2019_11_21_Top EU Figures Welcome Leaders of the Humanitarian Islam Movement to Political Summit in Zagreb

A “Values-driven” Alliance to Promote Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights, and Defend a Rules-based International Order from Authoritarian Threats

ZAGREB, Croatia: On 20 and 21 November, 2019, leaders of the global Humanitarian Islam movement joined nearly 2,500 members of Europe’s largest and most successful political group—the European People’s Party (EPP)—who gathered in the Western Balkans nation of Croatia to elect new leaders for the 2019 to 2022 period, and to discuss EPP priorities for the new Parliamentary term in Brussels.

Senior Indonesian political and religious figures attended the European People’s Party Congress as guests of EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz White. Their participation signifies an unexpected and potentially momentous geopolitical development, as European and Indonesian leaders have begun to articulate, and adopt, key elements of a shared humanitarian agenda rooted in universal values, as well as spiritual and philosophical principles derived from the Christian and Islamic faith traditions. Continue reading full communiqué. . .

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2019_11_11_Rising Tide of International Recognition for the Humanitarian Islam Movement

Middle East Expert Hails “Revolutionary Move” that “Challenges Historic Pattern” Within the Muslim World

MELBOURNE, Australia: On November 11, 2019, Dr. Giora Eliraz—a prominent author and scholar who specializes in Middle Eastern and Indonesian Islam—added his voice to a rapidly growing array of policy experts, journalists, government figures and other opinion leaders highlighting the significance of the global Humanitarian Islam movement and its campaign to recontextualize (i.e., reform) obsolete and problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy that enjoin religious hatred, supremacy and violence.

Dr. Eliraz’s analysis, detailed in an article titled “A distinctive Islamic voice against extremism” (below), constitutes the latest in a series of high-profile commentaries from across the world’s political and religious divides that have begun to acknowledge the potentially historic significance of the Humanitarian Islam movement. These diverse voices include key figures from within the Roman Catholic, Evangelical Protestant and Jewish communities worldwide; prominent African American Muslims; Nobel Laurate and East Timor independence leader H.E. José Ramos-Horta; Vice President of the United States, Michael R. Pence; Indonesian President Joko Widodo; leaders of the European Parliament’s two largest political groupings (EPP and S&D); and veteran foreign correspondent, Middle East expert and Senior Fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Dr. James M. Dorsey. Continue reading full communiqué. . .

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2019_11_01_Pakistan’s Newspaper of Record Praises Nahdlatul Ulama for Addressing a Deep-seated Problem Within the Muslim Tradition

Turkish author and frequent New York Times contributor Mustafa Akyol lauds the NU’s vision for a “humanitarian Islam”

KARACHI, Pakistan: On November 1, 2019, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, Dawn (est. 1941), published an opinion piece commending the General Secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama—KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf—for his role in promoting the global Humanitarian Islam movement. This movement seeks to recontextualize (i.e., reform) problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy that encourage discrimination and violence against non-Muslims, and to restore rahmah (universal love and compassion) to its rightful place as the primary message of Islam.

The article—reproduced below, with external links added by Bayt ar-Rahmah—was written by Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish author, political commentator, frequent New York Times contributor and senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. Continue reading full communiqué. . .

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2019_10_16_NU Rejects the Relevance of “Infidel” as a Legal Category within Modern Nation States

Unprecedented Rulings Issued by the Highest Authority of the World’s Largest Muslim Organization
Historic Effort to “Transform the Prevailing ‘Muslim Mindset,’ for the Sake of World Peace and to Achieve a Harmonious Communal Life for All Mankind

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia delivers the opening address at the 2019 National Conference of NU Religious Scholars, (“2019 Munas”) in the presence of top theologians from Indonesia and the Middle East

BANJAR, West Java and JAKARTA, Indonesia: In a major break with Islamic conservatism, the world’s largest Muslim movement—Nahdlatul Ulama—has abolished the legal category of infidels, those who do not adhere to Islam, which has long cast a shadow over the faith’s relationships with other religions.

The Central Board of the Indonesian movement recently published documents, based on a gathering of some 20,000 Muslim religious scholars (“2019 Munas”) that endorsed the concept of a nation state rather than caliphate and recognized all citizens irrespective of religion, ethnicity or creed as having equal rights and obligations.

The documents decreed that the modern nation state is theologically legitimate; that there is no legal category of infidel (kafir) within a modern nation state, only ‘fellow citizens’; that Muslims must obey the laws of any modern nation state in which they dwell; and that Muslims have a religious obligation to foster peace rather than automatically wage war on behalf of their co-religionists, whenever conflict erupts between Muslim and non-Muslim populations anywhere in the world. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_10_11_Christian Democrats and Humanitarian Muslims Unite to “Shape the Geopolitical Landscape of the 21st Century”

World’s largest political network “resolves to systematically foster the emergence of a global consensus regarding key ethics and values that should guide the exercise of power”

Deputy General Secretary of Indonesia’s National Awakening Party (PKB), H. Anggia Ermarini, submitting PKB’s Resolution on ethics and values that should guide the exercise of power to the Executive Committee of Centrist Democrat International in Rome

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.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_09_25_Pope Francis to NU Leaders: “Pray for me and I shall pray for you. We are all brothers.”

