National Security Agenda

Gerakan Pemuda Ansor’s View Regarding the Republic of Indonesia’s Strategic Interests and National Security Agenda

JAKARTA, Indonesia: On April 17 – 18 2017, representatives of the world’s largest Muslim young adults movement, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (est. 1934), gathered for the organization’s XXIst National Conference. Regional and provincial leaders discussed a number of geopolitical developments that pose a grave threat to Indonesia’s security. These include “the brutal conflicts raging in the Middle East and other hot spots; the rampant social turbulence that prevails almost everywhere in the Muslim world; the spread of religious extremism and terrorism, which pose a global security threat; and a rising tide of Islamophobia among non-Muslim populations, in response to these developments in the Muslim world.” Conference delegates also discussed “the threat posed by the political and military agenda of the People’s Republic of China, as it seeks to achieve regional hegemony in East and Southeast Asia.”

After extensive deliberation, GP Ansor issued a formal Decree (Number: 04/KONBES-XXI/IV/2017) that states, in part: “the crisis that engulfs the Islamic world is not limited to armed conflicts raging in various and sundry regions. Whether conscious or not, willing or not, the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims find themselves in the midst of a profound religious crisis. How they respond will determine the future not only of Muslims worldwide, but also of human civilization itself. Among the key issues that lie at the heart of this complex religious crisis, which require extremely delicate handling, are:

“Normative practices governing relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, including the rights, responsibilities and role of non-Muslims who live in Muslim-majority societies, and vice versa; relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim world, including the proper aims and conduct of warfare; the existence of modern nation states and their validity—or lack thereof—as political systems that govern the lives of Muslims; and
state constitutions and statutory laws/legal systems that emerged from modern political processes, and their relationship to shari‘ah.”

The XXIst National Conference of GP Ansor issued a mandate to Ansor’s Central Board, instructing it to “replicate GP Ansor’s View of the Republic of Indonesia’s Strategic Interests and National Security Agenda, and socialize its contents throughout the ranks of GP Ansor [down to the grassroots level], and to outside parties as deemed necessary.” Adoption of the Decree comes as GP Ansor prepares to hold an international gathering of ulama (Muslim scholars) in May of 2017, to “carefully examine and address those elements of fiqh (classical Islamic law) that encourage segregation, discrimination and/or violence against those perceived to be ‘non-Muslim.’”

Gerakan Pemuda Ansor is the world’s largest Muslim youth (i.e., young adults) movement, with nearly 5 million registered members. Of these, approximately 1.7 million belong to Barisan Ansor Serbaguna Nahdlatul Ulama, or Banser—an active militia force. GP Ansor constitutes the front line and primary kinetic element within the world’s largest Muslim organization—the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—and the primary vehicle for the grassroots mobilization of NU followers. GP Ansor’s principal mission includes the defense of NKRI (the Indonesian nation state); the 1945 Constitution, which established Indonesia as a multi-religious and pluralistic nation; Pancasila; Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (“Oneness Amid Diversity”); and the profoundly spiritual—i.e., humanitarian—values of Sunni Islam, which flourished in harmony with pre-existing East Indies civilization and cultures to produce Islam Nusantara.

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