Deconstruction of The Benoa Bay Bali Reclamation PolemicSaortua Marbun | saortuam@gmail.com |  http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1521-7694 Reviewed and published version: International Journal Of Multidisciplinary Educational Research Volume 8 Issue 2(1) Pp. 58-63, 2019. http://ijmer.in/issues/volume8/volume8-issue2(1).aspxAbstractThe growth of tourism in Bali has brought a variety of positive results for the island, creating jobs for the local community and generating revenue for the development of public facilities. At the same time, however, the virtually unrestricted growth of tourism has put additional pressures on the island’s precious ecosystem and the local community’s spiritual sentiments. The ongoing Benoa Bay reclamation project is just one example of how tourism can cause problems for the local community. Given the problem, this article is a modest academic attempt to deconstruct and analyze the debates around the Benoa Bay reclamation project. Crosschecking the initial research findings with secondary research, this article argues ultimately that the local community rejects the reclamation project because it jeopardizes the bay’s ecosystem, encroaches on the religious sentiments of the people, and diminishes any decision-making power of the local people.Keywords: Bali, Benoa Bay, Reclamation, Polemic, EcosystemIntroductionThere is no doubting the fact in academic quarters that the rapid growth of tourism in Bali in the last several decades has contributed to the socio-economic development of the island. Surely, profits reaped from the growing inflows of tourists have often been used to improve public facilities in the island, as the authorities have channeled the funds into infrastructure development, health, education, and multiple other community projects (Kandari, 2004; Bendesa, 2017). In the same vein, tourism has created a multitude of job opportunities for local people, who would otherwise face problems finding adequate employment. At the same point, there is no gainsaying that tourism has been as much a liability as it has been an asset for Bali, as the crowds of tourists have strained the island’s environmental resources. Prompted by a desire to increase their profits, the stakeholders involved in the tourism industry of Bali often disregard the need of developing the island’s tourist potential at a sustainable step and without destroying its fragile ecosystem or its valuable cultural heritage. In these circumstances, the essentially unrestricted growth of tourism in Bali has contributed to its environmental degradation and encroachments on the sacred areas of the Balinese people. The ongoing reclamation activities in the Benoa Bay of Bali in spite of the resistance mounted by locals demonstrate this point. Given the dilemma, this brief article seeks to deconstruct the debates regarding Benoa Bay reclamation, focusing on the arguments of both sides. The article argues ultimately that the groundswell of opinion in the Benoa Bay area is against the reclamation project, as people reject it because it poses ecological risks and disrupts the spiritual balance of the island.MethodologyTo understanding the reasons why some stakeholders support and others oppose Benoa Bay reclamation, this article will employ qualitative methodology. More specifically, the author collects both primary and secondary data, cross-referencing the findings of primary research with the findings from secondary research. The author collects primary data, by the interview with native chosen purposively. Given space and time constraints of the article, its focus is on secondary research. Therefore, the author will scrutinize multiple books and articles in both scholarly sources and mass media to extract some common threads from the existing scholarship.ResultsIt is essential at the outset of this article to briefly explain what is at stake in the intense and polarized polemics in Bali. Thus, the Benoa Bay is locating near the Ngurah Rai international airport in the south of Bali. Until recently, the bay had enjoyed an undisputed status as a conservation area, often regarded by people as a symbol of mangrove conservation. Natalia (2016) accords with this judgment, further adding:Although Bali is a serene place with sparkling sunrises, picturesque beaches, and spiritually enlightened culture, the island of a thousand temples currently has a storm brewing. The Benoa Bay reclamation project is the source of an increasingly polarized public in Bali (p. 1).For indigenous people, the Benoa Bay was and continues to be a place of spiritual significance. It is only logical, therefore, that the first aspect of the heated debates between the proponents and opponents of the Benoa Bay reclamation project relates to the status of the Benoa Bay as a sacred area of the indigenous Balinese people. Thus, whereas the notorious presidential regulation 51/2014 redesigned the Benoa Bay as a bonafide business site, many indigenous people insist that the bay is a sacred area (Tedja 2014; Erviani, 2015).Replacing an earlier 2011 decree that protected the Benoa Bay as a conservation area, Presidential Regulation 51/2014 earmarked approximately 838 hectares of the Benoa Bay area for hotels, theme parks, golf courses, bars, nightclubs, cafes and other entertainment facilities (Khamdevi & Bott, 2018). For indigenous, the Benoa Bay is a place where their temples and some other sacred sites are locating. For environmentalists, the Benoa Bay is a critical mangrove ecosystem that needs to be supporting. Overall, debating the status of the Benoa Bay are native people and environmentalists on the one hand and Tomy Winata’s property unit and sympathetic officials on the other (Suriyani, 2018; Wardana, 2018). In essence, the support for the Benoa Bay reclamation project stems as much from the government’s willingness to expand Bali’s tourism potential as it stems from the lobbying activities of Tomy Winata’s property development interests.Those who are in favor or reclaiming and developing the Benoa Bay raise several arguments in favor of their idea. The main defense of the project is continuing on the assumption that the project will yield economic benefits to the local community (Ardhana & Farhaeni, 2017; Topsfield & Rosa, 2016; Hunt, 2018). There are other arguments too. More specifically, those in favor of the project argue that the area of Pudut Island in Tanjung Benoa and the Benoa Bay area, in general, are already endangered, as natural erosion, dredging, and mining