Muslim Emissary Warns Europe from its Balkan Faultline: “Act Now to Address Islamist Extremism, Terror and Migration, or Face Mass Upheaval”
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia: On December 17, 2018, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf—General Secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization and Emissary of Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party (PKB)—addressed the Slovenian nation at the invitation of its former Prime Minister, Janez Janša. The address, delivered at a heavily-attended public forum in the capital Ljubljana, on the topic of “Migration, Terrorism [and] Freedom of Speech,” came three years after a mass influx of largely Muslim migrants flooded through Slovenian territory into Central and Western Europe, triggering continent-wide social and political upheaval; a wave of Islamist terrorism; and the resurgence of populism as a potent political force for the first time since the Second World War.
In his speech—hosted by the Slovenian Democratic (SDS) and Slovenian People’s (SLS) parties—Mr. Staquf warned that among the consequences of this laissez faire approach to immigration is the re-emergence of supremacist ethno-religious identities that many Europeans pride themselves on having left behind, but are now once again threatening European stability, social harmony and the respect for human rights embraced by its political mainstream. Continue reading the full communiqué with images. . .
2018_11_22_President Joko Widodo and Gerakan Pemuda Ansor move to block the political weaponization of Islam
“The true spirit of Indonesia”
Ansor promulgates the Nusantara Statement at a mass gathering heavily covered by Indonesia’s print, broadcast and internet media
PEKALONGAN, Indonesia: November 22, 2018. One month after Gerakan Pemuda Ansor and its international affiliate, Bayt ar-Rahmah, hosted the Second Global Unity Forum in Yogyakarta, Ansor Chairman H. Yaqut Qoumas announced the adoption of the Nusantara Statement at a mass rally of over 100,000 Ansor members, and presented a commemorative steel plaque engraved with the Statement to Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
The Statement conveys the essence of the historic Nusantara Manifesto, through which Gerakan Pemuda Ansor and Bayt ar-Rahmah have officially launched a process of systematically recontextualizing (i.e., reforming) obsolete and problematic tenets within Islamic orthodoxy. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
2018_11_22_President Joko Widodo’s Pekalongan Address
Commemorating the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad in Pekalongan, President Jokowi Urges the Muslim Community to Follow the Example of God’s Messenger
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo attended an event commemorating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw.) and National Heroes’ Day at the Great Square of Kajen, Pekalongan Regency, Central Java, on the evening of Thursday the 22nd of November.
The President used this opportunity to express his pleasure to be in the midst of the Gerakan Pemuda Ansor family, because GP Ansor is always in the forefront safeguarding Pancasila; preserving the spirit of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (“Unity Amid Diversity”); guarding the Republic of Indonesia and its 1945 Constitution; and protecting Indonesia from separatism and terrorist acts.
“Gerakan Pemuda Ansor is living proof that our nation stands heir to the courage of warriors and the sincerity of heroes. GP Ansor is not easily intimidated; that is the true spirit of Indonesia. [Like Ansor,] we must all bravely demonstrate that Pancasila is the foundational ideology of the Indonesian nation state and cannot be replaced by other ideologies, including imported ideologies [propagated by transnational Islamist movements].” Continue reading President Joko Widodo’s full Pekalongan address with images. . .
2018_11_22_H. Yaqut Qoumas’
Speech by H. Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, General Chairman of the Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Central Board, Delivered Before the President and First Lady of the Republic of Indonesia, Assembled Kyais (Nahdlatul Ulama Religious Scholars) and 100,000 Banser (i.e., Ansor Militia) Cadres Mustered in Pekalongan, Central Java, to Commemorate the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw.) and National Heroes’ Day
Thursday 22 November 2018
Mr. President, beloved kyais and respected members of our audience: the events we see unfolding in the Middle East and beyond—where conflict in the name of religion, and especially Islam, has caused immense human suffering—is a matter of profound concern to us. Above and beyond our sympathy for the people of these regions, we are acutely aware that the mindset on display in the Middle East has begun to penetrate our beloved country. Conscious of the virulent threat that confronts us, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor always and explicitly rejects those [Sunni radicals] who claim to possess a monopoly on religious truth while condemning the beliefs of others, who constitute the majority of Indonesia’s citizens. Gerakan Pemuda Ansor also rejects the weaponization of religion as a political tool to acquire worldly power, which the tragic example of the Middle East and other regions proves to be a source of bitter conflict and division—by deliberately inciting the inhabitants of a nation to despise, reject and even seek to destroy their fellow citizens. Continue reading H. Yaqut Cholil Qoumas’ full Pekalongan address with images. . .
