How to Teach the Non-Muslim Students at Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong
M Husnaini1, Ahmad Syauqi Fuady2, Irnie Victorynie 3,
1, 3International Islamic University, Malaysia, 2STIT Muhammadiyah Bojonegoro, Indonesia
The purpose of this study seeks to understand the model of Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan (AIK) learning for non-Muslim students at Unimuda Sorong. The things researched about the implementation of AIK teaching, the obstacles faced by AIK lecturers in learning AIK for non-Muslim students, and the efforts to overcome the obstacles to AIK learning for non-Muslim students Unimuda Sorong. It is a qualitative research method. The study employed the snowball sampling method. The chosen participant was three lecturers who had experienced teaching Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan. In specific, participants are lecturers from the Muhammadiyah Education University (Unimuda) of Sorong, Indonesia. This study's primary data source was obtained through semi-structured interviews emphasizing the participants' experiences. Thematic analysis was employed to analyze data. The results of this study AIK learning at Unimuda Sorong are carried out with a multicultural spirit, AIK learning at Unimuda is carried out in various ways. The obstacles during AIK learning include the availability of AIK learning resources literature, limited internet network access, and non-Muslim students' difficulties understanding Islamic religious terms in Arabic. Efforts were made to overcome these obstacles, namely teaching AIK as knowledge, not doctrine, communication between non-Muslim students and lecturers, and other Muslim students. Suggestions for further research are to make non-Muslim students the primary informants in the research.
Received: February 02, 2021
Revised: March 15, 2021
Accepted: April 06, 2021
Online: May 22, 2021
Al-Islam dan Kemuhamadiyahan (AIK), non-Muslim students, Muslim lecturers
Muhammadiyah has an identity as an Islamic organization, da'wah, and a reform movement. As a movement for reform, Muhammadiyah has a dual-dimensional view of Islam's purification and the renewal of ways of implementing Islam in the practice of community life (Muhammadiyah, 2020). The reform movement carried out by Muhammadiyah is in the form of the amaliah movement, with its main focus is an actual charity in various sectors of life (Nashir, 2010). Therefore, although it was established to carry out proselytizing and modernization of religion, Muhammadiyah is known for its social service activities, mainly in education, health, and social and human philanthropy (Burhani, 2018). One of Muhammadiyah's charities is the educational charity. The reason underlying Muhammadiyah was founded was to maintain Muhammadiyah schools' sustainability (Asrofie, 2005). The Wikipedia page displays data on tens of thousands of Muhammadiyah educational charities spread throughout Indonesia, from childhood to university (Arifin, 2015). Muhammadiyah educational institutions, as research by Abdul Mu'ti and Fajar Riza Ul Haq, apply the principle of inclusion and non-discrimination by accepting all students regardless of their religious, ethnic, ethnic, nationality, and socioeconomic background (David Efendi & Suswanta, 2017).
Muhammadiyah has 174 Muhammadiyah and 'Aisyiyah Universities (Suara Muhammadiyah, 2018), with six of them being Muhammadiyah universities located in the Eastern Indonesia region, four in Papua and two in East Nusa Tenggara, with an average of 70-80 percent of students being non-Muslims (Suryana & Sasongko, 2017). The presence of PTM in areas with a majority of non-Muslims is authentic proof of Muhammadiyah's open attitude and tolerance towards differences, including religious differences. Openness and tolerance are values that have grown since the birth of Muhammadiyah to the present day (David Efendi & Suswanta, 2017). Abdul Mu'ti and Fajar Riza Ul Haq's research shows that the presence of Muhammadiyah in Muslim minority areas presenting Islamic da'wah aims to convert non-Muslims into Muslims and present and introduce correct understanding and remove false stereotypes related to Islam and its people (Burhani, 2011).
