2019_03_22_Japanese Communist Party Showcases Islamic Mass Movement
Official Newspaper of One of the World’s Oldest and Largest Non-Governing Communist Parties Highlights the Role of Nahdlatul Ulama in Defending Indonesia’s Democracy from Extremists
JAKARTA, Indonesia: On March 22, 2019, Red Flag (Shimbun Akahata)—the official newspaper of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), with a distribution of 1.2 million copies—published an extensive interview with Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). Entitled “Islam Needs Tenets that Reflect Contemporary Reality,” the article examines the role of the NU in defending Indonesia’s pluralistic, tolerant and multi-religious nation state from Islamist extremists motivated by obsolete and problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy. The last in a 5-part series on Indonesia’s April, 2019 presidential and legislative elections, the interview with Mr. Staquf underscores rising concern among traditional leftist political movements about the weaponization of ethnic, religious and political identities worldwide.
Like Nahdlatul Ulama (est. 1926), JCP traces its heritage to the anti-colonialist struggle of the 1920s, and has a history of fighting for the principles of popular sovereignty, anti-sectarianism and self-determination. One of the oldest and largest non-governing Communist parties in the world, it was founded in 1922 and claims a membership of over 300,000. Anti-imperialist and anti-militarist, JCP was the only Japanese political party to actively oppose Imperial Japan’s invasion of China and its entry into World War II, and seeks to turn Japan into a non-aligned nation. The pacifist international order to which the party aspires, however, is increasingly threatened by a rising tide of ethnic and religious hatred, discrimination and violence, fueled in large part by widespread perceptions that Islam threatens non-Muslims, and is synonymous with terrorism. Continue reading full communiqué with images…
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