Associated Press/ABC News: “In Israel, Indonesian Muslim leader risks backlash at home,” by Caron Creighton, June 11, 2018. “A leader of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization is visiting Israel this week, braving angry protests at home in order to spread what he calls a message of interfaith compassion.”

Associated Press/ABC News: “Indonesia Calls on Islamic Leaders to Promote Tolerant Islam,” May 9, 2016. “Indonesia’s vice president on Monday called on Islamic leaders to spread messages about a tolerant Islam to curb extremism that often springs from misinterpretation of Islamic teachings. Speaking at the opening of the International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said he believes that youths who don’t have deep faith are susceptible to be militants, not for wealth or political cause, but rather as a ‘shortcut’ to heaven.”

Al Arabiya: “Indonesian cyber warriors seek to counter ISIS message,” May 10, 2016. “A group of Indonesian ‘cyber warriors’ sit glued to screens, as they send out messages promoting a moderate form of Islam in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. Armed with laptops and smartphones, some 500 members of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) — one of the world’s biggest Muslim organizations — are seeking to counter ISIS messages.”

Al-Ahram: “Indonesian Islam. . . once again,” by Mohamed Abu Al-Fadl, Deputy Editor, Al-Ahram, February 16, 2023. “This project is to transform Islam from a problem — as it is in many nations — into a solution, by recontextualizing the five principles of Indonesia’s official state ideology of Pancasila in a way that respects other societies’ specificities and is suitable for them. The five precepts of Pancasila are: belief in God, humanity, justice, national unity, and shura [consultation among the nation’s representatives]. Nahdlatul Ulama’s project revolves around separating politics from religion and breaking out of the mental prison of calls to establish an Islamic caliphate.”

Al-Ahram: “Indonesian Islam,” by Mohamed Abu Al-Fadl, Deputy Editor, Al-Ahram, June 11, 2015. “The vital role of the Nahdlatul Ulama stems from its success as a mediator between the Indonesian government and its people. The NU can maintain a harmonious relationship between the government and the people due to its spiritual values, political engagement and mass following, which combine a profound understanding of Islam with respect for the inherent variety of Indonesia’s countless local cultures. That is why the Nahdlatul Ulama has consistently nurtured the values of Islam Nusantara (East Indies Islam) for over a century, and is now poised to export its collective wisdom and experience throughout the world, for the benefit of humanity.” Al-Ahram (The Pyramids) is one of the oldest (est. 1875) and largest-circulation daily newspapers in the Arab world.

Al-Arab: “Indonesia is Washington’s Gateway for Promoting Islamic Reform,” October 27, 2020. “Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama—an Islamic mass movement—is hosting a two-day conference in the capital Jakarta to explore the “shared civilizational aspirations” of Indonesia, the United States and Islam. The event will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is pushing his administration to promote Islamic reform.” Read the original Arabic-language article.

Al-Arab: “Political Horizons for Indonesian Islam,” by Muhammad Abul Fadl, June 15, 2015. “. . .the profoundly spiritual and tolerant worldview embodied in the term Islam Nusantara has begun to expand beyond its local framework to a global environment. Many lines of communication have been initiated between the Nahdlatul Ulama and various Western governments. [Spiritual leaders within] the Nahdlatul Ulama have begun to establish working relationships and operational nodes in many countries, operating under the organizational name, ‘Home of Divine Grace (Bayt ar-Rahmah).’ Each operational node propagates the model of tolerance embraced by the Nahdlatul Ulama—such as peaceful coexistence with others and respect for individuals’ right to privacy, including freedom of thought and conscience—and seeks to accomplish this by leveraging the profound humane and spiritual values that underlie and animate all religions.”

Al-Azhar: “Pope Francis Thanks Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam for his efforts in drafting the Document on Human Fraternity,” February 4, 2018. “In his Speech at the Global Conference of Human Fraternity held in Abu Dhabi, His Holiness Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, expressed his thanks to Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, former Adviser to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.”

Al-Monitor: “Indonesian cleric’s call for compassion lost in controversy over Jerusalem visit,” by Eetta Prince-Gibson, June 19, 2018. “Yahya Staquf, an Indonesian cleric and secretary-general of the Jakarta-based Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization, believes that “rahma,” meaning “compassion” or “mercy” in Arabic, can provide the basis for a political solution to the conflict between Israel and the Muslim world.”

Al Jazeera: “‘About time’: Indonesia’s NU welcomes women to top leadership,” by Gemma Holliani Cahya, March 19, 2022. “Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Islamic organisation, has welcomed women into its top leadership roles for the first time since it was founded nearly 100 years ago.”

The Algemeiner: “In Speech to Jewish Group, Leader of World’s Largest Muslim Organization Calls for Compassion,” by Benjamin Kerstein, June 10, 2018. “The leader of the world’s largest Muslim organization told a leading Jewish group on Sunday that religious people must seek to solve today’s violent conflicts and embrace “rachma” — compassion and caring for people.”

American Jewish Committee (video): “A Conversation with Yahya Cholil Staquf,” June 10, 2018.

American Jewish Committee: “Leader of World’s Largest Muslim Organization to Address AJC Global Forum in Jerusalem,” May 14, 2018. “‘We are deeply honored to host Pak Yahya on his groundbreaking journey to Israel at our Global Forum in Jerusalem,’ said AJC CEO David Harris. AJC, throughout its history, has spearheaded interreligious initiatives, with an ever-increasing focus on Muslim-Jewish relations.”

ANI News: “In a first, G20 in Bali includes major religions as ‘part of solution’ to tackle global crises,” by Ayushi Agarwal, October 31, 2022. “The R20 is mobilizing religious, political and economic leaders from G20 member states and elsewhere throughout the world to build bridges of dialogue between East and West to encourage mutual understanding, peace and friendship among the world’s diverse peoples and civilizations, to encourage honest and realistic conversation within and between religious communities and in order to ensure that religion functions as a source of solutions, rather than problems.”

Antara News: “President inaugurates Staquf as Presidential Advisory Council member,” June 1, 2018. “‘It is my duty to accept the president’s request to join the Presidential Advisory Council. I will fulfill the task and duties as well as responsibilities as member of the council by following the proper procedures and ethics,’ Staquf added.”

Arabian Post: “Religious moderation falls by the wayside in Imran’s Pakistan,” by James M. Dorsey, January 2021. “Silent about rising sectarian violence in Pakistan, Gulf states vying for religious soft power risk exposing the limitations of their concepts of an undefined ‘moderate’ Islam that is tolerant and endorses pluralism.”

Arc of the Universe: “A Muslim John Courtney Murray?” by Daniel Philpott, July 17, 2020. “A recent article in Public Discourse decries the persecution of Christians in the Middle East at the hands of Muslims – written by a Muslim. Not just any Muslim, but rather Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the world’s largest movement of Muslims, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), whose ranks number 90 million. Staquf and the Nahdlatul Ulama are developing a doctrinal framework to produce changes in Islam much like those that took place in another religion – Catholicism.”