The educational curriculum organized by Muhammadiyah has characteristics that distinguish it from other education at all levels. This distinctive feature is named Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan (AIK). In Muhammadiyah Higher Education, AIK is a compulsory curriculum as contained in Article 9 paragraph (2) of the Muhammadiyah Central Executive Guidelines Number 02 / PEDI / I.0 / B / 2012 concerning Muhammadiyah Universities. Therefore, AIK at Muhammadiyah Higher Education, a type of Islamic Religious Education in other educational institutions, must be followed by all students at Muhammadiyah Higher Education (Arifin, 2015). The AIK subject matter at PTM consists of AIK I (Humanity and Faith), AIK II (Worship, Morals, and Muamalah), AIK III (Kemuhammadiyahan), and AIK IV (Islam and Science). The number of AIK learning hours ranges from 8 to 12 credits. The primary AIK material is Islam's science, both normative and historical (Dikti Council PP Muhammadiyah, 2013).
As a typical Muhammadiyah Islamic religious education, implementing the AIK curriculum at PTM (Muhammadiyah Higher Education) is undoubtedly in line with national education goals in Law Number 20 concerning the National Education System in 2003. Religious education is a compulsory curriculum at all levels of education. In this regard, students' religious education must be taught by educators of the same faith (Government Regulation No. 55 of 2017 Article 4 Paragraph 2) as the rights of students (Law on National Education System No. 20 of 2003 Article 12 Paragraph 1.a)(Mu'ti, 2020). This condition certainly presents a challenge for PTM, which has non-Muslim students, especially PTM, whose majority are non-Muslim. This challenge will undoubtedly bring anxiety to both PTM managers and non-Muslim students if a solution is not found. Therefore, there is an urgent need for AIK guidelines for non-Muslims to be prepared to address this challenge. Furthermore, the arrangement of the AIK curriculum and materials for non-Muslims needs to be done with an open, objective, and non-indoctrination approach so that non-Muslim students can receive AIK material gracefully (Muthohirin, 2017).
Research on the implementation of AIK in PTM with the majority of non-Muslim students has been conducted. STKIP Muhammadiyah Manokwari, with 86% of its non-Muslim students, teaches AIK I and AIK II to all students, Muslim and non-Muslim. All students take AIK learning by the same lecturer, in the same room, and get the same assignment. At STIKOM Muhammadiyah Jayapura (90% of non-Muslim students), the AIK course is followed by all students regardless of Muslim or non-Muslim. AIK teaching in both campuses teaches universal goodness and Islam's truth, and there is no indoctrination of Islamic ideology. The result is the growth of tolerance among students, the presence of togetherness, and enlightenment about the values of Islamic and Muhammadiyah teachings (Prihantoro, 2017). Muslim and non-Muslim students must follow AIK teaching at the University of Muhammadiyah Sorong (UM Sorong). Students will receive AIK teaching by integrating Islamic teaching values into classroom learning. The enthusiasm of non-Muslim students is shown by attending lectures well and seriously (Kahar & Pabalik, 2018). AIK teaching at University of Muhammadiyah Kupang and STKIP Muhammadiyah Maumere are provided for all students. However, AIK teaching related to worship materials is not given to non-Muslim students. AIK for non-Muslim students is a bridge to introduce Islamic teachings rahmatan lilalamiin (Tamrin, 2019).
Related to that purpose teaching Islam and Muhammadiyah at the University of Muhammadiyah Kupang should be carried out with a multicultural approach to introduce Islam as a tolerant and open religion with diversity. Therefore, learning Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan is not to convert non-Muslim students but instill an inclusive and pluralist attitude (Syahrul, 2020). AIK teaching at the University of Muhammadiyah Kupang, intended for all students, aims to foster tolerance and mutual understanding of Muslims and non-Muslims. The AIK teaching method divides the class between Muslims and non-Muslim so that each student in the class gets material on Islam and Arabic with different weights. Besides, UMK also facilitated Catholic and Protestant religious lectures in a large room with presenters at the priest's meeting. The ultimate goal of AIK teaching for non-Muslims is to provide a general understanding of Islam and Muhammadiyah to reduce misunderstanding (David Efendi & Suswanta, 2017).