of the nearby coral reef have contributed to its environmental degradation (Natalia, 2016). The proponents of the reclamation project maintain that the reclamation works by Tomy Winata’s property unit will, in fact, help to protect the area by expanding its land mass and constructing environmentally friendly facilities (Natalia, 2016; Neef & Grayman 2018). Additionally, the advocates of the reclamation project contend that the developers could create disaster mitigation infrastructure in this part of Bali, which is susceptible to tsunamis and some manifestations of climate change (Citrinot, 2017; Suryantala, 2018). The resident of Tanjung Benoa interviewed for this article agrees that the Benoa Bay is vulnerable to degradation from climate change, but he does not believe that the reclamation project by Tomy Winata’s property unit will be conducive to the resolution of the existing projects. On the contrary, the interviewee is adamant in his belief that any reclamation works could only exacerbate the situation.Ecologists and environmentalists oppose the Benoa Bay reclamation project because it has the potential to destroy a critical mangrove ecosystem, which supports large classes of fish (Adityo, 2014; Wibawa 2015). The resulting waning of fish stocks could, in turn, diminish the capacity of the local fishing community to sustain proper diets, as many locals rely on fishing in the Benoa Bay area. Christensen (2012) agrees with the idea that the Benoa Bay reclamation project can worsen the lives of the local community, which includes 12 villages and some 150,000 residents. Additionally, feasibility studies conducted by independent analysts have found that the creation of Dubai-style artificial islands in the Benoa Bay could lead to rising sea levels, flooding and, therefore, economic losses for locals (Bell, 2016). In this sense, the opponents of the reclamation project reject this project due to its potential impact on the environment and, subsequently, quality of life for the local community.For many Balinese people, however, the debate around the Benoa Bay is not as much about space and environment as it is about the beliefs and spiritual life of the indigenous people (Erviani, 2015). Indeed, a common thread from the reviewed literature suggests that the Benoa Bay is a source of spiritual tranquility for locals (Lewis & Lewis, 2009; Sriniwasan, 2014; Erviani, 2016). There are about 70 Hindu landmarks in the Benoa Bay area (Natalia, 2016). Apart from temples, multiple estuaries and small islands appearing in the Benoa Bay during low tide are also considered sacred by many locals (Budianta, Budiman, Kusno & Moriyama, 2017). Locals regard the bay itself as a sacred site in its own right (Margaretha, 2016). These landmarks need to be protecting for the sake of maintaining religious tradition and continuity in Bali. As the incumbent governor of Bali, Wayan Koster has commented on the matter, and there is a strong need for a “conducive, comfortable and safe atmosphere” in the Benoa Bay (cited in Rastini, 2018, p. 1). Regardless of what exactly Koster’s ambiguous statement implied, it is essential to understand that a “conducive, comfortable and safe atmosphere” in the Benoa Bay can only be established by abandoning the plan to reclaim and develop the Benoa Bay area.ConclusionsOverall, this article has shown that the Benoa Bay reclamation project is tenable from the standpoint of Indonesian law, as the government has issued a decree authorizing the project. From the standpoint of common sense, environmentalism and cultural heritage, the project appears to be less feasible. Indeed, this article has shown that the project threatens to ruin the fragile ecosystem, diminish indigenous rights by rejecting any decision-making power to the local community and infringe on the spiritual sentiments of local people. As long as feasibility studies, environmental risk assessments are conducted, and development permissions issued without any consultation with the local community, the Benoa Bay reclamation project will lack legitimacy and feasibility. The lack of official attention to the public outcry of the local community allows one to be speaking of the manipulation, maneuvering and hegemonic decision-making by the government, much to the detriment of the spiritual sentiments and other interests of the local community.ReferencesAdityo, E. (2014, October 7). Tomy Winata’s property unit continues with Benoa Bayproject. Jakarta Globe. Retrieved from https://jakartaglobe.id/news/tomy-winatas-property-unit-continues-benoa-bay-project/  Ardhana, P., & Farhaeni, M. (2017). The study of the impact for social culture toward theplanning of reclamation for Benoa Bay, Bali. AIP Conference Proceedings. Retrievedfrom https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/1.4983437 Bell, L. (2016). Indonesia. Melbourne, Australia: Lonely Planet.  Bendesa, K. (2017). Tourism and sustainable regional development in Indonesia.Hegarmanah, Indonesia: Unpad Press. Budianta, M., Budiman, M., Kusno, A., & Moriyama, M. (2017). Cultural dynamics in aglobalized world. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.  Christensen, P. (2018). The fight for Benoa Bay. Indonesia Expat. Retrieved fromhttps://indonesiaexpat.biz/travel/fight-benoa-bay/ Citrinot, L. (2017, February 27). Indonesian government embattled into Benoa Bayreclamation plan in Bali. ASEAN. Retrieved fromhttp://asean.travel/2017/02/24/indonesian-government-embattled-benoa-bay-reclamation-plan-bali/ Erviani, N. (2015, November 9). Benoa Bay reclamation plan threatens Hindu temples. TheJakarta Post. Retrieved fromhttps://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/11/09/benoa-bay-reclamation-plan-threatens-hindu-temples.html Erviani, N. (2016, April 27). Hindu priests oppose Benoa Bay reclamation project. TheJakarta Post. Retrieved fromhttps://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/04/27/hindu-priests-oppose-benoa-bay-reclamation-project.html Hunt, P. (2018). Bali fights back. The Diplomat. Retrieved fromhttps://thediplomat.com/2018/02/bali-fights-back/ Kandari, O. (2004). Tourism, biodiversity and sustainable development. Delhi, India: GyanPublishing House.  Khamdevi, M., & Bott, H. (2018). Rethinking tourism: Bali’s failure. Earth andEnvironmental Science, 126(1), 1-8.  