Arutz Sheva: “Indonesia’s once multiple ties with Israel,” by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, April 5, 2018. “His Excellency Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid served as president of Indonesia from 1999-2001. He is the only Indonesian president who visited Israel and did so a number of times. President Wahid was deeply aware of the cultural, historical, intellectual and spiritual dimensions of Judaism, as well as the intimate religious and linguistic connections between Judaism/Islam and Hebrew/Arabic.”

Asialyst: “En Indonésie, le réexamen du Coran est à l’ordre du jour,” by Anda Djoehana Wiradikarta, June 28, 2018. “Conseiller du président Joko Widodo pour les affaires religieuses, Yahya Cholil Staquf est le secrétaire général de la Nahdlatul Ulama, la plus grande organisation non gouvernementale islamique indonésienne – et du monde – avec cinquante millions de membres revendiqués. Voici ce qu’il déclarait dans une interview publiée en août 2017 dans le quotidien allemand Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung : « Nous devons parvenir à un point [de consensus sociétal], de façon que tout point de vue [fondamentaliste] de l’islam qui postule les normes traditionnelles de la jurisprudence islamique comme étant des absolus, soit immédiatement rejeté comme faux. »

Asia News: “Muslim cleric visits Israel and meets Netanyahu, sparking anger among radicals,” by Mathias Hariyadi, June 18, 2018. “The visit to Israel by an important Islamic cleric has sparked criticism from the radical movements in the world’s most populous Islamic country. Yahya Cholil Staquf…  gave a presentation at a Jewish Forum and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.”

Asian News International (ANI): “In a first, G20 in Bali includes major religions as ‘part of solution’ to tackle global crises,” by Ayushi Agarwal, 31 October 2022. “The R20 is mobilizing religious, political and economic leaders from G20 member states and elsewhere throughout the world to build bridges of dialogue between East and West to encourage mutual understanding, peace and friendship among the world’s diverse peoples and civilizations, to encourage honest and realistic conversation within and between religious communities and in order to ensure that religion functions as a source of solutions, rather than problems.”

Asia One: “Indonesia plans global Buddhist site at Borobudur temple,” by Amy Chew, July 11, 2021. “Indonesia , the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is seeking to preserve and promote the mystical 9th-century Buddhist Borobudur temple in Central Java amid growing intolerance, raising hopes it could escape the fate of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddha statues. Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said Borobudur occupied a significant place of respect for Buddhists and officials were studying how to promote ceremonies “which Asia One 2 can be attended by Buddhists all over the world”, as part of plans to strengthen moderation in the country.”

Asia Society: “Asia Game Changer Awards – The Founders of Koolulam,” August 23, 2018. “Bringing disparate groups together is central to the mission of Koolulam, a self-described ‘social musical initiative’ whose name is a portmanteau combining the Hebrew words for ‘ululation’ and ‘everyone.’ The June 14 concert in Jerusalem was held in honor of Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, secretary general of the world’s largest independent Muslim organization, the Indonesian-based Nahdlatul Ulama, which boasts 60 million members.”

Asian Affairs: “Tears, Anger and Solidarity,” by Duncan Bartlett, April, 2019. “The General Secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organisation, is worried that the New Zealand attacks will create more hatred and division. Yahya Cholil Staquf insists that solidarity across racial, religious, cultural and political lines is the appropriate way to try to prevent this. But he says that, as a Muslim, he faces challenging questions that require difficult but honest answers. ‘The targeting of Muslims at prayer in Christchurch comes after nearly two decades during which Islamist atrocities have been a pervasive feature of news bulletins around the world. The massacre in New Zealand would likely be inconceivable if divorced from this wider context in which Islam has become synonymous with terror in the minds of many non-Muslims,’ Mr Staquf told the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. His message to his fellow Muslims is to reject interpretations of the religion which justify hatred and violence.”

Associated Press (AP): “The Big Story”, “Indonesia calls on Islamic leaders to promote tolerant Islam,” May 9, 2016. “Indonesia’s vice president on Monday called on Islamic leaders to spread messages about a tolerant Islam to curb extremism that often springs from misinterpretation of Islamic teachings. Speaking at the opening of the International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said he believes that youths who don’t have deep faith are susceptible to be militants, not for wealth or political cause, but rather as a ‘shortcut’ to heaven.”

The Atlantic: “ISIS in the World’s Largest Muslim Country,” by Edward Delman, January 3, 2016. “In November, The New York Times pointed to one factor behind the muted response to ISIS in Indonesia: Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), an Islamic organization that claims to have 50 million members. NU preaches an Islam of compassion, inclusivity, and tolerance of other faiths, as opposed to ISIS’s fundamentalist, Wahhabi-inspired theology. ‘We are directly challenging the idea of ISIS, which wants Islam to be uniform, meaning that if there is any other idea of Islam that is not following their ideas, those people are infidels who must be killed,’ Yahya Cholil Staquf, the general secretary to the NU supreme council, told the Times.”

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council: “A distinctive Islamic voice against extremism,” by Giora Eliraz, November 11, 2019. “Over the past few years, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia and probably in the world, has engaged in a global campaign aimed at countering religious extremism, advancing harmony and understanding between civilisations and curtailing Islamophobia. This campaign, which is supported by the Indonesian Government, carries the theme of Islam Nusantara (Islam of the Indonesian Archipelago). It’s led by several institutions and forums, two of them US-based, devoted to the progressive humanitarian legacy of late Abdurrahman Wahid (1940-2009), NU’s former charismatic leader and the first democratically-elected president of Indonesia. AIJAC 2 Yahya Cholil Staquf, the distinguished Muslim scholar who is Secretary-General of NU’s Supreme Council, is the leading figure in the campaign.”

Australian Broadcasting Corporation – Radio National (audio): “Islam and Christchurch,” April 1, 2019. Amanda Vanstone interviews Yahya Cholil Staquf:

The Australian: “Indonesian online warriors pulling the beard of radical Islam,” by Amanda Hodge, March 30, 2016. “When the head of Indonesia’s largest and most moderate Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, joked that men with beards tend to be stupid—and the longer the beard the more stupid the man—there was apparently method in his madness.”

The Australian: “Nahdlatul Ulama: Indonesia’s antidote to Islamism’s feral fringe,” by Peter Alford, December 15, 2015. “The message to vulnerable Muslim communities everywhere is ‘NU is here to help’, Supreme Council secretary-general Yahya Cholil Staquf told The Weekend Australian. ‘We know this threat, we have been fighting it for almost 90 years — it’s our daily business to face them,’ said Haji Yahya. ‘We know how they think, we know who they are, we know how they operate.’

The Australian/AAP: “Scholars set to tackle Muslim ‘orthodoxy’,” by Lauren Farrow, May 20,2017. “While radicalism is not new in Indonesia, NU’s Supreme Council general secretary, Yahya Cholil Staquf, told AAP the movement is clearly becoming stronger. In the hopes of coming up with a strategy to combat extremism and rising Islamophobia, more than 400 scholars from Indonesia, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and America are expected to attend a conference in East Java on Sunday and Monday. Through theological debate, Mr. Staquf said they hope to challenge some of the ‘problematic’ elements of Islam, which are being promoted by the ultra-conservative orthodoxy.”

