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.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2015_08_30_Historic Nahdlatul Ulama Congress a Battleground Between Opposing Forces

Wide Range of Human Nature, and “Religious Impulse,” on Display

“In Indonesia, the congress was a major event. It opened with a speech by the country’s president; each day it was the lead item on TV news and in national newspapers. But apart from the presence of diplomats at the opening and reporting by specialized academics, it mostly passed unnoticed in the West.

“This is tragic, since a few days spent at the congress of the world’s largest Muslim organization would reshape most Westerners’ perception of Islam. While groups such as ISIS demand a many-sided, including military, response, long-term antidotes to growing Islamic extremism can only be found in organizations such as NU.

“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.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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