Lewis, J., & Lewis, K. (2009). Bali’s silent crisis: Desire, tragedy, and transition. Lanham,MD: Lexington Books. Margaretha, M. (2016, October 27). Significances of theological argumentation in rejectingthe proposed reclamation of Benoa Bay. UGM. Retrieved fromhttps://crcs.ugm.ac.id/news/9447/significances-of-theological-argumentation-in-rejecting-the-proposed-reclamation-of-benoa-bay.html Natalia, L. (2016). Despite protests in Bali, Benoa Bay reclamation project moves aheadlegally. Indonesia Expat. Retrieved from https://indonesiaexpat.biz/featured/benoa-bay-reclamation-twbi-bali/ Neef, A., & Grayman, J. (2018). The tourism-disaster-conflict network. Bingley, UK:Emerald Pulishing. Pickel-Chevalier, S. (2018). Tourism in Bali and the challenge of sustainable development.Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP. Rastini, D. (2018, September 1). Can Bali’s new governor stop the reclamation of BenoaBay? Gapura. Retrieved from https://gapurabali.com/news/2018/09/01/can-balis-new-governor-stop-reclamation-benoa-bay/1535767806 Sriniwasan, V. (2014). Hindu spirituality and virtue politics. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Suriyani, L. (2018, August 30). As Bali reclamation project dies, activists seek conservationstatus. Mongabay. Retrieved from https://news.mongabay.com/2018/08/as-bali-reclamation-project-dies-activists-seek-conservation-status/ Suryantala, W. (2018, April 16). Benoa Bay reclamation protest. Jakarta Globe. Retrievedfrom https://jakartaglobe.id/multimedia/benoa-bay-reclamation-protest/ Tedja, E. (2014). Save Bali from drowning – we reject the reclamation of Benoa Bay. ForBali. Retrieved from https://www.forbali.org/en/save-bali-from-drowning-we-reject-the-reclamation-of-benoa-bay/ Topsfield, J., & Rosa, A. (2016, February 29). $3 billion islands project for Bali’s Benoa Bayhas locals up in arms. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved fromhttps://www.smh.com.au/world/3-billion-islands-project-for-balis-benoa-bay-has-locals-up-in-arms-20160228-gn5m1p.html Wardana, A. (2018). Legal engineering in a contest over space in Bali. Australian Journal ofAsian Law, 19(1), 1-12. Wibawa, A. (2015). Symbolic battle in Benoa Bay reclamation. International Journal ofScience and Research, 78(96), 744-749.
Saortua MarbunSekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Triatma Mulya Bali IndonesiaEmail: saortuam@gmail.com | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1521-7694.Book Review: Inner Animalities: Theology and the End of the Human, by Eric Daryl Meyer. New York, Fordham University Press, 2018., i-x, 241 pp., $115.00 (Hardcover), ISBN 9780823280155.Eric Daryl Meyer’s book, “Inner Animalities: Theology and the End of the Human” raises an ambiguous question of human animality. He aims to both reveal the flaws of anthropological exceptionalism and show that it does not have to be an integral part of Christian theology. Moreover, in his book, Meyer intends to expand the boundaries of his discussion of human animality to a broader context, namely to reflect upon people’s inability to withstand ecological degradation. In other words, Meyer is interested not only in Christian theology but also in such important issue as ecology. In this regard, he uses human animality to design a new understanding of ecological theology.Meyer’s theological explorations emerge from the idea, which is deeply grounded in Western culture, precisely the concept of human uniqueness. People believe in their specialness, which results in such a distinctive feature of Christian ideology as “a categorical distinction between human beings and all other animals(1)” and plays a vital role in the understanding of the concept of sin, among others. Meyer points out that although even the great philosopher Aristotle defined a human being as a political animal, throughout history, representatives of the Western civilization tried to distance themselves from animals as far as possible, making humans and other living beings opposing creatures. One of the consequences of such perception is not only the emergence of Christian theological anthropology, but also people’s failure to cope with modern ecological disasters, including but not limited to climate change, environmental pollution, and extinction of numerous species. Thus, there is an urgent need of reevaluation of human animality, which might give rise to a better understanding of people’s place in the world and the improvement of their relationship with God and nature alike.With such global objectives in mind, Meyer divides his book into two parts. The first part of “Inner Animalities” is a critical analysis of “Animality and Ascent” by Gregory of Nazianzus and “Reading Animality and Desire” by Gregory of Nyssa, as well as the discussion of the issue of human animality in modern theological anthropology. Meyer shows how human animality makes the theology of Gregory of Nazianzus conflicting. On the one hand, Gregory of Nazianzus fiercely disavows human animality. On the other hand, human salvation appears to be impossible without it. Meyer discusses the main elements of Gregory’s theology, namely mind, flesh, logos through the lens of humanity-animality opposition and proceeds to a discussion of his sermons, “Oration 39” and “Oration 28.”In “Homilies on the Song of Songs,” Gregory of Nyssa struggles with the same challenge. He wishes to deny human animality, yet its exclusion from a proper spiritual understanding of the text seems to deprive it of essential meaning. Therefore, in his interpretation of “The Song of Songs,” Gregory of Nyssa allows, “the desires proper to animality become indispensable to human perfection in an unacknowledged way. (55)” From this point, Meyer can move to contemporary visions of human animality.The second part of the book reconsiders the issue of human animality in the context of three essential notions, the image of God in Chapter 4, sin and redemption in Chapter 5, and eschatological transformation in Chapter 6. In conclusion, Meyer emphasizes that discussion of humanity and animality goes far beyond theological disputes. In particular, this discourse applies to a wide range of important issues, from relations between human thoughts, bodies, desires, social ties, and subjects to the boundaries of class, gender, sexuality, race, citizenship, and ethnicity(173). He invites further researches of this topic, whereas he believes in its significance and relevance.Eric Daryl Meyer’s, “Inner Animalities: Theology and the End of the Human” is interesting literary writing, mostly since it takes seeming purely theological question and turns it on its head. In other words, what begins as a critical reading of fourth-century authors, who are likely to be