AWAZ (The Voice): “India, Indonesia must jointly propagate moderate values of Islam: NSA Doval,” November 30, 2022. “National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that India and Indonesia must join hands to develop common narratives on de-radicalisation and propagate moderate virtues of Islam. He made these remarks in his opening address at the India Islamic Culture Centre here on a dialogue on the role of Ulema in fostering a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia.”

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha: “Hindu Representation at G20 Religion Forum, Bali, Indonesia,” October 31, 2022. “In drawing upon the universal timeless wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the great schools of Indian thought, Bhadreshdas Swami encouraged a more universal definition of ‘dharma’ and unpacked several universal dharmic values – such as peace, love, friendship, respect and compassion – that can help facilitate peaceful conflict resolution and foster global religious harmony. He especially encouraged ‘active dialogue’ – not just intellectual discourse, but heart to heart understanding, learning and collaboration – through love, courage and humility.”

BBC: “Indonesia bans forced religious attire in schools,” February 6, 2021. “Indonesia has banned public schools from making religious attire compulsory, after the story of a Christian student being pressured to wear a headscarf in class went viral. . . . At a media briefing on the decree on Wednesday, religious affairs minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas was quoted as saying: “Religions do not promote conflict, neither do they justify acting unfairly against those who are different.”

BBC: “Government rejects Islamophobia definition ahead of debate,” May 15, 2019. “The government has rejected a definition of Islamophobia created by a cross-party group of MPs. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims wan Save ted to define it to tackle what it called a ‘social evil’. But a government spokesman said the wording needed ‘further careful consideration’ and had ‘not been broadly accepted’. The secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, called the decision ‘truly extraordinary’.”

Beritagar: Conversation with Kyai Yahya Staquf: ‘I still have ingrained prejudice against Jews.’ He doesn’t care if others attack him. He had only one goal in visiting Israel: to continue Gus Dur’s work,” by Heru Triyono, July 2, 2018. “Lately, Yahya has attracted a different kind of attention. . . because of his recent visit to Israel, which many perceived as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. He was cursed, bullied online and even denounced as a treasonous cockroach. ‘That’s ok with me’ he told the four journalists who interviewed him at Harlow Brasserie in Kuningan, Jakarta on Monday (25/6/2018).”

Bild: “Islam is Linked to Terrorism,” August 21, 2017. “It is an alarm call – from an authoritative source: ‘There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terror and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy.’ That is what the Islamic scholar Yahya C. Staquf said in a recent interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Staquf is not just anyone. In fact, he’s General Secretary of the world’s largest Muslim organization, the Indonesia-based Nahdlatul Ulama (40 million followers).

Black Christian News Network: “Pence & Johnnie Moore Meet Leader of Indonesia’s Largest Muslim Group Days After ISIS Church Bombings,” May 18, 2018. “Just days after the spate of deadly suicide bombings targeting three churches and a police station in Surabaya, Indonesia, Vice President Mike Pence met with the leader of the world’s largest Islamic organization, [Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf], to stand in solidarity for religious freedom and peaceful coexistence.”

Bloomberg: “Indonesia’s Largest Islamic Group Seeks End to ‘Infidel’ Usage,” by Tassia Sipahutar and Arys Aditya, March 1, 2019. “Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, has issued a call to end the usage of “infidel” or “kafir” to refer to non-Muslims in state or citizenship matters, a move that may be aimed at calming religious tensions ahead of the presidential election.”

The Boston Globe: “Moderate Muslims reclaim their faith,” by The Editorial Board, December 11, 2015. “In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim group has embarked on an international effort to repudiate the jihadist teachings and ideology of the Islamic State. The group is Nahdlatul Ulama… Last month, NU released a 90-minute film that vigorously refutes ISIS and its Wahhabist-rooted fundamentalism.”

Breaking Israel News: “Israeli Music Project Koolulam Brings Jews, Christians and Muslims Together at Tower of David,” by Eliana Rudee, June 18, 2018. “Before the main Koolulam event, religious leaders gathered for a colloquium on how religion can serve as a bridge to mutual understanding, compassion and peace between people of all faiths and backgrounds in Israel. Hosted by Dr. Yehuda Stolov, CEO of the Interfaith Encounter Association, the meeting was attended by Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf (Pak Yahya), the Secretary General of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, which has more than 60 million members. According to Dr. Stolov, Sheikh Staquf promotes a ‘committed Islam, but an Islam of love and compassion, which is very important for Jews and Christians to meet.'”

Breitbart: “Report: Indonesian Leader Primed to Promote ‘Humanitarian Islam’,” by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D, February 1, 2022. “Staquf partnered with Holland Taylor to found the Bayt ar-Rahmah (‘House of Mercy’) Foundation, which in turn launched the ‘humanitarian Islam’ movement, seeking ‘to recontextualize the teachings of orthodox, authoritative Islam’ by reconciling it with ‘the reality of contemporary civilization, whose context and conditions differ significantly from those in which classical Islamic law emerged.'”

Catholic News Agency: “Indonesian bishops say Palm Sunday cathedral bombing ‘disgraced human dignity’,” by Courtney Mares, March 29, 2021. “Hodri Ariev, an Indonesian Muslim leader within the Nahdlatul Ulama movement, told CNA that ‘eliminating the theology behind this bombing will require serious effort … and extensive cooperation between ulama (Islamic scholars) and the government’ in Indonesia.”

Catholic News Agency: “Prominent Muslim leader says global effort needed to promote ‘compassionate Islam’,” July 17, 2020. “The leader of the largest independent Muslim organization in the world says that a resurgence of fundamentalist Islam threatens not only non-Muslim minorities, but feeds a cycle of retaliatory violence against Muslims.”

Catholic News Agency: “2020 Pope Francis trip to Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea possible,” January 17, 2020. “A visit from Pope Francis to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and East Timor may happen in September, according to an Indonesian Muslim leader who met with the pope this week. Sheikh Yahya Cholil Staquf leads the 50 million member Nahdlatul Ulama movement, which calls for a reformed “humanitarian Islam” and has developed a theological framework for Islam that rejects the concepts of caliphate, Sharia law, and “kafir” (infidels).”

Catholic News Agency: “Muslim leader meets Pope Francis, calls for Islam that sees no ‘infidels’,” by Courtney Grogan, September 27, 2019. “The leader of the largest independent Muslim organization in the world met Pope Francis this week to present his vision for a more peaceful future and greater human fraternity.”

Channel News Asia: “Indonesia’s largest Muslim group joins battle against radical Islam,” by Sujadi Siswo, December 10, 2015. “‘This film was created to use technology in order to function as a loudspeaker and to easily propagate the traditional teachings of Islam that is a characteristic of not only Nusantara, or Indonesian Islam, but also the characteristics of the vast majority of Muslim population throughout the world,’ said C Holland Taylor, chairman and CEO of LibForAll Foundation.”

Channel News Asia: “Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation warns against politicians using Islam to win votes,” by Amy Chew, December 4, 2017. “‘There are political actors who have used Islam as a weapon and have succeeded (in winning elections). Using religion in a heterogeneous society (ends up) discriminating against people of other faiths,’ Yahya Staquf, secretary-general of NU, told Channel NewsAsia.”

