Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It is very rare that we can think that a house of worship can take active rule in promoting digital culture in term of producting and consuming its contents. All is possible by utilizing recent digital technology. In open culture the mosque should take part in sharing its messages and contributing to a creative and dynamic society.

For its contribution in society engagement, Salman mosque has won some international recognitions, including UNICEF (1986). Recently its disaster management corps has been invited to Japan to share the mosque-based disaster mitigation concept and its film maker division is also invited to France for an international short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand. Its online media Chief Editor, Yudha Sunandar, is invited by US Department of State to talk about mosque media and its role in promoting democracy at four US States in February 2013.
The Salman Mosque has a unique history as one of prominent campus mosque in Indonesia. It was founded in 1960s, in era where nobody in Indonesia thought that a state secular university can have a big mosque.

Salman Mosque is a mosque within ITB campus in Bandung. ITB is one of the best state technical university in Indonesia. It all began when some lecturers and students had difficulty to find a place that they can perform Friday prayer. Male Muslims are obliged to do Friday congregation prayer (Jum´ah) whenever it is possible, so they formed a committee for a campus mosque in 1960.
Somewhat miracolous in a high tense of ideological fightings in Indonesia at that time (the Nasakom era – in which President Sukarno coined an idea to unite the nationalists, the religious people, and the communists in one front and it gave the facto opportunity for the communists to launch some objections of any religious expressions in secular campus), the President himself supported the idea in May 1964 and even gave the name Salman. Salman was a Prophets´ companion who was an engineer in building defense trench outside beleaguered Madina city. So the plan was rolling and and in the end of 1964, Salman Mosque is already operational.

Today as a mosque within a technical university. Salman Mosque is equipped by Wireless Fidelity (Wi-fi) service provided by State-Owned telecommunication company, Telkom. It is a part of Telkom´s CSR and he users could expect a fast Speedy service connection up to 3 Mbps.
Budhiana Kartawijaya, the Chief Editor of the prestigious local newspaper Pikiran Rakyat, has volunteered as Head of Research and Publishing Division in the mosque. He has coined Salman Cybermosque concept in which the engagement of the users is emphasized. Wi-fi or computers are only hardware thing and it is only a part of the whole cybermosque concept. One important aspect is how to turn the users into prosumers (producer-consumer). The key is to give opportunities for the users not only to consume but also to produce the content. Salim Rusli, the Manager of the Division has held wide range topics of discussions -sometimes controversial topics are also discussed - from Marxism to hyper-reality and upload the discussion results to the online media. This www.salmanitb.com has many sections from news, opinion, the mosque´s agenda and calendar, religious consultation, and even some funny cartoons. There are approximately 1,000 visitors per month to the site. The Salman Film Maker has trained some young people to make their own films and as told in the beginning of this article, they will go to one of International Film Festival. They even once had online radio whose apps for Android can be downloaded in the internet. It is a eligion audio content provider featuring audio inspiration, motivation, education, and religion content including talk shows.

I think Salman Cybermosque can be an excellent example how to transform a traditional mosque into pro-active prosumer mosque in digital world.