|Robert John Pope, UMM graduate from Australia
Among the lines of the graduates of University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) that will be commenced tomorrow, Saturday (30/5), there is a foreign student named Robert John Pope, a freshly graduated Australian students of Master Program of Islamic Studies (MAI) UMM.
Robert’s interest in Islamic study began with his enthusiasm in studying Islam from the experts and the sources directly. “It is a mistake to learn Islam from non-muslim”, he said. He worked on a thesis entitled “Rediscover Inclusive Islam: A Narrative Research on Usman Ibrahim”.
Before choosing UMM as place to study, Roberts tried to collect information of several universities that provide Islamic studies. He chose UMM because he has personal contact and academic vision aptness with several lecturers at MAI UMM, especially with Professor Tobroni and Professor Syamsul Arifin.
As the return to UMM, he intends to build partnership between the institution where he works called Equal Access with The Center of Islamic Studies and Multiculturalism (PUSAM) PPs UMM.
For Robert, UMM really supports rationality, quite welcome, and also has strong intellectual honesty. He also admitted that he amazed with the way UMM promotes itself, for example, in the UMM video he watched. “UMM is an outstanding campus. It has bright future,” he exclaimed.
After graduating the Master program, Robert plans to enter the next level: Doctoral Program of Islamic Education (PAI) UMM. “But I need to return to Australia first to work for a year. I arrange to take the Doctoral Program at UMM in July 2016,” he informed.
As a Christian, Robert has an interesting perspective in practicing his religion. “Though I am a Christian, I do not consume pork and alcohol. It is basically rational, because for me, if I wish a healthy life, then I need to consume halal food,” he stated.
The Head of Master Program of Islamic Studies (MAI) Department UMM, Prof. Dr Tobroni M.Si said that Robert is a Christian-Islam. In his opinion, Robert is formally Christian but practicing Tauhid. Robert intensively studied about the monotheism of the religion of Ibrahim and the other Samawi religions including Christianity. “Robert has a dream of gathering all the Samawi religions, especially the Christians and the Muslims in Australia,” he said.
The Postgraduate Program of UMM consists of ten Magister Programs i.e. Management, Sociology, Law, Islamic Studies, Agribusiness, Education Policy, Psychology (Science and Profession), Mathematics, Bahasa Indonesia Studies, English, and Double Degree of Master Management with Accounting Profession; and the Doctoral Program i.e. Social and Political Science, Islamic Studies, and Agriculture. (han/nas/t_far)