2015_11_26_Ansor Congress and Film Launch

“From Indonesia, a Muslim Challenge to the Ideology of the Islamic State”

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — On the morning of November 26, 2015, the 15th National Congress of the world’s largest Muslim youth organization, GP Ansor (established 1934), opened with the screening of a film (The Divine Grace of East Indies Islam) that the New York Times hailed as “a relentless religious repudiation of the Islamic State and the opening salvo in a global campaign by the world’s largest Muslim group to challenge the ideology of the Islamic State head-on.”

The leadership of Ansor is closely aligned with the spiritual wing of its parent organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama (est. 1926). Haji Yaqut Cholil Qoumas—a member of Indonesia’s parliament and nephew of Kyai Haji A. Mustofa Bisri, former chairman of the NU Supreme Council—was elected Chairman of GP Ansor for the 2015 – 2020 term. Under his leadership, Ansor is expected to work closely with the Nahdlatul Ulama and Bayt ar-Rahmah in addressing the threat posed by Islamist extremism…

As outgoing Ansor Chairman Nusron Wahid told the assembled delegates, “It is the religious duty of Muslims, and above all, that of the NU and Ansor, to marginalize and defeat this extremist movement [ISIS].” In his acceptance address, the newly-elected Chairman of Ansor said, “Islam Nusantara (East Indies Islam) is at the very heart of our understanding of Islam, and our NU identity, as traditional Sunni Muslims. I believe you gentlemen are capable of safeguarding the universal love and compassion, and East Indies culture, that lies at the heart of our Islam.” Read the entire communiqué…