noteworthy for people who are keen on religious literature only, ends as a meaningful discussion of the future of the humankind in the context of a rapidly deteriorating ecology. Meyer points out to a cause-effect relationship between people’s confidence in their superiority and uniqueness and anthropogenic ecological degradation. It may be difficult to embrace and accept, especially taking into account a long-term tradition of opposing human beings and other living beings, yet it gives the readers a lot to think about and to question.From this perspective, “Inner Animalities” is written for a wide audience and it can be recommended for both theological scholars and people interested in different kinds of literature that nurture reasoning. The book might cause disagreement and even resentment with the readers who firmly believe in the idea of human exceptionalism, yet even in this case, fervent advocates of traditional theological anthropology of Christianity will find something informative and new in it. As for the rest, “Inner Animalities” definitely suggests fresh ideas and unusual approaches to common Christian visions.
Saortua MarbunSekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Triatma MulyaDate Reviewed: January 18, 2019 saortuam@gmail.com | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1521-7694Globalization directly affects all spheres of human activity. Higher education is no exception. Teachers are encouraged to engage emerging technologies and devices in the practice of their teaching with the hope of advancing student learning. The popularity of distance learning is one example of globalization’s reach. Anyone with an Internet connection can pursue higher education. Boundaries and barriers to education are easily crossed through Internet technology. Cooperation across international higher educational boundaries fosters new cooperation among faculty and raises questions about what connotes learning in diverse cultural contexts. Supporting Multiculturalism in Open and Distance Learning Spaces by Elif Toprak and Evrim Genc Kumtepe provides a detailed overview of contemporary cultural issues and complexities in distance education. The book helps teachers, researchers, scholars, and policymakers approach global education from a variety of cultural perspectives.The book is divided into three sections. Section 1, “Cultural Issues in Management and Global Distance Education,” describes the practical experience the authors gained when working in open or distance education environments. For example, this section covers such topics as the influence of gender on educational policies, the role of quality assurance, and the relationship between cultural perspectives and efficient distance learning. Section 2, “Cultural Issues in Theory and Technology,” looks at close cooperation between education, culture, and technology, starting from the rise of the modern digital era to contemporary contexts. It emphasizes how important it is for the educators to “effectively internalize the premodern, modern, and postmodern eras” (1) or risk either losing a necessary contact with their students or misjudging their conduct and aspirations. The important role of virtual culture and culturally-sensitive instructional design principles is foregrounded in Section 3, “Cultural Issues in Instructional Design and Communication.” For example, “Culturally Sensitive Instructional Design Principles for Online Learning Environments,” explores different components of culture in the learning space, analyzes Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Dimensions, and evaluates other cultural frameworks and their application in distance learning.Supporting Multiculturalism in Open and Distance Learning Spaces is organized to share experiences and find efficient ways to nurture multiculturalism in learning environments. The book will interest both practitioners and scholars as it contains useful information on theoretical approaches to open and distance learning spaces, analysis of relevant studies, and practical advice on how to utilize various aspects of global education. The three sections with their specific foci enable readers to quickly surf the book without having to read every chapter. Each section contains a detailed reference list of literature, which is also an essential benefit of the book.Publish VersionBook Review: Supporting Multiculturalism in Open and Distance Learning Spaces Edited by Elif Toprak and Evrim Genc Kumtepe. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2018. (xviii+1-381 pages, E-book. EISBN13: 9781522530770. $156,00) doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-3076-3. | https://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/resources/book-reviews/ | https://www.wabashcenter.wabash.edu/print-book-review-as-pdf/?id=212692 | 
Saortua MarbunSekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Triatma MulyaDate Reviewed: December 13, 2018 saortuam@gmail.com | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1521-7694 The growth of online education prompts a need for qualitative research about student learning outcomes and teaching methodologies. It also requires the production of specific educational material that is consonant with this educational medium. In addition, practical advice for online educational methods is warranted. This book is a collection of articles that address a range of concerns within online education. The authors do a good job in the critical assessment of the current possibilities that online education provides. It also invites readers to engage in complex discussions about online education in the future. Creativity and Critique in Online Learning is divided into two parts. The first part is concerned with teaching practices. In particular, it examines available online teaching instruments and places online education in a broader context. This section of the book contributes  a detailed analysis of online forums, discusses ways to make online teams work effectively, and explores how popular social networks, such as Facebook, contribute to informal learning. It also discusses what role multisensory learning has in online space, how to use all the senses in online education, as well as how to nurture creativity and critical assessment. This section is of interest to teachers and students alike because it looks at practical aspects of online education and gives useful advice on how to use them productively.The second part of the book focuses on particular online teaching challenges