Channel News Asia: “World’s largest Muslim youth organisation calls for re-examination of Islamic text,” by Amy Chew, May 22, 2017. “The world’s largest Muslim youth organisation Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (GP Ansor)—the youth wing of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation Nadlatul Ulama (NU)—on Monday (May 22) called for a re-examination of Islamic text to adapt it to modern civilisation.”

Christian Daily: “Indonesia demands the promotion of ‘tolerant Islam’,” by Christian Deguit, May 11, 2016. “The Southeast Asian country of Indonesia has called on Islamic leaders during the International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders to spread messages promoting a tolerant Islam with hopes of suppressing extremism. Islam teachings are often misinterpreted, which causes extremism.”

The Christian Post: “Archbishop tells G20 event Christianity ‘on the very edge of extinction’ in Iraq,” by James Dorsey, November 11, 2022. “During his remarks, the archbishop stressed that ‘sectarian violence’ is a significant problem in Iraq. This country suffered the rise of an Islamic State stronghold during the last decade in which thousands of Iraqi religious minorities were killed, enslaved or forced to flee their homelands. Warda stated, ‘without an end to this sectarian violence, there is no future for religious pluralism in Iraq, or anywhere else in the Mideast for that matter.'”

The Christian Post: “Pence Meets Leader of Indonesia’s Largest Muslim Group Days After ISIS Church Bombings,” by Samuel Smith, May 18, 2018.  “‘The vice president found out [Nahdlatul Ulama General Secretary, Yahya Cholil Staquf] was in town and asked to see him,’ Moore said, adding that Pence knows Yahya from a multi-faith event they both attended in Indonesia last year. ‘I have been in lots of these meetings. You can tell when a meeting is warm and a meeting is cordial. This was a very warm conversation. It was a special time. And it was substantive, I would say.’”

Christian Science Monitor: “A Muslim call to end words of contempt,” by the Monitor’s Editorial Board, March 7, 2019. “On March 1, the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia took a stand against the word [kafir] as a weapon of discrimination. The 45-million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama (N.U.) issued a statement asking Muslims not to use kafir as a form of ‘theological violence.'”

Christian Today: “Faith leaders commit to promoting peace and equality at global gathering,” October 26, 2018. “Christians have united with Muslim scholars in calling for an end to hate and the politicization of Islam at a major faith gathering in Indonesia. The Nusantara Statement calls upon faith leaders worldwide to work together for peace, equality and the protection of human dignity.”

Christianity Today: “Christian and Muslim Leaders Agree on Legitimacy of Evangelism,” by Jayson Casper, July 22, 2021. “Last week, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) signed a statement of cooperation with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), an Indonesian association with an estimated 30 million to 50 million members. Established in 1926 to counter Wahhabi trends issuing from the Arabian Peninsula, its name means ‘Revival of the Religious Scholars.'”

Christianity Today: “Evangelicals and Muslims: Not Brothers, But Best Friends,” by Thomas K. Johnson, November 17, 2020. “Why the World Evangelical Alliance is working hand in hand with Nahdlatul Ulama in an ambitious global initiative to counter religious extremism.”

Christianity Today: “Pence Meets Indonesia’s Top Muslim Leader After Church Attacks,” by Kate Shellnutt, May 18, 2018. “Less than a week after the first family of suicide bombers killed or injured dozens of worshipers at Sunday services in Indonesia, the country’s top Muslim leader [Nahdlatul Ulama General Secretary, Yahya Cholil Staquf] met with Vice President Mike Pence to discuss religious freedom in the face of mounting extremism.”

The Church of England Newspaper: “Archbishop challenges world leaders on ‘slow motion’ genocide in Nigeria,” 1 November 2022. “Archbishop Henry Ndukuba challenged the Indonesian R20 Forum of religious leaders, in advance of this month’s G20 meeting, on the threat of Islamist extremists. ‘Nigeria is now one of the most dangerous countries to be a Christian’ he declared.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: “Elder Stevenson Tells Religious Leaders in Bali that ‘All Are Alike Unto God’,” November 8, 2022. “Elder Gary E. Stevenson told global religious leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia, on Thursday, November 3, 2022, that the experience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shows that faiths can best help solve the world’s problems when ‘they hold true to their core principles while also being guided by additional divine light and knowledge.'”

CNN (video): “Indonesian Muslims Denounce Islamist Extremism,” by Ivan Watson, May 10, 2016.  This video features remarks by LibForAll Foundation associate, Bayt-ar-Rahmah Director of Religious Affairs and General Secretary to the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Supreme Council, KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf; and LibForAll Foundation advisor and Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS) at the Swedish Defence University, Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, at the 2016 International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders gathering in Jakarta.

Conservative Home: “A forward-thinking UK should shift the weight of its strategic policy towards the Indo-Pacific region,” by Alexander Downer, November 24, 2020. “This [Indo-Pacific] charter could be as significant in the 21st century as the Atlantic Charter, signed by Churchill and Roosevelt in 1941, was in the 20th century. Suggested principles include no nation being ‘prevented by any other from free and full access to the high seas/global commons of the Indo-Pacific, for any peaceful purposes, including trade’.”

The Conversation: “The G20’s first religious summit includes India’s militant Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – it’s a bold move for global peace,” by Hadza Min Fadhli Robby, October 31, 2022. “The R20 aims to encourage discussions among global religious leaders to find shared solutions for issues of religious extremism, by promoting the value of human equality. The event is an opportunity to assert the role of religion as a source of global solutions for global economic and political problems.”

Crux: “60 years ago, a Pope met a Jewish icon and the world changed ,” by John L. Allen Jr., June 14, 2020. “It was June 13, 1960, when a distinguished French Jewish historian, intellectual and educator named Jules Isaac met St. John XXIII in a Vatican audience. Their conversation triggered a long path of reconciliation between Judaism and Catholicism which reached a crescendo at Vatican II, gathered steam under St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and continues today under Pope Francis. . .”

Daily Mail/AFP: “Indonesia’s ‘militant moderates’ fight religious intolerance,” June 10, 2017. “Clad in camouflage and armed only with their convictions, the paramilitary wing of Indonesia’s biggest Muslim organisation is on a campaign — to crush intolerance and defend the nation’s inclusive brand of Islam.”

Dawn: “End of ideology,” by Muhammad Amir Rana, April 2, 2023. “Nahdlatul Ulama has been advocating for abolishing the concept of caliphate and replacing it with the idea of the nation state. It has also issued a decree or fatwa to erase the concept of kafir or infidel from Islamic jurisprudence and replace it with the idea of citizenship.”

Dawn: “Who is a ‘kafir’?” by Mustafa Akyol, November 1, 2019. “AT the magnificent St Peter’s Square in Rome recently, Pope Francis welcomed a group of unusual guests: members of Nahdlatul Ulema (NU) from the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia. The head of the delegation, Sheikh Yahya Cholil Staquf, gave the pontiff documents outlining the vision of a “humanitarian Islam” his organisation has been promoting.”

Democracy Digest: “Is Indonesia’s ‘pious democracy’ safe from Islamist extremism?”   July 5, 2017. “‘Pluralism has always been a part of Indonesia’s DNA,’ [Indonesian President] Joko Widodo told Reuters in an interview at the presidential palace in Jakarta. ‘Despite many challenges, Islam in Indonesia has always been a force for moderation.’”

