Nusantara Statement

A coalition of international religious and political figures joined leaders of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—the world’s largest Muslim organization—in signing the Nusantara Statement at the Second Global Unity Forum (GUF II), held on October 25 – 26, 2018 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Signatories “call[ed] upon people of goodwill of every faith and nation to join in building a global consensus to prevent the political weaponization of Islam, whether by Muslims or non-Muslims, and to curtail the spread of communal hatred by fostering the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order, founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being.”

Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Declaration on Humanitarian Islam

On 21 – 22 May 2017, over 300 Indonesian religious scholars gathered with colleagues from South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America to address “obsolete tenets of classical Islamic law, which are premised upon perpetual conflict with those who do not embrace or submit to Islam.” The event was held at PP (Madrasah) Bahrul ‘Ulum in Jombang, East Java—birthplace of the Nahdlatul Ulama and its 5-million-strong youth movement, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor.

The two-day international gathering of ulama concluded with the adoption of Gerakan Pemuda Ansor’s Declaration on Humanitarian Islam, an 8,000 word analysis of the manner in which state and non-state actors have “weaponized” orthodox Islamic teachings, and detailed road map that calls for “a serious, long-term socio-cultural, political, religious and educational campaign to transform Muslims’ understanding of their religious obligations, and the very nature of Islamic orthodoxy.”

Resolution on universal human fraternity and global civilization

BRUSSELS, Belgium: On April 10, 2019, the Executive Committee of Centrist Democrat International (CDI)—the world’s most extensive political network, with over 100 affiliated parties in more than 70 nations—unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the “universal principles and aspirations” of the global Humanitarian Islam movement, and calling for the “widespread dissemination and study” of its foundational texts.

The CDI resolution concludes with the statement: “We believe that the widespread dissemination and study of these documents will serve to reduce all forms of ethnic and religious prejudice, discrimination, hatred and violence and thus foster the emergence of a global civilization founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being.” Find out more. . .

Resolution on ethics and values that should guide the exercise of power

ROME, Italy, October 11, 2019: At a ceremony rich with symbolism, a senior representative of Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party hailed the spiritual, philosophical and political achievements of Christian humanism, and pledged to work with exponents of this tradition to defend the precious legacy of a rules-based international order.

In response, the Executive Committee of Centrist Democrat International (CDI) unanimously adopted a resolution stating that “Humanitarian Islam and the diverse strands of humanist philosophy that historically emerged in the West are kindred traditions, whose spiritual and philosophical values are consonant with—and, in the case of Western humanism, helped to shape and secure the adoption of—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).”

The resolution goes on to state: “It is our belief that the spirit of universal human fraternity that animates UDHR, Christian humanism and the global Humanitarian Islam movement represents a compelling moral, ethical, religious and, indeed, political basis for close cooperation between IDC–CDI member parties, and between people of goodwill of every faith and nation.” Find out more. . .

Resolution on promoting a rules-based international order founded upon universal ethics and humanitarian values

The Centrist Democrat International (CDI), in an attempt to counter the rise of civilizationalist states and leaders, has called for the creation of an alliance of nations, political parties and faith groups, that would seek to ensure that politics and international relations remain grounded in humanitarian values at a time of increasingly unimpeded violations of international law and human rights abuse.

CDI’s call carries weight given that it is the world’s largest coalition of almost 100 political parties from across the globe, including ruling parties in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union to Fidesz, the party of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, a professed illiberal who envisions his country as a Christian nation. Find out more. . .

International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders (ISOMIL) Nahdlatul Ulama Declaration

Widely covered by international media, the Summit and NU Declaration explicitly identified “specific modes of interpreting Islam as the most significant factor causing the spread of religious extremism among Muslims” (point 8); cast a spotlight on Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran for their role in having “weaponiz[ed] sectarian differences. . . nurtured religious extremism, and stimulated the spread of terrorism throughout the world” (point 9); identified religious extremism and terror, among Muslims, as “directly contributing to the rise of Islamophobia throughout the non-Muslim world” (point 10); called upon “people of good will of every faith and nation to join in building a global consensus not to politicize Islam” (point 15); and explicitly affirmed that the NU “will strive to consolidate the global ahlussunnah wal jamaah (Sunni Muslim) community, in order to bring about a world in which Islam, and Muslims, are truly beneficent and contribute to the well-being of all humanity” (point 16).

Ansor Global Unity Forum Declaration

On May 12, 2016, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish leaders gathered to attend a Global Unity Forum co-sponsored by the world’s largest Muslim youth organization, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, and Bayt ar-Rahmah. At the Forum’s conclusion, GP Ansor issued a 3-page declaration that includes “The GP Ansor Call… for an end to conflict in the name of religion, and for qualified ulama (Muslim religious scholars) to carefully examine and address those elements of fiqh (classical Islamic law) that encourage segregation, discrimination and/or violence towards those perceived to be ‘non-Muslim.’”