and how to effectively engage them. Online academic cheating, its growth, and various ways to fight this phenomenon are addressed. In addition, it provides help for how to build successful relationships, instill values, and cherish identity in the online teaching community. This section also takes a closer look at massive open online courses and their drawbacks, both explicit and implicit. One of the most interesting articles in this part is “The Move to Online Teaching: A Head of Department’s Perspective” by Diane Preston. This chapter invites readers to examine online education through the eyes of an experienced educator who is concerned about both the teaching process and institutional concerns.Overall, Creativity and Critique in Online Learning is recommended for a broad audience of educators. It contains useful information for teachers who are currently involved in online teaching, scholars, and policymakers in online education, as well as teachers practicing a traditional form of education and looking for interesting and innovative ways to make their subjects more appealing to contemporary students. One of the main pros of this book is that it does not try to present online education as a modern teaching panacea or the only choice for education in the future. On the contrary, the book presents online teaching in an unbiased manner. While it certainly praises the advantages and possibilities online education has for all participants of the teaching process, it also reveals existing flaws and addresses specific dangers of online education.
Ideologies Behind the Halal Tourism SectorSaortua Marbun Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Triatma Mulya  AbstractA quick scan of the available literature on the subject of halal tourism reveals that many scholars and laypersons alike misconceive this concept. Whereas some suggest that halal tourism occurs whenever a Muslim individual travels somewhere, others retort that only pilgrimages by Muslim travelers regarded as halal tourism. More careful research of the literature shows that the truth is somewhere in between, as none of the above definitions is correct. Overall, it is this lack of clarity that has prompted an additional inquiry into the essence of halal tourism. This essay is a modest academic endeavor to ascertain what halal tourism is and what ideologies lie at its foundation. To answer these questions, the author employs the literature review research methodology, scrutinizing number sources. Ultimately, this essay has established that halal tourism not confined to religious pilgrimages alone. Indeed, halal tourism occurs whenever a Muslim individual travels for religion, business or leisure and uses only those services and facilities that conform to the teachings of Islam.Keywords: tourism, travel, halal tourism, Islamic tourism, Islamic teachings, Sharia. IntroductionJust half a century ago, travel was an undeniable synonym for adventure and exploration. In the popular imagination, any widely traveled individual associated with an aura of mysteriousness. Today, by contrast, travel and tourism have become more common and mundane, as ever more significant numbers of people flock to both domestic and foreign destinations for business and recreation or to simply quench their wanderlust. The travel industry has evolved correspondingly, learning to cater to the specific needs of different categories of tourists and travelers. Some of the most common and clearly defined subcategories of tourism that have developed in recent decades include green tourism, religious tourism, sports tourism, shopping tourism, wellness tourism, package tours and – pardon the obscenity – even sex tourism. Halal tourism, for its part, is yet another burgeoning subcategory of tourism. Despite its growing dimensions, the concept of halal tourism is often misunderstood and misrepresented in popular media.Given the problem, this essay seeks to understand the concept of halal tourism better. By extension, the piece attempts to ascertain the ideologies behind this subcategory of tourism. In other words, the essay examines the relationships between halal tourism on the one hand and religion, management, economics and politics on the other. By these findings, the article seeks to make an informed assessment if the halal tourism sector is capable of withstanding competition from conventional tourism. The overarching argument is, therefore, straightforward: Halal tourism is designed to enable pious Muslim tourists to pray towards Mecca, use gender-segregated facilities and otherwise abide by the Quranic teachings on vacation without raising eyebrows or causing other discomforts. Although evidence suggests that some Muslims are embracing a capitalist consumer culture, it is reasonable to opine that halal tourism will assume even greater dimensions in the future. MethodologyConsidering the constraints of this paper, no primary data were collected to conduct a more robust and comprehensive research project. This limitation, however, does not vitiate the significance of the present essay. Nor does it significantly diminish the contribution of the present article to the relevant academic scholarship on the subject of halal tourism. The most significant value of this article is that it scrutinizes pertinent academic literature to collect evidence. More specifically, it distills and synthesizes common threads from the reviewed scholarship. Many sources were a review for this article. Although several of the used sources are somewhat outdated, they nonetheless provide valuable insights into the topic. The majority of the sources are, however, more up-to-date. Likewise, while some articles from mass media made their way into this essay, the emphasis was on credible sources like articles from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, books published by authoritative publishing houses, articles from reliable newspapers and official reports. To locate these sources, the author of this essay scanned online databases with such keywords as “halal tourism,” “halal destination,” “Muslim friendly tourism,” etc. ResultsSimply put, halal tourism refers to a tourist sector that caters to the needs and requirements of Muslim travelers. To get a more elaborate idea of what halal tourism is, however, it is essential to cite and deconstruct more detailed definitions adduced by competent organizations and individual commentators. Specialists at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, for example, contend