Democracy Digest: “Promoting modernized Islam to counter jihadist ideology,” June 23, 2017. “Leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama’s youth wing, known as Ansor, say that elements of Shariah, which Muslims consider divine law, are being manipulated by groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda to justify terrorist attacks around the world, invoked to rally fighters to battle in the Middle East and elsewhere, and distorted by movements that seek to turn Islam into a political weapon, The New York Times reports…

Democracy Digest: “Antidote to jihadism debunks ISIS ideology,” March 29, 2016. ““The University of Vienna has partnered with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization—and LibForAll Foundation in a research program on terrorism and extremism called VORTEX, which is funded by the Austrian interior ministry.”

Deutsche Welle: “Indonesian cleric: ‘Islamic recontextualization’ needed for Israel-Palestine peace,” by Rizki Nugraha, June 26, 2018. “After visiting Israel and meeting with PM Netanyahu, Indonesian cleric Yahya Cholil Staquf has received criticism at home. In a DW interview, he said that a ‘reinterpretation’ of Islam is necessary for peace… ‘I ask clerics from all religions to think about what solutions religion can offer to various conflicts that are engulfing the world today. Religion is often used as justification and even weapon for conflict. Is religion really just for this or does it offer a solution?’”

Deutsche Welle: “Ex-President Gus Dur’s vision for democratic Islam in Indonesia,” September 7, 2017. “With so many legacies, it is not a surprise that Gus Dur is loved by the Indonesian people, and still influences Indonesia today. At a time when the world is challenged by Islamism and Islamophobia, Gus Dur’s views and works would be a source of inspiration that indeed Islam is part of the world, and can play its vital role to fulfill the dream of the Prophet Muhammad: Islam is a blessing for the universe (Islam Rahmatan li al-Alamin).”

Die Presse: “How an Austrian Plans to Defeat the Islamic State,” by Frederic Spohr, May 29, 2016. “A Viennese expert on Islam, Nico Prucha, wants to undermine radical Muslims’ digital hegemony and their recruiting operations. To accomplish this, he has managed to recruit 50 million allies—in Indonesia.”

The Diplomat: “The Future of Indonesia, ASEAN, and the Digital Age in Southeast Asia,” by Luke Hunt, May 31, 2019. Luke Hunt interviews risk analyst Keith Loveard about the past, present and future for ASEAN and in particular its powerhouse, Indonesia, amid wider trends.

The Diplomat: “Indonesia’s Challenge to Radical Islam,” by Keith Loveard and Bastiaan Scherpen, November 4, 2016. “Leading the charge in the nation that has the largest Muslim population in the world but which has typically punched below its weight in Islamic discourse is Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, general secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in the country and arguably the world, with at least 50 million adherents… Yahya is the leading proponent of what Nahdlatul Ulama calls Islam Nusantara, the Islam of the archipelago. He and his allies argue that Islam in Indonesia is different from that in most other parts of the world because it did not arrive at the end of a sword, but peacefully…”

Duvar English: “Ankara Bar Association files criminal complaint against Islamist magazine after its call to resurrect caliphate,” July 28, 2020. “The Ankara Bar Association has filed a criminal complaint against the progovernment Islamist magazine Gerçek Hayat over its call to resurrect the Islamic caliphate, following the conversion of Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque.”

El-Khabar (Arabic): “Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama Chooses Shaykh Al-Issa as Co-chair of the R20,” October 15, 2022.

Eurasia Review: “Muslim-Evangelical Alliance Strives To Create Religious And Political Middle Ground – Analysis,” by James M. Dorsey, July 19, 2021. “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.”

Eurasia Review: “Defining Moderate Islam: Muslims And Evangelicals Forge An Alliance – Analysis,” by James M. Dorsey, July 15, 2021. “A major Muslim and Evangelical organization joined forces this week to significantly advance hitherto state-backed ceremonial inter-faith dialogues that seldom go beyond platitudes and lofty statements. This week’s launch at a Washington DC mosque of an inter-faith alliance and a book published by the Institute for Humanitarian Islam and the Germany-based World Evangelical Alliance Eurasia Review 2 (WEA) as well as the Center for Shared Civilizational Values constitutes an Evangelical endorsement of Humanitarian Islam.”

Eurasia Review: “Drawing Battle Lines: Center-Right Parties Take On Civilizationalism – Analysis,” by James M. Dorsey, January 26, 2020. “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.”

Eurasia Review: “Indonesian Muslim Leader Signals Global Shifts In Meetings With Pence And Netanyahu – Analysis,” by James M. Dorsey, June 24, 2018. “Yahya Staquf, a diminutive, soft-spoken leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim movement, and Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s advisor on religious affairs, has held a series of meetings in recent weeks that reflect the Muslim world’s shifting attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinians and a re-alignment of socially conservative Muslim and Christian interests.”

European People’s Party (EPP): “Statement of IDC-CDI in response to remarks by Turkish President Erdogan on converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque,” July 22, 2020.

EWTN News (video): “Muslim leader meets Pope Francis to discuss peace, human fraternity,” interviewed by Solène Tadié, National Catholic Register, January 16, 2020.

Facebook – IDC-CDI:The PKB and global partner, CDI led by Mr. Andrés Pastrana Arango Former President of Colombia, considers an irresponsible decision of the President of Turkey to convert the historical Hagia Sophia into a mosque.” July 22, 2020.

Facebook – IDC-CDI: “The PKB and its international ally the IDC led by Don Andrés Pastrana Arango Expresident of Colombia, considers the decision of the President of Turkey to turn the historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque irresponsible. From IDC we reiterate that we will continue to defend the international order based on law and mutual understanding as well as the values of respect, coexistence and interreligious dialogue.” July 24, 2020.

Facebook – Tower of David Museum: “At midnight, with the magical backdrop of the Tower of David…” July 8, 2018. “At midnight, with the magical backdrop of the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem, together with the spectacular images of the new night experience KING DAVID, hundreds of strangers from different religions and different sections of Jerusalem’s population shared One Love by Bob Marley in an original musical arrangement in three languages and three voices by the social musical initiative for mass singing events Koolulam.”

Family Research Council: “Supporting Indonesia’s Religious Freedom-Loving Muslims,” by Tony Perkins, May 18, 2018. “Thus, we all have a stake in whether Indonesia continues to nurture and grow in its protection of religious freedom, or whether it slides toward violent jihad. We must continue to encourage and come along side people like Mr. Staquf and organizations like NU — for without their help, the likelihood that we will achieve the former certainly goes down.”