“Humanitarian Islam and its foundational texts represent a compelling moral, ethical and theological basis for close cooperation between Nahdlatul Ulama and the Roman Catholic Church”
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue welcomes opportunity to “renew our close relationship” with NU spiritual leaders

Pope Francis and NU General Secretary KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf discuss the foundational texts of the Humanitarian Islam movement, following a general audience at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican

VATICAN CITY: On September 24 and 25, 2019, a delegation of Indonesian Muslim and Roman Catholic leaders met with senior Vatican officials to discuss the global Humanitarian Islam movement and possible cooperation with the Vatican in promoting a shared humanist agenda. The multi-faith delegation was jointly led by Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf (“Gus Yahya”), Religious Affairs Advisor to the President of Indonesia and General Secretary of the world’s largest Muslim organization—Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—and Monsignor Agustinus Agus, the Archbishop of Pontianak in West Kalimantan (Borneo).

The delegation also included the senior-most leadership of Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, NU’s 5-million-member young adults movement; scholars from of one of Indonesia’s most prestigious Islamic boarding schools, PP. Krapyak; a group of Dominican priests; and Indonesian businessman Paulus Totok Lusida. Senior journalists from Indonesia’s two leading print media groups, Kompas and Jawa Pos, accompanied the delegation and covered its meetings in depth. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_09_16_Chairman of Indonesia’s Largest Islamic Political Party Champions Humanitarian Islam in the UK

Deputy Speaker of Indonesia’s Parliament Advises UK Government Officials on Issues Related to Islam, Security and Migration

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, H. Muhaimin Iskandar and Dean Godson, the executive director of Policy Exchange

LONDON, United Kingdom: On September 16, 2019, H. Muhaimin Iskandar—Deputy Speaker of Indonesia’s upper legislative assembly (MPR) and General Chairman of its largest Islamic-based political party (PKB)—arrived in London for private talks with key policymakers within the administration of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mr. Iskandar, whose political party is rooted in Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization, was accompanied by C. Holland Taylor, who serves as Emissary for the UN, Americas and Europe for Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, NU’s 5-million-member young adults movement. Thomas Dinham—Director of Strategic Outreach for Bayt ar-Rahmah, a U.S.-based nonprofit headed by Mr. Taylor and Nahdlatul Ulama’s spiritual leaders—also attended discussions. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_07_18_World Evangelical Alliance Envoy Highlights the Potentially Historic Significance of Humanitarian Islam

“A serious response to religiously motivated violence,” whose sophisticated theology “merits attention from scholars, diplomats and activists”

Speakers at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom roundtable event, “An Exploration of Religiously Motivated Violence,” from right to left: Faith McDonnell (Institute on Religion and Democracy); Dr. Thomas K. Johnson (International Institute for Religious Freedom); Dr. Paul Marshall (Hudson Institute); and Jacob Rudenstrand (Swedish Evangelical Alliance).

WASHINGTON, DC: On the morning of Thursday, July 18, 2019, Reverend Professor Thomas K. Johnson (above, speaking), Special Envoy to the Vatican and Senior Advisor on Religious Freedom for the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)—which represents more than 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide—delivered a penetrating analysis of the Humanitarian Islam movement and its theology on the sidelines of the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Hosted by the DC-based Institute on Religion & Democracy, which is affiliated with the WEA and forms part of its coalition of over 100 international organizations and churches present in 129 nations, the address was attended by a range of delegates to the Ministerial, including Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama and co-founder of the global Humanitarian Islam movement. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_07_18_African American Muslims Welcome Nahdlatul Ulama and Humanitarian Islam

NU General Secretary Delivers Nationwide Address to U.S. Muslims from Historic Mosque in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC: On the evening of Thursday, July 18, 2019, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf—General Secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization—delivered a sermon that was live-streamed to members of the African American Muslim community gathered in mosques, Islamic centers and homes throughout North America and abroad. Mr. Staquf spoke from the hallowed precincts of Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque, home to the oldest Muslim community in Washington. Masjid Muhammad was the first mosque built from the ground up in America’s capital city by its citizens, and also the first in the U.S. built by descendants of enslaved African Americans. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_06_12_“Reforming the Faith”

Award-winning Journalist and Scholar Chronicles Global “Battle for the Soul of Islam”

Veteran foreign correspondent, Middle East expert and Senior Fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Dr. James M. Dorsey, has written a comprehensive, 22-page analysis of Humanitarian Islam—a global, multi-faith movement guided by the spiritual leadership of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). The movement seeks to reform obsolete and problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy that enjoin religious hatred, supremacy and violence. Titled “Reforming the Faith,” Dorsey’s wide-ranging article examines the history, challenges and potentially far-reaching consequences of the NU leaders’ effort to block the weaponization of Islam for political purposes, which fuels Islamist extremism and terror worldwide. In his conclusion, Dr. Dorsey observes that:

“Nahdlatul Ulama’s campaign amounts to more than simply confronting ultra-conservatism and militancy. It is a pushback against the notion that secularism and pluralism are expressions of a Western conspiracy to undermine Islam. . . If successful, Nahdlatul Ulama’s strategy could have far-reaching consequences. For many Middle Eastern autocrats, adopting a more tolerant, pluralistic interpretation of Islam would mean allowing far greater social and political freedoms and embracing concepts of pluralism. That would likely lead to a weakening of their grip on power.”

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2019_05_15_Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama Helps Shape British Government Policy Through High Profile Commentary and Policy Exchange Report On Islamophobia

General Secretary of the World’s Largest Muslim Organization Warns Europeans Against the Horrors of Weaponizing “Tribal Identity”
Joins UK center-left and center-right opinion leaders in derailing a concerted effort “to strip Western societies of the freedom of speech required to challenge ethnic and religious supremacism”