Meanwhile, AIK teaching at the Muhammadiyah University of Education (Unimuda) Sorong uses two different methods. Teaching the AIK, I course for Muslim and non-Muslim students is separated by class and the learning process. On the other hand, learning is carried out jointly for AIK II, AIK III, and AIK IV courses, according to each study program without class distinction. Therefore, teaching with the team teaching method and non-Muslim students' presence was well fulfilled (Santoso & Muzakki, 2020). This study took the Al-Islam and Muhammadiyah Teaching Model (AIK) theme for Non-Muslim Students at the Muhammadiyah University of Education (Unimuda) Sorong. The objectives of this study were: (1) To determine the implementation of AIK learning at Unimuda Sorong, (2) To assess the obstacles faced by AIK lecturers in AIK learning for non-Muslim students at Unimuda, and (3) to explore the efforts made to overcome the obstacles in AIK learning for non-Muslim students at Unimuda.
This study employed a qualitative case study approach on lecturers at the Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong, using a semi-structured interview. This research design was chosen because it allows the researcher to explore individuals' experiences teaching AIK for non-Muslim students. The information of the interview focused on Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan learning model for non-Muslim students. Yin (1989) mentions that a case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between the phenomenon and context are not evident. An instrumental case study also focuses on an issue and then selects one bounded case to illustrate the study (Creswell, 2013). The participant was selected based on this study, which seeks to understand Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan's model for non-Muslim students. The study employed the snowball sampling method. The chosen participant was three lecturers who had experienced teaching Al-Islam and Kemuhammadiyahan. In specific, participants are lecturers from the Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong, Indonesia. This study's primary data source was obtained through semi-structured interviews emphasizing the participants' experiences. Semi-structured is defined as an interview format that lies between structured and non-structured interviews. In a semi-structured interview, the interviewer gave the freedom to question and explore the answer given by the participant in a more in-depth manner aside from several prepared questions (Chua, 2012). In detail, the researcher employed interview questions from each Research Question, as showed below:
Research Question 1:
How is implementing the AIK learning process for non-Muslim students at the Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong?
1. Are AIK courses given to non-Muslim students?
2. Is the method of delivering AIK courses between non-Muslim students and Muslim students the same?
3. What are the appropriate strategies and methods for delivering AIK courses for non-Muslim students at Unimuda Sorong?
Research Question 2:
What obstacles are faced by lecturers teaching AIK for non-Muslim students at the Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong?
1. What are the obstacles faced by the lecturer in teaching AIK to non-Muslim students?
2. What are the obstacles for non-Muslim students in receiving and understanding AIK lessons?
Research Question 3:
How are the efforts to overcome the obstacles in teaching AIK for non-Muslim students at the Muhammadiyah Education University of Sorong?
1. What is the solution made by the lecturer to overcome the obstacles in teaching AIK to non-Muslim students?
2. How do non-Muslim students overcome obstacles in receiving and understanding AIK lessons?
Time and place were set up. Kerlinger (1993) explains that one of the ethical issues to consider when researching is seeking a permit. Therefore, before the interview, informed consent was sent to participants notifying them that their participation was voluntary. Besides, participant details were anonymous. In this study, thematic analysis was employed.
According to Boyatzis (1998), thematic analysis is a type of qualitative analysis. Initially, the analysis was made through verbatim transcribing. The verbatim transcripts which could be used as supported elaborations were then extracted and put into the table. Finally, the analysis was continued by understanding the whole verbatim transcripts of participants through reading. Furthermore, coding was used to extract the main points and finally cluster main points into themes.
The results of the study were obtained from interviews with three lecturers of AIK courses at Unimuda. The information relates to the experiences of the three lecturers in teaching AIK courses. The results obtained from the informants were concluded by thematic analysis and then grouped into seven main research results.