First Things: “The G20 Gets Religion,” by Mary Ann Glendon, November 17, 2022. “This month in Bali, Indonesia, the G20 Summit held its first annual Religion Forum, the “R20.” On November 2 and 3, over four hundred Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders and scholars gathered to discuss how religion can function as a source of global solutions, rather than problems, in the twenty-first century. The G20’s decision to acknowledge the role of religion in geopolitical deliberations was refreshing, as international policy discussions tend to focus on how the world’s religions cause division rather than on how they can contribute to healthy societies.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine: “The Voice of Moderate Muslims,” by Rainer Hermann, July 26,2021.”Greater hopes are attached to the dialogue currently led by two large independent organizations: the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), whose national member organizations include several hundred million Christians, and the Indonesian Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest independent Islamic organization with more than 90 million members. A year ago, they founded a joint working group that wants to be a voice against religiously motivated violence and religious persecution.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine: “Jihadists as the Elite Troops of Islam,” by Suzanne Schröter, August 29, 2017. “Progressive Muslims such as Saida Keller-Messahli, Elham Manea, Abdel-Hakim Ourghi, Ahmad Mansour and, most recently, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf—General Secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 August)—have long demanded that [Germany] confront the ideas that legitimize violence, which circulate so freely among Muslim associations here. The fact that nearly all the assassins [involved in terrorist attacks] had a clear affiliation with a mosque, and drew their ideology of hatred from sources that are not confined to secret internet chat rooms, makes this demand all the more urgent.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine: “Terrorism and Islam are Intimately Connected,” by Marco Stahlhut, August 19, 2017. “Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a crystal clear relationship between fundamentalism, terror and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot attain final victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam. Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to ‘Islamophobia.’ Or do people want to accuse me—an Islamic scholar—of being an Islamophobe, too?”

Free Malaysia Today: “Stop using Islam to win votes, says Indonesia’s largest Muslim body,” December 5, 2017. “Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has ticked off politicians in Muslim countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia who use Islam to win votes. Yahya Staquf, the secretary-general of NU, said it would inevitably result in discrimination of minorities, provoke intolerance and possibly lead to religious conflict.”

German Foreign Policy: “The Years of Terror (II),” June 7, 2017. “Since the end of the 1960s, Riyadh has established a number of institutions in Indonesia, systematically promoting a Saudi-type Islam. Probably, the most influential of these is the Islamic and Arabic Studies Institute of Indonesia, or “Lipia,” the Indonesian German Foreign Policy 3 initials, in Jakarta. Lipia teaches the Arabic language and Islamic law, and is a subsidiary of the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh. “Curricula and teaching materials reflect the ideology of the Saudi state,” according to one analysis on the institute.[6] Since its founding in 1980, tens of thousands have graduated from Lipia, serving as propagators throughout the country.”

Get Religion: “Campaign for thorough reform of Muslim law deserves mainstream coverage – now,” by Richard Ostling, April 10, 2023. “The world’s largest organization of Muslims is campaigning for thorough worldwide reform of how to understand the faith’s religious law (Sharia) and applied jurisprudence (Fiqh).”

The Guardian: “Yes, Islamophobia is a type of racism. Here’s why,” by Wes Streeting, May 15, 2019. “So it is particularly disappointing to see a noisy chorus of vocal opposition making arguments in bad faith that accuse us of trying to use the term Islamophobia to shut down criticism of Islam and introduce blasphemy laws by the back door. In fact, our report makes it crystal clear that our definition does not preclude criticism of Islam or Islamic theology. God, if you believe in such a thing, doesn’t need protection from criticism.”

Hamodia: “Netanyahu Unexpectedly Meets with Indonesian Muslim Leader,” June 14, 2018. “The leader of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization [Yahya Cholil Staquf] has held a surprise meeting with Israel’s prime minister. … Speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, [Staquf] said, ‘We are facing a civilizational problem here; and it is related to religions. As Muslims, we want to do our part related to our religion.'”

The Hill: “At the G20, Islamic clerics are mainstreaming pluralism,” by Muddassar Ahmed, November 9, 2022. “Over the course of a week in Bali, I watched, spellbound. Three hundred senior leaders from the world’s major faith traditions explored how to interject religious frameworks into questions of global governance. Whether for climate change or civil conflicts, the discourse was always sophisticated and substantive. Given that this was happening through and at the G20, it’s not an exaggeration to say the R20 may be, in just its first year, the world’s most important interfaith venue.”

The Hindu: “From Indonesia, a Muslim challenge to Islamic State,” by Joe Cochrane. November 28, 2015. “An Indonesian film seeks to fire the opening salvo in a global campaign by the world’s largest Muslim group to challenge the Islamic State’s ideology head-on.”

Hindustan Times: “Indian, Indonesian NSAs to address special meeting focusing on countering extremism,” by Rezaul H Laskar, November 28, 2022. “National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Indonesian counterpart Mohammed Mahfud Mahmodin will address a special meeting of ulema, or Muslim scholars, of the two sides convened to focus on countering radicalisation and extremism.”

Associated Press/Hindustan Times: “Indonesia calls on Islamic leaders to promote tolerant Islam,” May 9, 2016. “The meeting organized by Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, is expected to produce a message about the importance of promoting a peaceful Islam to combat radicalism worldwide.”

Horizons: “Battle for the Soul of Islam – Spotlight on the Gap Between Regimes and Populations,” by James M. Dorsey, Winter, 2021. “Trouble is brewing in the backyard of Muslim-majority states competing for religious soft power and leadership of the Muslim world in what amounts to a battle for the soul of Islam. Shifting youth attitudes towards religion and religiosity threaten to undermine the rival efforts of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and, to a lesser degree, the United Arab Emirates, to cement their individual state-controlled interpretations of Islam as the Muslim world’s dominant religious narrative.”

Horizons: “Reforming the Faith: Indonesia’s Battle for the Soul of Islam,” by James M. Dorsey, Winter, 2019. “To achieve its reform goal, Nahdlatul Ulama is bonding with groups across the globe, spanning the political spectrum from Muslim organizations to Jews, Christian Democrats, evangelists and evangelicals, and Islamophobes— and all this in a bid to muscle the political clout to impose the adoption of its concept of humanitarian Islam on Middle Eastern states that it sees as the motor of political Islam and religious extremism.”

Nadirsyah Hosen: “Understanding Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf’s Message of Compassion,” by Nadirsyah Hosen, June 19, 2018. “You may disagree with what Kyai Yahya did [in visiting Jerusalem]. But do not underestimate the Message of Compassion that he delivered, in order to foster world peace. This is the true Heavenly Message. You may not realize it, but the Noble Prophet was present, in Jerusalem, when Kyai Yahya delivered his Message of Compassion.”

Hudson Institute: “Islamic Militias Are Protecting Churches In Indonesia,” by Paul Marshall, December 21, 2020. “Christmas is coming and so, in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest Islamic militias is mobilizing. Its members are usually young and fit, dress in camouflage uniforms, have military style training and marches and number in the hundreds of thousands. It has about twice as many personnel as all the Indonesian armed forces combined. These militia members are going to gather outside churches. This sounds like a terrifying scenario, and in parts of the world it certainly would be. But very few, if any, Indonesian Christians are worried about the annual appearance of thousands of militia members on their doorstep. They are more likely to greet them with tea and cake.”

Hudson Institute: “The Battle for the Soul of Islam,” by James M. Dorsey, October, 2020. “Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim movement, has garnered international respect and recognition with its embrace of a Humanitarian Islam that recognizes the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles enshrined in it and has taken tangible steps to address Islamic concepts that it considers outdated. In doing so, Nahdlatul Ulama has emerged as a formidable challenger to powerful state actors in the battle for the soul of Islam.”