that halal tourism occurs when Muslim travelers visit predominantly Muslim destinations, with religious motivations representing the main reason why they choose these specific destinations (“Strategic roadmap for the development of Islamic tourism in OIC member countries” 2017). It is crucial to acknowledge that halal tourism is a broader concept and it can occur even in those countries where Islam is not the dominant faith. In the same vein, halal tourism can happen in situations when spiritual fulfillment or pilgrimage is not the main reasons why Muslim travelers come to a particular destination. Henderson (2009) concurs with this judgment, further adding that Muslim tourists who travel abroad for recreation rather than the religion but conform to Islamic teachings at the same time are mainly participating in halal tourism. El-Gohary, Edwards, and Eid (2017), too, believe that it is counterproductive and counter intuitive to limit halal tourism only to pilgrimages dogmatically. Other researchers, including Al-Hamarneh (2008), go even further, surmising that any trip taken by a Muslim tourist is part of halal tourism by default. This approach is, however, ineffective, for it blurs the real boundaries of halal tourism. With the same luck, any trip taken by a Christian could be branding as Christian tourism. But this branding would be meaningless, failing to add any novelty to the field of tourism studies.It should be noted, in an important aside, that the well-established kosher tourism is not solely about demographics. It is more about accommodating the needs of a particular demographic group. As seen from the definitions of Henderson and El-Gohary, Edwards and Eid, halal tourism is even more concrete and specific concept. Overall, what this passage serves to show is that halal tourism requires adherence to Islamic rules of propriety by Muslim travelers for their trips to be duly considered as representing halal tourism.The discussion above already alludes to the idea that halal tourism is integral to religion. Despite the commonly regarded belief to the contrary, moreover, that religion is the mainstay of halal tourism, its lynchpin, its cornerstone. Nathalie Bourgeois (2016) addresses what some commentators – those in the west, mainly – see as the incongruence between tourism and Islam:To many non-Muslim Westerners, the expression “Islamic tourism” might seem an oxymoron, an improbable association between a strict religion and the western idea of carefree idleness in exotic locations. The Prophet himself preached Muslims to go and discover the world: “Travel through the land and observe how He began creation,” says the Quran (p. 1).For Muslim travelers, therefore, halal tourism implies the necessity to organize their trips under the beliefs and practices of Islam. For travel companies, hotels and other service providers, halal tourism suggests the need to offer only such facilities that propagate Islamic teachings. Although no codified standards of halal tourism exist, the consulted authors explain that service providers involved in this industry tend to provide separate swimming pools for males and females, serve halal food and do not serve alcohol, announce prayer timings, have Qurans readily available, and even broadcast religious content as part of entertainment (Shirazi, 2016; Raj & Griffin, 2017). Hashim, Shariff, Mahamood, and Bhari (2018) weigh in to suggest that even charter flights booked for Muslim travelers frequently geared toward Muslim standards. In doing so, these service providers are driven by either the desire to attract more Muslim travelers or by their religious consciousness. One or the other way, it is understood that religious ideologies are ubiquitous in the halal tourism sector.Halal tourism has political implications too. It could say in the very least that halal tourism promotes Islamic solidarity (Reiter, 2008; Kozak & Kozak, 2015). This subcategory of tourism could also potentially have an impact on Islamic nationalism (US Congress, 2009). Pinpointing the exact political effects of halal tourism goes beyond the purposes of this essay. It is instead more important to focus on the economic ideologies undergirding the halal tourism sector. It is imperative to make a reservation in this context that halal tourism is not merely about religion, politics, and thinking. Like any other business enterprise, it is also about income. On the face of things, it seems illogical from the standpoint of economics and fiscal integrity that travel service providers would deliberately limit their services to Muslim individuals, thereby eliminating a vast swath of non-Muslim tourists. Frequently, however, it is just a matter of perspective. If travel service providers reason that Muslim tourists are a more profitable market for them, the consulted authors agree, these service providers can make a volte-face in favor of this market at the expense of the less lucrative non-Muslim market (Demir & Toprak, 2004; Adas, 2006; Eddahar, 2016). Drawing on the example of Turkey, Elaziz and Kurt (2017) explain that the recent rise in Islamic capital experienced by this country has contributed to the burgeoning of the Islamic consumer market. Hence, the conclusion arises that the forces of capitalism are unavoidable in the tourism sector, be it conventional tourism or halal tourism. In essence, businesses involved in the halal tourism sector provide Muslim friendly services to their clients with the goal of deriving financial benefits. As far as Muslim tourists themselves are concerned, a study by Elaziz and Kurt (2017) has found that they have a proclivity to provide excuses for their going on vacation. Elaziz and Kurt (2017) elaborate on these findings to suggest that even some religious devotees have espoused capitalist consumer culture or, in other words, a vacation of tourism culture. Overall, what these tidbits imply is that halal tourism is not necessarily a purely religious phenomenon based on religious ideology. Regarding, there seem to be adequate grounds to assert that the halal travel sector holds a great promise for the future. This special-interest-tourism market is in its infancy at this juncture of history. Mattison’s (2018) article for Euronews shows that this sector is quickly catching up with the broader industry. As a more resilient middle class is emerging in many predominantly Islamic nations, ever more pious Muslims now have the wherewithal to travel (Scott, 2010; Bikramjit, 2014). Mattison (2018) reckons that halal tourism