continents and I am eager to travel more to learn more. Yes, to gain more through traveling to other places for the sake of knowledge, education, and most probably networking. Why not? I had experienced before as a “student-traveler” in Austria and I had successfully survived that “one of the most precious time” in life. Continue reading

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Alhulsunnah Wal Jamaah: A Balance Approach to Overcome Differences

Observing religious life in the world in recent years, we have witnessed a shift in community disputes. If the first race conflict caused more differences of opinion in jurisprudence (fiqh), it is now a lot more going on around creed (aqeedah). Seizure of who is entitled to claim the predicate of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah ensued. Salafiyyah admitted, it is they who became the successor creed of salafus Salih, the first three generations of this Ummah (Companions, Tabi’in and Tabi’it Tabi’in). Continue reading

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Anti-Establishment: Revenge of the Deplorable as the Silent Majority

Introduction

There is an ongoing concern of a silent majority towards an establishment. This trend is recently seen in the US 2016 presidential election as Donald Trump claimed the president-elect beating the fierce rival Hillary Clinton. The result does surprise the public as Trump was labelled as a controversial person, racist and hater, while Clinton was assumed to represent elite and educated parties. How Trump won the presidential election, what economic and social factors leading up to Trump’s victory are the actual topics to be analyzed.

 

“You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.”

(Alfred Pennyworth, The Dark Night)

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The Red Thread of Values: My Perspective on the Reflection of Ethics

In advertising, ethics may sometimes be the border, the red thread which sheds the light between the right and the wrong values. Certainly, there are rules and guidelines for advertising company in order to not offend the audiences. For example, deception and false claim in advertisement to trap the audiences, so that they purchase the product will make the advertisement unethical due to the misused of the information to the public.

Moreover, advertisement, which is used in politics for example, sometimes deviates the public and often time uses false information to influence the public to gain their support to certain figures. This is another unethical example due to the false information showed to the public for merely the sake of vote.

Ideally, the advertising company should be able to identify clearly who their audience targets are. Unfortunately, this identification often has not been well-researched by many companies in the field. A child advertisement has to consider what the products are and what the products for. This issue becomes critical mainly because children often times do not able to grasp what the products for, especially children under age. In failing to identify and describe the products and targets clearly, advertisement to children tends to be unethical when generally the children do not get enough information in the advertisement, and especially when the children are forced to think in the sense they are supposed not to. Terribly, many advertisements are continuously targeting the children, such as fast food advertisement in the elementary schools which basically suggesting to eat unhealthy food early at the young age. Continue reading

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Islamic Research Methodology: Contemporary Approach

Introduction

This paper is written due to the importance of research methodology for the Muslims in the contemporary era. Due to the obligation of conveying the messages of Islam, the bulk of Muslims have two common approaches in spreading it. On one hand, some Muslims without doing research methodology, they ended up in superficial understanding of Islam. On the other hand, some Muslims have not done proper research, they are ending up in ignoring the possibility of diversity in the meaning of the messages. Thus, this research underlines the essence of research methodology for contemporary Muslims in conveying the messages of Islam. It will discuss the importance of Islamic research and how this effects the works done by the Muslims.

In the modern era where knowledge is being asked over time, it is very important for the Muslims to pack their important message in fascinating and reliable way. Thus, contemporary Muslims should first understand the essence of how they are going to present themselves with the knowledge they have. One of the most important knowledge to be mastered in order to present the knowledge is research methodology. The Muslims should then understand it from the Islamic perspective. “Islamic research methodology is a toolbox to interpret the teaching of Islam so that it will become more relevant with the nature of change in the modern world. It is also a way to carry out the message of Islam in order to contribute to the modern world in terms of thoughts, culture and science” (Ziaul, 1976). Continue reading

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Understanding the Middle Path: Refuting Contemporary Group of Khawarij

Introduction

This paper is written due to necessity to understand the position of the Muslims community (Ummah) as a middle nation. Due to ignorance, some Muslims fall into two extreme positions. On one hand, some Muslims fall into radical understanding of Islam lead to violence things. On the other hand, some Muslims forget his/her identity and fall into the trap of liberal understanding crossing the limit that is set. Looking at the contemporary issue, this paper stresses the importance of discussing the radical view that can be traced back to Khawarij. Furthermore, it will discuss contemporary group that shares the same view with Khawarij. Finally, it will discuss how the mainstream Muslims reject their radical understanding of Islam.

Idea of the Khawarij

As Muslims who seek to follow the straight path, we should firstly understand and recognize what type of methodology (manhaj) leads someone into radical understanding, so that we won’t fall into the trap of extremism. The first group in the history of Islam to be known to bear the extreme position is Khawarij. The Khawarij was developed from extreme political understanding which accused ‘Ali that he committed sin by making mistake, and therefore was not fit to rule. However, this extreme idea did not end here, the Khawarij became more and more extreme in other view of religious understanding as well. Continue reading

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Organization and Communication: Human Nature to Achieve Common Goals

Communication is a process to build understanding between people. In the context of business and organization, communication is given importance in order to minimize any conflict and misunderstanding which are likely to happen. Organization is a system of individuals that have a hierarchy and job divisions who are working together in order to achieve desired goals. The lifeline of any business and organization is not separated from an effective communication. Effective communication depends on the ability of organization to respond and anticipate changes of external environment according to internal development of that organization. This research will show why this effective communication is important, and why failure to do so will cost the organization itself. Furthermore, it will discuss the communication from Islamic perspective and give overall conclusion.

Organization as a system of individuals consist of human beings. Man and woman in their lives have to communicate or in other words they need other people to have interaction. “The word society in English comes from socius which means friend. Or in Indonesian masyarakat (society), it comes from shirk in Arabic which means to associate or interact” (Soelaeman, 1989).  Thus, human beings in their nature are in need to communicate to each other in their organization or society. The people that claim communication is not so important or as a secondary issue is in fact rejecting the fact that humans naturally are in need of interaction.

In the context of organization, there is a leadership form which is important to sustain the organization itself that consist of leader and follower. It would be hard to imagine such a mess to have an organization without a leader and follower. If it is so, organization would be in a chaos that everybody would not care the whole organization need and goal, rather they would seek their own desire.  So, there should be a hierarchy in organization that consist of leader or manager and his/her follower. Between two sides of leader and follower, there must be a two-way communication in order to achieve the desired goals. This communication happens as a process from individual’ will to pursue their own goals. Thus, a leader in general sense, or a manager in organizational sense has to manage this communication in order to run effectively the functions of an organization as a whole (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling). A failure to do so will cost the organization to be unsuccessful and in distracting conflict.

As we see, communication and organization are two things that cannot be separated. In life humans -as in their nature- will need to communicate. According to Brent D. Ruben communication is a process which human in his/her interaction inside the society or organization creates, sends, and uses information in order to coordinate his/her environment and other people (Muhammad, 2005).  As the communication is important, Continue reading

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