Hudson Institute: “Conflicts in Indonesian Islam,” by Paul Marshall, May 31, 2018. “In May 2017, NU’s five-million-member-strong youth movement, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, convened more than 300 international religious scholars to consider the ‘obsolete tenets of classical Islamic law’ that call for ‘perpetual conflict with those who do not embrace or submit to Islam.’ At this gathering, the Ansor Declaration on Humanitarian Islam was drafted, which builds on the May 16, 2016, NU-hosted International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders.”

Hudson Institute: “Among the Believers,” by Paul Marshall, September 5, 2015. “Historically, NU, like Indonesia, has rarely sought a bigger place on the Islamic or world stage. But now, with the nation’s economy the largest in the Muslim world, and after eight successful democratic elections, both are reaching out, sponsoring reconciliation and educational programs in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. There are even NU branches in the United States. As we continue to struggle with bloody chaos in much of the Middle East, Indonesia, and especially Indonesian Islam, needs our careful attention.”

The Huffington Post: “Stirrings of Humanitarian Islam,” by Kabir Helminski, May 29, 2017. “It is essential that Western leaders and opinion makers recognize that Islamist extremism and terror arise from the web of complex factors — historical, religious, economic, and political — and that Islam is not a monolithic belief system. Despite the prevalence of the recently promoted Wahhabist mentality, traditional Islam has a long history of humane and tolerant values, and that the great majority of Muslims deserve to be viewed as allies in creating a humane and just world.”

The Huffington Post: “World’s Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS To Get Lost,” by Krithika Varagur, December 3, 2015. “NU is setting its sights globally. In December 2014, it created an American nonprofit called Bayt ar-Rahmah in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to serve as headquarters for its international activities. It is planning ‘an international conference and cultural event in Washington, D. C.’ in Spring 2016, NU General Secretary Yahya Cholil Staquf told the Huffington Post.”

IDC-CDI: “Statement by Indonesia’s National Awakening Party,” July 22, 2020. “Responding to inflammatory remarks by President Erdogan of Turkey, the National Awakening Party (PKB) warned that ‘the rules-based international order is under severe stress, challenged by the emergence of authoritarian, civilizationist states that do not accept this order, whether in terms of human rights, rule of law, democracy or respect for international borders and the sovereignty of other nations.’”

Independent: “Proposed Islamophobia definition ‘would undermine counterterror operations and threaten free speech’, police tell prime minister,” by Lizzie Dearden, May 16, 2019. “Police leaders have raised concerns that a proposed definition of Islamophobia will undermine counterterror operations and threaten freedom of speech. In a letter to the prime minister, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said the change could ‘undermine many elements of counterterrorism powers and policies’, including port stops, bans on terrorist groups and propaganda, and the legal duty requiring schools, councils and the NHS to report suspected extremism.”

Independent: “The government’s rejection of our Islamophobia definition is a revealing moment for the Conservative Party,” by Anna Soubry, May 15, 2019. “The definition has won support from 750 Muslim organisations and institutions and from more than 80 academics. It’s little surprise then that the refusal of the national Conservative Party to sign up to it is taken as further evidence the party has a ‘problem’ with Muslims.”

Independent: “Indonesia provides a vision of a peaceful post-Islamofascist world,” by Peter Popham, November 27, 2015. “‘We are directly challenging the idea of Isis, which wants Islam to be uniform, meaning that if there is any other idea of Islam that is not following their ideas, those people are infidels who must be killed,’ Yahya Cholil, general secretary of the organisation’s supreme council, told the New York Times. ‘We will show that is not the case with Islam.'”

The Indian Express: “Religions-20: A pioneering initiative in G-20 to build a God-centric value system,” by Ram Madhav, October 22, 2022. “The keen interest taken by Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, has led to the inclusion of R-20 in the agenda as the G-20 Forum of Religions this year. Global issues like health, economy, climate and technology, besides issues like war, hatred and disharmony have, for a long time, been considered the concern of the political leadership. That religious and cultural leaders too can play a complementary role has not been fully appreciated. Politicians, technocrats and professionals are the new popes and power; economy and technology have become demigods.”

India Post: “Moderate Muslims raising voice,” September 19, 2018. “Millions of moderate and humanitarian Sunni Muslims are distancing themselves and taking a stand against the radicalized elements of Islam that have resorted to violence and terrorism, according to the world’s largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), of Indonesia. For this purpose, the NU has organized the Second Global Unity Forum meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 25 and 26 October, for which some Indian leaders have also received invitation.”

India Today: “Integration of Muslims into mainstream societies as equal citizens bothering many nations | Opinion,” by Ram Madhav, May 18, 2022. “NU’s Central Board has recently published documents that insisted that Muslims should adopt the concept of the nation-state instead of the caliphate. It declared the modern nation-state as theologically legitimate and enjoined its Muslim citizens to be patriotic. ‘Muslims must obey the laws of any modern nation-state in which they dwell’, it insisted. In a historic move, it decreed that there was no legal category of infidels (kafir) within the modern nation-state.”

India Today: “A Nation-First Narrative,” by Ram Madhav, May 2, 2022. “It is also important that the Muslim leadership come out of the Wahhabist hardline interpretations of Islam that seek to pit Muslim against non-Muslim and promote separatism and exclusivity. The return of debates like ‘hijab’ and ‘niqab’ is symptomatic of this as also the rise of violent, ultra-radical outfits like the Popular Front of India (PFI).  A more inclusive and humanitarian Islam on the lines of the one promoted by organisations like Nahdlatul Ulama, a 90-million-strong Islamic organisation in Indonesia under the dynamic leadership of its chairman Yahya Cholil Staquf aka Pak Yahya, must be the way forward for them.”

Indonesia at Melbourne: “Trading blows: NU versus PKS,” by Greg Fealy, July 10, 2018. “How did a visit to Israel by a senior Islamic figure lead to members of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), accusing the nation’s second largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), of behaving like communists who are out to destroy Indonesia? This is a tale about the fevered state of Islamic discourse in Indonesia, one nurtured in the hothouse of social media.”

Inside Arabia: “Indonesia: A Major Prize in the Battle for the Soul of Islam,” by James M. Dorsey, July 30, 2020. “Nahdlatul Ulama’s success in accessing European leaders as well as the Trump administration left the Saudis and the Emiratis with two choices: co-opt or be seen to engage.”

Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies: “Towards ‘Humanitarian Islam’: New Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman and the Global Initiative to Promote Religious Moderation,” by Alexander R. Arifianto, January 26, 2022. “Nahdlatul Ulama — Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation — recently elected Yahya Cholil Staquf as its new chairman. A close analysis of his background and past accomplishments reveals that Yahya has a potential agenda to transform the organisation into a global voice on religious moderation through his promotion of ‘humanitarian Islam’.”

International Institute for Religious Freedom: “A Clash of Civilizations or Shared Civilizational Values: We Must Decide,” by Reverend Dr. Thomas K. Johnson, 2023. “My central point is that independent of our diverse religious rituals and practices, which embody our very different ways of understanding the Ultimate, I believe we can readily envision gathering around a shared table to identify the most fundamental values on the basis of which our societies can truly flourish.”

