Official Statement of the NU Central Board Regarding R20 and Ongoing Discussions with India & RSS

“Nahdlatul Ulama encourages people of good will of every faith and nation to reject the weaponization of identity”

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board has published an official statement that outlines the vision and objectives of the newly-established G20 Religion Forum (R20), and its approach to interreligious conflict.

Signed by NU Chairman, KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, and its General Secretary, H. Saifullah Yusuf, the document states:

Nahdlatul Ulama believes that the only way to overcome entrenched historical grievances and promote peaceful co-existence is to engage all parties and refuse to indulge in the sentiment of enmity and hatred, based upon a claim of unique communal victimhood. 

Nahdlatul Ulama is aware of the potential for genocide in South Asia, not only because of contemporary geopolitical dynamics, but also due to the history of the region, including the Bangladesh genocide of 1971; the massacres that accompanied Partition in 1947; British colonial policies of divide and rule; and centuries of invasion from the northwest, accompanied by massive destruction, slaughter, and enslavement. Even the Emperor Ashoka is known for his massacre of over 100,000 inhabitants of Kalinga during the third century B.C.E., prior to his conversion to Buddhism.

Nahdlatul Ulama encourages people of good will of every faith and nation to reject the weaponization of identity and join in promoting solidarity and respect among the diverse peoples, cultures, and nations of the world — employing the principle of ‘the highest common denominator,’ founded upon the noblest aspirations of every civilization. This is the mission of the G20 Religion Forum (R20), both now and in future years.

The Nahdlatul Ulama statement comes as global attention has begun to focus on the first annual R20 Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia on 2 – 3 November 2022.

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