Ansor and Bayt ar-Rahmah’s Joint
Resolution and Decree

3. That Mahrajan Wali-Wali Jawi [the Festival of East Indies Saints] was designed to commemorate the historic role of the 15th century Wali Songo (“Nine Saints”) movement, whose wisdom, respect for pre-existing cultures and profoundly spiritual modes of da‘wah (proselytism) precipitated the emergence of a great Islamic civilization in the Malay Archipelago, rooted in the principle of rahmah (universal love and compassion) and other noble values of religion;

4. That these saints’ legacy inspired the establishment of the Nahdlatul Ulama in 1926, in direct response to the Wahhabi conquest of Mecca and Medina;

5. That these saints’ legacy also inspired the founders of Indonesia to establish their newly-independent nation as a multi-religious state, rooted in the principles of Pancasila and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or “Unity Amid Diversity”;

~ Ansor/Bayt ar-Rahmah Joint Resolution and Decree, points 3 – 5

The Nusantara Manifesto

For the first time since the late Middle Ages, a large body of Sunni Muslim authorities are engaged in a wide-ranging, concerted and explicit project of theological renewal (i.e., reform). In the words of KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council, “This effort will address obsolete tenets within Islamic orthodoxy; realign these problematic tenets with 21st century ‘civilizational reality’; block their political weaponization; and curtail the spread of communal hatred by fostering the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order, founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being.” Find out more. . .

Humanitarian Islam, Evangelical Christianity, and the Clash of Civilizations


Are Muslims and Christians locked in mortal combat forever? Will ever-continuing jihads and crusades continue to cost the lives of millions and destroy once-beautiful cities? Must the Muslim-Christian clash of civilizations, which started almost 1,500 years ago, continue into the future?

Not necessarily, argues Dr. Johnson. Within Islam, a serious reconsideration is underway, broadly parallel to the reconsideration of church-state relations that happened during the early and mid-twentieth century within Christianity. This is leading to a new form of orthodox Islam that is fully compatible with multi-religious global society and that can move beyond conflict toward real cooperation with Christians and adherents of other religions. But this reconsideration, called “Humanitarian Islam,” is still mostly found in Indonesia and is not yet well known in the rest of the world. It is time for Christians to develop extensive interaction and cooperation with Humanitarian Islam.

Document on Human Fraternity

On February 4, 2019, Pope Francis and Grand Shaykh Ahmed al-Tayyeb of al-Azhar—Egypt’s pre-eminent center of Islamic authority—jointly signed the Document on Human Fraternity, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The theological and conceptual framework of the Document on Human Fraternity reflects the groundbreaking ijtihad (independent legal reasoning) of Kyai Haji Achmad Shiddiq, former General Chairman of the Supreme Council of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization. Kyai Shiddiq first articulated the concept of universal human fraternity—as a shari‘ah basis for legal equality between Muslims and non-Muslims—at the Nahdlatul Ulama National Congress held in Situbondo, East Java, in 1984. The adoption of Kyai Shiddiq’s ijtihad by the Grand Shaykh of al-Azhar has the potential to greatly accelerate the reform of obsolete and problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy worldwide.

The Illusion of an Islamic State

The Illusion of an Islamic State represents a landmark achievement in the field of counter-radicalization, which demonstrates how an alliance of moderate Muslim leaders can effectively isolate, and discredit, the ideology of religious hatred, supremacy and violence that underlies and animates terrorism. As such, it warrants serious study—as well as the wide dissemination, and application, of its findings—by public policy makers, journalists and people of good will of every faith and nation, who care about the threat to humanity posed by Islamist ideology, terrorism and a rising tide of Islamophobia in the West.”

God Needs No Defense

Foreword by H.E. Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid

“Sanctions against freedom of religious inquiry and expression act to halt the developmental process of religious understanding dead in its tracks—conflating the sanctioning authority’s current, limited grasp of the truth with ultimate Truth itself, and thereby transforming religion from a path to the Divine into a ‘divinized’ goal, whose features and confines are generally dictated by those with an all-too-human agenda of earthly power and control.”

Dignitatis Humanae

“The council exhorts Catholics, and it directs a plea to all men, most carefully to consider how greatly necessary religious freedom is, especially in the present condition of the human family. All nations are coming into even closer unity. Men of different cultures and religions are being brought together in closer relationships. There is a growing consciousness of the personal responsibility that every man has. All this is evident. Consequently, in order that relationships of peace and harmony be established and maintained within the whole of mankind, it is necessary that religious freedom be everywhere provided with an effective constitutional guarantee and that respect be shown for the high duty and right of man freely to lead his religious life in society.”