will account for some 14% of global travel expenditure by 2022. El-Gohary, Edwards, and Eid (2017) also agree with the overall idea that halal tourism faces sanguine prospects, further adding: “The growth trajectory of Muslim tourism is expected to continue as Muslim increasingly come from fast-growing economies that include BRICS countries such as China and India” (p. 107). The rise in halal tourism is due to multiple factors. First of all, halal tourism is developing under the stewardship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. More specifically, the organization initiates and coordinates regional efforts in policy and regulation development, marketing and promotion, destination and industry growth, capacity building and so on (Agarwal, Busby & Huang, 2017). Besides, individual states and individual companies within states make their efforts to foster halal tourism. The government of Indonesia introduced 12 Muslim friendly destinations in 2013 (Firdausi, Marantika, Firdaus & Sajidah, 2017). All this augurs well for the halal tourism sector. ConclusionRecognizing the diversity of needs and seeking to uphold this diversity by providing specific services to Muslim people, representatives of the travel sector in many parts of the world are now increasingly offering travel services that are in strict conformity with Islamic teachings. This essay has confirmed the tentative hypothesis that the halal travel industry has both religious and economic underpinnings. Businesses involved in this sector aspire both to please its Muslim clients, so that these clients would feel comfortable during their vacations, and to derive large financial dividends from the promising and rapidly growing market. Besides, it is also crucial to note in conclusion that the rapid growth of halal tourism has implications for hotels, restaurants, airlines and other businesses involved in this sector. People in charge of these businesses need to be careful to take full advantage of the recent tendencies in the travel industry, thereby facilitating continuous development of halal tourism, but avoid the potential pitfalls at the same time. Accomplishing this in practice might, however, be challenging, for allegiance to halal tourism at the expense of other subcategories of tourism has the potential to create conflicts of interest. After all, the standards of halal tourism and conventional tourism are often incompatible. It remains to see how such incompatibilities will resolve in the future. ReferencesAdas, A. (2006). The making of entrepreneurial Islam and the Islamic spirit of capitalism.Journal for Cultural Research, 10(2), 113-125.Agarwal, S., Busby, G., & Huang, R. (2017). Special interest tourism: Concepts, contextsand cases. Dublin, Ireland: CABI.Al-Hamarneh, A. (2008). Islamic tourism: A long-term strategy of tourist industries in theArab world after 9/11. Center of Research on the Arab World. Retrieved fromhttps://www.researchgate.net/deref/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ceraw.uni-mainz.de%2FBikramjit, R. (2014). Islamic perspectives on marketing and consumer behavior: Planning,implementation, and control. New York, NY: IGI Global.Bourgeois, N. (2016, September 14). Islamic tourism: Much more than the pilgrimage toMecca. In Focus. Retrieved from https://infocus.wief.org/islamic-tourism-much-pilgrimage-mecca/Demir, O., & Toprak, M. (2004). Anatolian tigers or Islamic capital: Prospects andchallenges. Middle Eastern Studies, 40(6), 166-188.Eddahar, N. (2016). Muslim friendly tourism branding in the global market. Organization ofIslamic Cooperation. Retrieved from https://www.oic-oci.org/docdown/?docID=1827&refID=1071Elaziz, M., & Kurt, A. (2017). Religiosity, consumerism and halal tourism: A study ofseaside tourism organizations in Turkey. Tourism, 65(1), 115-128.El-Gohary, H., Edwards, D., & Eid, R. (2017). Global perspectives on religious tourism andpilgrimage. New York, NY: IGI Global.Firdausi, I., Marantika, S., Firdaus, Z., & Sajidah, R. (2017). Lombok: Halal tourism as a newIndonesia tourism strategy. 4th Conference on Humanities, Social Sciences andEducation. Retrieved from http://heaig.org/images/proceedings_pdf/H0317447.pdfHashim, N., Shariff, N., Mahamood, S., & Bhari, A. (2018). Proceedings of the 3rdInternational Halal Conference. Berlin, Germany: Springer.Henderson, J. (2009). Islamic tourism reviewed. Tourism Recreation Research, 32(2), 207-212.Kozak, M., & Kozak, N. (2015). Destination marketing: An international perspective.London, UK: Routledge.Mattison, T. (2018, 9 September). How are young Muslims boosting the halal tourismindustry? Euronews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/2018/09/07/how-are-young-muslims-boosting-the-halal-tourism-industryRaj, R., & Griffin, K. (2017). Conflicts, religion and culture in tourism. Dublin, Ireland:CABI.Reiter, Y. (2008). Jerusalem and its role in Islamic solidarity. Berlin, Germany: Springer.Scott, N. (2010). Tourism in the Muslim world. London, UK: Emerald.Shirazi, F. (2016). Brand Islam: The marketing and commodification of piety. Austin, TX:University of Texas Press. Strategic roadmap for development of Islamic tourism in OIC member countries. (2017).Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Retrieved from https://www.oicoci.org/docdown/?docID=1777&refID=1071 US Congress. (2009). Exploring the nature of Uighur nationalism. Washington, DC: USCongress.
Firman Tuhan dalam Perayaan Natal 2017 dikutip dari Kitab Kolose 3:15, "Hendaklah damai sejahtera Kristus memerintah dalam hatimu, karena untuk itulah kamu telah dipanggil menjadi satu tubuh. Dan bersyukurlah." Alkitab versi Bahasa Indonesia Sehari-hari, "Hendaklah keputusan-keputusanmu ditentukan oleh kedamaian yang diberikan oleh Kristus di dalam hatimu. Sebab Allah memanggil kalian untuk menjadi anggota satu tubuh, supaya kalian hidup dalam kedamaian dari Kristus itu. Hendaklah kalian berterima kasih."Kata Yunani 'damai sejahtera' "eirene" dari kata dasar "eiro" yang berarti "satu", utuh, tidak kurang. Kata eirene dalam bahasa Ibrani 'shalom' yang artinya "lengkap, sejahtera, damai, aman, sehat, makmur, tenang, bersahabat - hubungan manusia dengan Tuhan. oleh sebab itu maksud ayat tersebut tidak dapat dilepaskan dari ayat 3:1-4, "Karena itu, kalau kamu dibangkitkan bersama dengan Kristus, carilah perkara yang di atas, di mana Kristus ada, duduk di sebelah kanan Allah. Pikirkanlah perkara yang di atas, bukan yang di bumi. Sebab kamu telah mati dan hidupmu tersembunyi bersama dengan Kristus di dalam Allah. Apabila Kristus, yang adalah hidup kita, menyatakan diri kelak, kamupun akan menyatakan diri bersama dengan Dia dalam kemuliaan."Berdasarkan itu, dipahami bahwa damai sejahtera adalah salah satu faedah keselamatan yang diterima oleh orang-orang yang berdamai dengan Allah. Paulus dalam Filipi 4:7 menulis, "Maka sejahtera dari Allah yang tidak mungkin dapat dimengerti manusia, akan menjaga hati dan pikiranmu yang sudah bersatu dengan Kristus Yesus."