International Institute for Religious Freedom: “The Protestant Faith and Shared Civilizational Values,” by The Most Reverend Dr. Thomas Paul Schirrmacher, 2023. “We are people of good will, who do not want to use violence against each other, but who instead want to engage in rational discourse with each other, and promote a free and just society in which we all can live.

ISOMIL/Nahdlatul Ulama: “ISOMIL/Nahdlatul Ulama Declaration Sample Media Coverage,” May 10, 2016. Full text of the historic 2016 ISOMIL/Nahdlatul Ulama Declaration and selected media coverage that includes articles from Agence France Presse (AFP)Al ArabiyaAssociated Press (AP)CNNDaily MailHindustan TimesJakarta PostKompasNettavisenSaudi GazetteSouth China Morning PostStraits Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Vatican Radio, Washington Post and more.

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “PM Netanyahu meets with General Secretary of the Global Islamic Organization Nahdlatul Ulama,” June 14, 2018. “Israel is the innovation nation, and I’m very happy to see that the Arab countries and many Muslim countries getting closer to Israel. I hope that we have some movement with Indonesia.”

Israel21c: “800 Jews, Christians, Muslims sing ‘One Love’ in Jerusalem,” July 8, 2018. “Jews, Muslims and Christians, young and old, most of them strangers to one another, …were forgoing a night’s sleep for the chance to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” in three languages and three-part harmony as a show of unity from Israel… That night was Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and introspection, and the Jerusalem visit of Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, secretary general of Indonesia-based Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization with more than 60 million members.”

The Jakarta Post: “Responding to fundamental crisis within Islam,” by Yahya Cholil Staquf, July 17, 2020. “So long as obsolete, medieval tenets within Islamic orthodoxy remain the dominant source of religious authority throughout the Muslim world, Indonesian Islamists will continue to draw power and sustenance from developments in the world at large. This is especially true so long as key state actors — including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Pakistan — continue to weaponize problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy in pursuit of their respective geopolitical agendas.”

The Jakarta Post: “UGM to promote NU, Muhammadiyah for Nobel Peace Prize,” by Bambang Muryanto, January 24, 2019. “Gadjah Mada University (UGM) plans to nominate Indonesia’s two biggest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), to share the Nobel Peace Prize, citing their contributions to democratic developments in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.”

The Jakarta Post: “Be brave in defending Pancasila, Jokowi tells Nahdlatul Ulama youths,” November 23, 2018. “President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has urged GP Ansor, the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, to be brave and to be on the front line in safeguarding the state ideology of Pancasila and national motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity).”

The Jakarta Post: “Stop politicalization of Islam: Yogyakarta Forum,” by Sri Wahyuni, October 26, 2018. “Participants of the Global Unity Forum (GUF) II, an international interfaith forum jointly hosted by Nahdlatul Ulama’s youth wing GP Ansor and the Bayt Ar Rahmah da’wa movement, signed a joint statement on Thursday calling for all people to stop politicizing Islam.”

The Jakarta Post: “Let us choose to solve Israeli-Palestinian feud,” by Yahya Cholil Staquf, June 19, 2018. “I don’t know if there is anyone among us who witnessed how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began. Yet clearly, we are all children born of a troubled history. A multi-generational saga that spans continents and is deeply suffused with suspicion, pain, anger and hatred. A complex and traumatic history that continues to roll ever onwards, completely beyond our control. A history that has bequeathed us mutual hostility and bondage, as though we were enslaved by fate itself.”

The Jakarta Post: “NU cleric visits Israel to ‘support’ Palestine,” by Kharishar Kahfi, June 12, 2018. “A top Muslim cleric from Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Yahya Cholil Staquf, has broken his silence regarding his visit to Jerusalem to fulfill an invitation from an Israeli organization, saying his visit was made in part to support Palestine. “I stand here for Palestine. I stand here on the basis that we have to honor Palestine’s sovereignty as a free country,” he said in a statement posted on NU’s official website.”

The Jakarta Post: “Indonesian Muslim cleric to speak in Israel amid diplomatic row,” June 10, 2018. “A top Muslim cleric from Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, is scheduled to deliver a speech in Jerusalem after an invitation from an Israeli organization. NU supreme council secretary-general Yahya Cholil Staquf, who is also known as Gus Yahya, has reportedly been invited by the Israel Council on Foreign Relations to deliver a speech titled “Shifting Geopolitical Calculus: From Conflict to Cooperation” at the David Amar World North African Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem on June 13.”

The Jakarta Post: “NU scholar inaugurated as President’s adviser,” by Marguerite Afra Sapiie, May 31, 2018. “President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo inaugurated on Thursday Muslim scholar Yahya Cholil Staquf as a member of the Presidential Advisory Board (Wantimpres) in a ceremony at the State Palace.”

The Jakarta Post: “The enduring threat of Islamist politics in ‘reformasi’ (post-Soeharto) Indonesia and its global ramifications,” by Yahya Cholil Staquf, May 22, 2018. “A rising tide of Islamism in its myriad forms — which run the gamut from preman berjubah (thugs draped in Arab garb) to social media activists, proselytism movements, educational networks, political parties and even terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group — has been among the most noteworthy phenomena to emerge in the country over the past 20 years. Individually and collectively, these developments threaten the unity of Indonesia and its people, often in ways more subtle and profound than the bloody conflicts waged in the name of Islam in regions as diverse as Ambon, Poso and Aceh.”

The Jakarta Post: “Humanitarian Islam movement begins in East Java,” May, 25, 2017. “A movement to address the contextualization of Islamic teaching, dubbed Humanitarian Islam, has been inaugurated in Jombang, East Java. GP Ansor, the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, inaugurated the movement during an event attended by over 300 worldwide religious scholars.”

The Jakarta Post: “Moderate Muslims interested in Islam Nusantara,” by Marguerite Afra Sapiie, May 12, 2016. “A number of visiting foreign Muslim leaders have expressed their interest in the concept of Islam promoted by the Indonesian government, Islam Nusantara. Introduced by Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Islam Nusantara is a tolerant form of Islam that upholds values of peace, modesty and cultural respect.”

The Jakarta Post: “Islam of the Archipelago leads way to moderation,” by Tama Salim, May 11, 2016. “The moderate view of Islam that promotes tolerance, peace and an appreciation for local cultures has gained wide acceptance in the world’s Muslim community, as Muslim leaders from 35 countries issued a joint statement on Tuesday on the global promotion of Islam Nusantara. … NU concluded its two-day International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders (ISOMIL) by issuing the Jakarta Declaration, with the aim of disseminating Islam Nusantara’s tenets for a global audience.”

The Jakarta Post: “NU, foreign ulemas endorse Jakarta Declaration,” by Marguerite Afra Sapiie, May 11, 2016. “Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama ( NU ), and ulemas from 35 countries have endorsed the NU’s Jakarta Declaration, asserting the importance of disseminating peaceful Islamic values internationally to end conflicts emerging from tensions between religion and state.”

The Jakarta Post: “Govt tells NU to act as Middle East Peacemaker,” by Marguerite Afra Sapiie, May 10, 2016. “The government has urged Nahdlatul Ulama ( NU ), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, to play a role in disseminating peaceful Islamic teachings and acting as a peacemaker for conflicts in the Middle East.”

The Jerusalem Post: