The website www.duniasantri.co is a news site written by santri, pesantren alums, and people active in the world of pesantren. As a pesantren alumnus of Fathul Hidayah Karanganyar, I found a place to express creative writing online. Previously, I was involved in the campus-level press organization and was often a filler in literacy activities in various formal and non-formal activities.
There is a strong relationship between santri and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) as a community organization symbolized by the existence of Islamic boarding schools (aka. Pesantren). In addition, the Ahlussunah wal Jamaah online media platform is actively competing with conservative or fundamentalist Islamic websites that try to undermine the basis of the state and the nation’s culture.
The emergence of moderate websites such as duniasantri.co, islami.co, gusdurian.net, alif.id, to the parent of NU Online has calmed the public about the fear of evading the caliphate ideology, which has begun to campaign in online media. In addition, of course, there is hope that the santri will contribute against the takfirism narrative that targets the millennial Muslim generation with Islamic symbols such as monotheism, hijrah, and returning to the Quran and Sunnah.
Although it is not the only method to stem the flow of fundamentalist Islam, at least duniasantri.co can become a forum for santri to issue literacy creativity. Not only is it a scientific treasure for the wider community, but it can also be a means of earning additional income from writing.
Understandably, my experience in writing for almost four years in national newspapers and publishing several books cannot be used as my main livelihood. Writing does not get commercial space when the literacy interest of the Indonesian people is still low. But at least the writer is reminded of the legend of Pramoedya Ananta Toer, “A person may be intelligent as high as the sky, but as long as he does not write, he will be lost in society and from history. Writing is a work to eternity.”