In case of Indonesia, Malaysia, and other ASEAN Countries, the greatest Muslim majority region with a great potential economic leadership and great stock of natural and human resources, is the place of potential leadership in developing Islamic economics in many areas. Such a leadership requires further development to nurture networking at least among member countries. The 2nd ASEAN Workshop on Islamic Economics Curriculum” under the theme: “Towards Standardization of the Islamic Economics Curriculum in South East Asian Countries” is to cater such a need, In consonant with the Establishment of the South East Asian Association for Education and Research in Islamic Economics and Finance (SEA-Aerief).
Integrating Islamic Values into Economics
Integrating Islamic values into economics can be undertaken using two approaches namely ‘Islamization of economics and Scientification of Islamic teachings in economic perspectives”. These are the ways undertaken by the faculty of economics and faculty of Islamic studies receptively. There are about fifty higher learning institutions under the Faculty of Islamic studies offering Islamic economics using various names, and teens of Faculty of Economics that offers the same program in Indonesia.
Implementation of Islamic values and teachings is stated clearly in the vision and mission statement of most of the Islamic universities. Realization of such implementation may take place through Islamization of institutions (including campus and departments) and through knowledge in various modes, which makes Islamization as a way of integrating curriculum and programme offerred with Islamic values necessary. The Department of Economics is among the relevant department in doing so, to provide teaching programmes in Islamic economics, especially finance due to market demand. The instilling of Islamic values into the curriculum and all subjects thereunder uses an integrated way of Islamizing the existing economics curriculum at the department is also a conscious attempt to avoid possible dichotomous departments within the same faculty, as currently happening in some other Islamic universities. Where the case in point is Indonesia, we can take a number of universities such as Islamic University of Indonesia (UII), UMY, University of Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS). It is predicted that establishing a new department usually demands a curriculum that provides not only Islamic economics.
This way is suggested for all Islamic universities and higher learning institutions, which offers Islamic economics; but not to any other universities such as state and private universities whose vision and mission in general are not (clearly stated) to implement Islamic values. Therefore, the choice for those universities is to establish a new department to offer Islamic economics. Consequently, the curriculum to be developed may not be the same. Typically, in Indonesia, a department that offers Islamic economics programme for undergraduate does not merely focus on economics, but also offers some accounting and business subjects. This differs from those offering programme in conventional economics that is clearly divided into three or more separate department. There are a number of universities in which the Department of Economics takes the way of Islamizing the curriculum using an integrated approach. On the other hand, scientification of Islamic economic teaching is thought necessary in Islamic studies, particularly under Sharia or Muamalah departments, and a number of Islamic universities in Indonesia have started offering this program.