2018_10_26_Second Global Unity Forum
Multi-Faith Vanguard Unites to Adopt Nusantara Statement and Join Global Humanitarian Islam Movement
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: 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.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
Nusantara Manifesto Initiates the Renewal of Islamic Teachings through the Recontextualization (i.e., Reform) of Obsolete Tenets within Islamic Orthodoxy
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: 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.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
2018_10_09_Asia Society Game Changer Award
Spreading Unity through Song in One of the World’s Most Divided Cities
Award-winning music video created in honor of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) General Secretary’s visit to Jerusalem is part of a comprehensive, global campaign to transform religion from a political weapon into a source of universal love and compassion
JERUSALEM and NEW YORK CITY: On October 9, 2018, the Asia Society—founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III—honored the social music initiative Koolulam with its coveted “Game Changer Award,” in recognition of the group’s collaboration with Bayt ar-Rahmah, Jerusalem.com and the Tower of David Museum, which allowed its site in Jerusalem’s old city to be used free of charge in the production of an historic music video. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
NU General Secretary’s Historic Visit to Jerusalem Helped Shape Public Discourse Amid the Heat of Indonesia’s 2018 Regional Election Campaign
JAKARTA, Indonesia: A firestorm of controversy over how the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation and democracy should respond to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unexpectedly dominated Indonesia’s print, broadcast and social media during the decisive final weeks of that nation’s 2018 regional election campaign, which many experts view as a bellwether for national legislative and presidential elections to follow in 2019. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
Indonesian Muslim Leader Delivers a “Message of Compassion,” and Reconciliation, from the Holy City of Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, the spiritual heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Following a high-profile visit to the United States in May of 2018—which entailed substantive meetings with VPOTUS and other senior U.S. government officials—the General Secretary of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), elicited widespread praise and a firestorm of controversy by visiting Jerusalem from 9 – 15 June 2018, where he delivered a message of rahmah (universal love and compassion) in a series of public speeches and meetings with senior Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
White House Declares Support for @NahdlatulUlama
2018_05_31_Presidential Advisory Council
President Jokowi Appoints KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf to Key Position
2018_05_22_The Jakarta Post
The Enduring Threat of Islamist Politics in ‘Reformasi’ (Post-Soeharto) Indonesia and its Global Ramifications
Ibu Sinta Nuriyah Wahid Lauded for Her Contributions to Humanity
Nahdlatul Ulama General Secretary Issues Call to Embrace Nobility of Character as the Unifying Attribute of an Emerging Global Civilization
Maneuvering within Islam’s Narrative Space: The Key to Defeating Islamist Extremism and Terror
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas and MAGELANG, Indonesia: On January 1, 2018, Strategic Review—“The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs”—published a two-part cover story titled “Maneuvering within Islam’s Narrative Space.” The authors are LTC Brian Steed, Assistant Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and C. Holland Taylor, Chairman & CEO of LibForAll Foundation, which he established in 2003 with former Indonesian President H.E. Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid. Mr. Taylor also represents the world’s largest Muslim youth organization, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, and works closely with senior figures within the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—including its spiritual leader and former Chairman, Kyai Haji A. Mustofa Bisri, and KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, the current General Secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council—to expand NU and Ansor operations worldwide. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .
Read the Strategic Review cover story, “Maneuvering within Islam’s Narrative Space.”