(BIS) Dengan demikian, jika kita berseru kepada Allah dari hati yang tinggal di dalam Kristus dan Firman-Nya (Yohanes 15:7), maka damai sejahtera Allah akan membanjiri jiwa kita. Damai sejahtera ini adalah kesentosaan batin yang dibawa oleh Roh Kudus (Roma 8:15-16). Perasaan sejahtera itu meliputi keyakinan yang teguh bahwa Yesus dekat. Damai sejahtera itu memberi rasa yakin yang mendalam bahwa kasih Allah sedang dan terus-menerus bekerja di dalam kehidupan kita demi kebaikan.(Roma 8:28) Kata "memerintah" dalam bahasa Yunani "brabeuo" satu istilah atletik yang masa kini disebut "wasit, hakim pertandingan, juri". Pemegang otoritas "memutuskan" sesuai dengan aturan main. Hati manusia sebagai pusat kendali moral, memerlukan damai sejahtera sebagai juri pengendali. Bila hati dipimpin oleh juri yang bernama amarah, benci, dendam, maka buahnya dapat diprediksi. Sebaliknya, bila hati dipimpin oleh juri yang benar bernama damai sejahtera maka jiwa terasa utuh. Hidup terasa baik-baik saja, sebab damai sejahtera bertakhta di dalam pusat kehidupan.Oleh sebab itu, setiap orang harus menjawab pertanyaan ini secara jujur, "Siapa yang sedang memerintah di dalam hatiku?" Apakah semangat damai -- "sudah, sedang, terus menerus" atau "belum" -- memerintah dalam hatimu? Waspadalah karena hati bisa diduduki oleh 'spirit' politik identitas, eksklusivisme, fanatisme dan kaki tangannya. Hati itu juga dapat dirajai oleh 'spirit positif' berupa rasa sayang, persaudaraan, rasa hormat. Hati manusia sepanjang zaman menjadi arena pergulatan berbagai ideologi. Generasi manusia dibesarkan dengan ideologi yang disemaikan dalam dadanya. Buah perilaku tergantung pada 'raja yang memperhamba hati'. Bila damai sejahtera memimpin hati, maka perbedaan menjadi ramah keharmonisan.\citep*{marbun2018}
Yusuf patut dijadikan model dalam pengembangan sumber daya manusia masa kini. Menjadi model dalam arti dapat diteladani, ditiru. Yusuf adalah sosok yang beriman, berilmu dan berakhlak mulia. Kompetensinya dapat diandalkan dalam memberi kontribusi positif bagi kehidupan yang ada di sekitarnya. Kualitas unggul yang dimilikinya berbeda dengan saudara-saudaranya dalam berbagai aspek. Yusuf diakui bahwa ia dipenuhi Roh Tuhan, cerdas dan berperilaku seperti Yesus Kristus. Menurut Alkitab, “Tetapi TUHAN menyertai Yusuf, sehingga ia menjadi seorang yang selalu berhasil dalam pekerjaannya; maka tinggallah ia di rumah tuannya, orang Mesir itu.  Setelah dilihat oleh tuannya, bahwa Yusuf disertai TUHAN dan bahwa TUHAN membuat berhasil segala sesuatu yang dikerjakannya, maka Yusuf mendapat kasih tuannya, dan ia boleh melayani dia; kepada Yusuf diberikannya kuasa atas rumahnya dan segala miliknya  diserahkannya pada kekuasaan Yusuf. Sejak ia memberikan kuasa dalam rumahnya dan atas segala miliknya kepada Yusuf, TUHAN memberkati rumah orang Mesir itu karena Yusuf, sehingga berkat TUHAN ada atas segala miliknya, baik yang di rumah maupun yang di ladang. Segala miliknya diserahkannya pada kekuasaan Yusuf, dan dengan bantuan Yusuf ia tidak usah lagi mengatur apa-apapun selain dari makanannya sendiri. Adapun Yusuf itu manis sikapnya dan elok parasnya.” (Kejadian 39:2-6)             Perlu dijelaskan bahwa konteks ayat-ayat tersebut adalah Yusuf seorang budak belian yang bekerja di rumah Potifar, tuannya. Ia dinyatakan berhasil dan menjadi kepercayaan bagi tuannya. Yusuf menampilkan performa kerja dengan kecerdasan yang utuh berimbang, berintegritas, bertaqwa dan sanggup mengalahkan godaan. Ketika Yusuf difitnah dan dipenjarakan, Yusuf pun mampu mempertahankan kualitas personal dan kinerjanya mendapat pujian dari kepala penjara. Iman dan karakternya tidak luntur meski dia mengalami penderitaan sejak ia dijual oleh saudara-saudaranya, dipekerjakan sebagai budak hingga ia dijebloskan ke dalam tahanan. Alkitab mencatat bahwa di penjara, Yusuf menolong mengartikan mimpi rekannya. Bahkan pada saat Yusuf dipromosikan oleh Firaun menjadi pejabat di Mesir mutu karakternya tidak merosot.   Alkitab mempertegas, “Sementara itu Yusuf telah menjadi mangkubumi di negeri itu; dialah yang menjual gandum kepada seluruh rakyat negeri itu. Jadi ketika saudara-saudara Yusuf datang, kepadanyalah mereka menghadap dan sujud dengan mukanya sampai ke tanah.” (Kejadian 42:6) “Ketika Yusuf telah pulang, mereka membawa persembahan yang ada pada mereka itu kepada Yusuf di dalam rumah, lalu sujud kepadanya sampai ke tanah.”(Kejadian 43:26) “Ketika Yehuda dan saudara-saudaranya sampai ke dalam rumah Yusuf, Yusuf masih ada di situ, sujudlah mereka sampai ke tanah di depannya.”(Kejadian 44:14).  Bagian ini memberi konfirmasi bahwa mimpi Yusuf telah menjadi kenyataan. Meski pun mimpi tersebut pada awalnya tidak mendapat dukungan dari pihak keluarganya, namun kini Yusuf tidak berubah. Kepada saudara-saudaranya, Yusuf berkata: “Tetapi sekarang, janganlah bersusah hati dan janganlah menyesali diri, karena kamu menjual aku ke sini, sebab untuk memelihara kehidupanlah Allah menyuruh aku mendahului kamu.  Karena telah dua tahun ada kelaparan dalam negeri ini dan selama lima tahun lagi orang tidak akan membajak atau menuai. Maka Allah telah menyuruh aku mendahului kamu untuk menjamin kelanjutan keturunanmu di bumi ini dan untuk memelihara hidupmu, sehingga sebagian besar dari padamu tertolong.  Jadi bukanlah kamu yang menyuruh aku ke sini, tetapi Allah; Dialah yang telah menempatkan aku sebagai bapa bagi Firaun dan tuan atas seluruh istananya dan sebagai kuasa atas seluruh tanah Mesir.”(Kejadian 45:5-8)   Yusuf menambahkan pula, “Memang kamu telah mereka-rekakan yang jahat terhadap aku, tetapi Allah telah mereka-rekakannya untuk kebaikan, dengan maksud melakukan seperti yang terjadi sekarang ini, yakni memelihara hidup suatu bangsa yang besar.”(Kejadian 50:20) Keluhuran karakter Yusuf tidak luntur oleh situasi di luar dirinya – meski ia dijual oleh saudara-saudara, dijadikan budak, difitnah lalu dipenjara – hingga ia menjadi orang yang terhormat dan berkuasa – karakter Yusuf konsisten, berakhlak mulia, berilmu, beriman tangguh dan terus memberi kontribusi positif bagi kemanusiaan.(*)\citep*{marbun2017}