Table1. Research Results for the First Research Question (RQ 1)
Source: Results of research data processing, 2020
Table 1 shows that AIK learning at Unimuda Sorong is given to all students, Muslim and non-Muslim. The technical implementation of AIK learning is carried out by separating classes between Muslims and non-Muslims for AIK I courses that discuss faith issues. Thus, Muslim students get material about the Islamic faith, while non-Muslim students get material according to their religion. Whereas for AIK II, III, and IV materials, learning is carried out without class separation. The AIK teaching strategies and methods applied to non-Muslim students are varied, namely methods of assignments and papers, presentations and discussions, visits to Muhammadiyah Business Charities in Sorong Regency, and lectures. The results above indicate that AIK learning for non-Muslim students at Unimuda Sorong is carried out in two ways. First, by separating the AIK learning class for Muslims and non-Muslims. Second, by using varied learning strategies and methods and not limited to the lecture method. This conclusion is shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1. The Implementation of AIK Learning Process for Non-Muslim Students
The obstacles that exist during the implementation of AIK learning for non-Muslims, as listed in table 2, are divided into two themes: the obstacles experienced by lecturers who teach AIK courses and the obstacles experienced by non-Muslim students. First, the limitations of literature as a reference for teaching material sources are experienced by lecturers who teach AIK courses. Second, this condition is compounded by the limited internet access to support learning, especially with the pandemic conditions that held online learning. The final obstacle is that non-Muslim students have never previously received lessons in the Islamic religion, which causes their lack of understanding of crucial Islamic terms.
Table 2. Research Results for the Second Research Question (RQ 2)
Source: Results of research data processing, 2020
Non-Muslim students also experience problems while taking AIK lessons. In addition to access to the reference literature for AIK learning resources, non-Muslim students at Unimuda experience problems related to their ability to read Islamic religious texts that are sourced from the verses of the Qur'an and hadith as it is understood that the reference texts in Islam use Arabic. It is a new experience for non-Muslim students because this is the first time receiving a lesson with Arabic text sources. The constraints experienced during AIK learning for non-Muslim students at Unimuda are categorized in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2. The Obstacles Faced by Lecturers in Teaching AIK
There are concerns in the form of religious conversion felt by non-Muslim students while attending AIK lectures. While on the other hand, there is a feeling of caution and tolerance from the teaching lecturers so that AIK learning does not cause offense rooted in theological differences. This condition results in a synthesis that AIK courses are taught not as an ideological doctrine but as knowledge. This concept seeks AIK as an effort to enlighten non-Muslim students about Islam and Muhammadiyah.
Table 3. Research Results for the Third Research Question (RQ 3)
Source: Results of research data processing, 2020
AIK learning cannot be separated from references to Arabic texts, as two law sources in Islam use this language. AIK lecturers at Unimuda overcame the difficulty of teaching key points and critical terms in Arabic in Islam by repeating the material. Repetition of the material is done so that non-Muslim students have a correct understanding of the AIK material.
Besides, AIK lecturers seek and provide AIK material references that can be accessed by students online. Thus, students do not have trouble getting the material. Non-Muslim students are also active in communicating well with lecturers online by utilizing social media and offline face-to-face. Non-Muslim students also establish communication and ask Muslim students for help in understanding AIK learning materials. Figure 3 below shows four efforts made to overcome the obstacles to learning AIK at Unimuda.
Figure 3. The Efforts to Overcome the Obstacles in Teaching AIK
Organizing education in Indonesia is based on the principle of respect for diversity or multiculturalism. It is as stated in Law no. 20 of 2003 concerning the National Education System CHAPTER III Article 4 Paragraph (1), "Education is carried out in a democratic and just manner and is not discriminatory by upholding human rights, religious values, cultural values, and national diversity." Choirul Mahfud defines multiculturalism as recognizing humans' dignity in their communities with their own unique cultures. Multiculturalism means recognition, acceptance, and respect for human existence, diverse in culture, religion, ethnicity, race, and culture (Kamal, 2013). The multicultural view does not require cultural assimilation of minority groups into the majority group but instead accepts and compromises cultural differences and conscientiously takes care of that diversity (Eldering, 1996).
Implementing AIK learning at Unimuda Sorong takes place in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect between religions. The AIK curriculum is structured to be applied with a multicultural AIK approach (Santoso & Muzakki, 2020). AIK learning at Unimuda is for all students, Muslim and non-Muslim. However, in practice, especially teaching AIK I (Islamic creed), class separation is carried out between Muslim and non-Muslim students. Muslim students have one class to receive material on Islamic creed, while Christian students receive material according to their religion. This model approach is a midpoint for eliminating AIK lecturers' worries if the material presented will cause offense and anger from non-Muslim students. On the other hand, non-Muslim students can get rid of worries about being converted to Islam. Religious differences are accepted and managed with full awareness and the nature of a pluralistic life.
Multicultural AIK learning materials at Unimuda are not intended for doctrine and ideology but as objective knowledge and not indoctrination. AIK courses are conducted with a religious studies approach with an Islamic approach to science (Muthohirin, 2017; Santoso & Muzakki, 2020). The AIK course has a dual role, introducing Muslim students to tolerance and universal religious values, secondly being a bridge to introduce Islam and Muhammadiyah to non-Muslim students to provide a correct understanding of Islam Muhammadiyah. This correct understanding will eliminate prejudice and negative thoughts about Islam and Muhammadiyah. Thus there will be an academic atmosphere that is full of appreciation, understanding, and harmony. The concept of religious education with a multicultural approach does not aim to form people with the view that "all religions are equally true," nor are they trapped in "negative truth claims" that question each religion's true and false beliefs. My main goal is to develop tolerance, mutual respect, cooperation (Nurhakim, 2018).
Religious education with a multicultural spirit as implemented at Unimuda can foster and increase religious faith and belief to its adherents while teaching tolerance to adherents of different religions. In this spirit, Islamic religious education is not a form of talfiq, syncretism, or agnosticism (Mu'ti, 2020). On the contrary, religious education not only teaches the basic teachings of the religion (faith/aqeedah) it embraces (into the religion) but also teaches universal goodness values that exist in all religions (at the religion) and teaches mutual understanding, cooperation, and dialogue religious interfaith (beyond religion) (Nuryanto, 2011). Therefore, such an educational model will become an asset in realizing social life based on an appreciative attitude towards the universal truth and goodness in every religion (Muthohirin, 2017; Omar et al., 2015).
Strengthening and commitment to multicultural education can be done by integrating multicultural education perspectives into specific programs with clear and precise diversity messages (Ndura & Dogbevia, 2013). AIK, which is integrated with a multicultural approach, should be an integral part of PTM (Bandarsyah, 2020). Multicultural AIK learning with an integrated approach to learning other subjects can produce individuals who are not only intelligent but have good moral attitudes (Prihantoro, 2017). The AIK learning methods at Unimuda are varied, namely lectures, assignments, papers, discussions, presentations, and visits to Muhammadiyah charities. Visits to Muhammadiyah charities are an integrated form of AIK learning that is theoretical and interacting to get to know directly. Muhammadiyah business charity visits can be combined with community service activities, social services, and other non-Muslim students' activities (Santoso & Muzakki, 2020).
The implementation of AIK learning at Unimuda indeed cannot be separated from various problems and challenges. Access to facilities and infrastructure in literature sources and good internet networks are problems faced by lecturers and students in AIK learning. The availability of material that every student can access is a solution for AIK lecturers. Another problem that arises is the difficulties faced by non-Muslim students, especially concerning Islamic terms and Arabic texts. Communication in the form of consultation, dialogue, and questions and answers in and in lectures between non-Muslim students, both AIK lecturers, and other non-Muslim students, is an exciting learning process. Non-Muslim students accept AIK learning as a part that is not burdensome because of compulsion. Students feel that they can understand the AIK material; this is shown by their efforts to catch up with the misunderstanding related to the AIK material being taught.
On the other hand, Muslim lecturers and students actively helped non-Muslim students' difficulties. This active interaction can be one indicator of AIK's success in realizing the interaction relationship without making differences as a barrier and a barrier. In a broader perspective, like religious education, AIK education, as Azyumardi Azra's opinion, can have an essential role in fostering the spirit of multiculturalism, plurality, and diversity. Students feel that they can understand the AIK material; this is shown by their efforts to catch up with the misunderstanding related to the AIK material being taught. On the other hand, Muslim lecturers and students actively helped non-Muslim students' difficulties. This active interaction can be one indicator of AIK's success in realizing the interaction relationship without making differences as a barrier and a barrier. In a broader perspective, like religious education, AIK education, as Azyumardi Azra's opinion, can have an essential role in fostering the spirit of multiculturalism, plurality, and diversity. Students feel that they can understand the AIK material; this is shown by their efforts to catch up with the misunderstanding related to the AIK material being taught.
On the other hand, Muslim lecturers and students actively helped non-Muslim students' difficulties. This active interaction can be one indicator of AIK's success in realizing the interaction relationship without making differences as a barrier and a barrier. In a broader perspective, like religious education, AIK education, in Azyumardi Azra's opinion, can have a vital role in fostering a spirit of multiculturalism, plurality, and diversity. Muslim lecturers and students are actively involved in helping the non-Muslim students' difficulties. This active interaction can be one indicator of AIK's success in realizing the interaction relationship without making differences as a barrier and a barrier. In a broader perspective, like religious education, AIK education, as Azyumardi Azra's opinion, can have an essential role in fostering a spirit of multiculturalism, plurality, and diversity. Muslim lecturers and students are actively involved in helping the non-Muslim students' difficulties. This active interaction can be one indicator of AIK's success in realizing the interaction relationship without making differences as a barrier and a barrier. In a broader perspective, like religious education, AIK education, as Azyumardi Azra's opinion, can have an essential role in fostering a spirit of multiculturalism, plurality, and diversity (Rosyada, 2014).
AIK learning with a multicultural spirit as practiced at Unimuda needs full support, especially from Muhammadiyah. The primary support is to provide a multicultural AIK curriculum specifically made to serve as guidelines and guidelines for implementing AIK in Muhammadiyah universities, where most students are non-Muslims. Another support that is no less important is improving the abilities, quality, and capacity of the lecturers who teach AIK courses to have a multicultural understanding and deliver AIK courses with learning approaches and models that students enthusiastically accept. The final support is providing AIK literature for non-Muslim students (Muthohirin, 2017).
Based on the results and discussion of the research, several conclusions were obtained. First, AIK learning at Unimuda Sorong is carried out with a multicultural spirit to foster tolerance and understanding. Although AIK learning is provided for all Muslim and non-Muslim students, for the AIK I material about the Islamic faith, the class is separated between Muslims and non-Muslims. Therefore, each of them obtained material according to their religious beliefs. Second, AIK learning at Unimuda is carried out in various ways, namely through lectures, assignments, papers, discussions, and visits to Muhammadiyah charities. Third, during AIK learning, the obstacles include the availability of AIK learning resources literature, limited internet network access, and non-Muslim students' difficulties understanding Islamic religious terms in Arabic. Several attempts were made to overcome these obstacles, namely teaching AIK as knowledge, not doctrine, providing the material that can be accessed by students, conducting consultations and communication between non-Muslim students and lecturers, and other Muslim students to help non-Muslim students understand AIK material, especially in the form of text in the language. Arab. Suggestions for further research are to make non-Muslim students the primary informants in the research.
Funding and Conflicts of Interest:
The authors declare that there is no funding and conflicts of interest for this research.
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