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_World First: Nahdlatul Ulama Abolishes the Legal Category of “Infidel” within Islamic Law

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 Monseigneur 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”

LONDON, United Kingdom: On May 15, 2019, the British government rejected calls to adopt a vague yet sweeping definition of the term “Islamophobia,” that would undermine counterterrorism policy, empower Muslim extremists, enable media censorship and open the door to criminalization of frank discourse about Islam, including the crystal-clear links between jihadist doctrine, goals and strategy and certain problematic tenets of Islamic orthodoxy and its historic practice.

The move follows a series of high-profile interventions in continental Europe and the UK by Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). In his latest intervention, Mr. Staquf supported a broad cross-section of British civil society and its political establishment, who warned the British government not to adopt the policy recommendations of an informal grouping of UK parliamentarians—the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG)—that seeks to weaponize a highly problematic definition of Islamophobia as “a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_05_15_Prominent Jewish Figures Warn About the Perils of Weaponizing Identity

Muslim Leader Concurs: “Overcoming White Supremacism, Antisemitism and Islamist Extremism Will Require Courage, Honesty and Compassion”

Saint Sebastian’s Church in Columbo, Sri Lanka following an attack on April 21, 2019

In the weeks following white supremacist Brenton Tarrant’s live-streaming of his brutal slaughter of Muslims at prayer in New Zealand, Jews, Muslims and Christians have all fallen victim to shocking acts of terror. In response to these tragedies, a number of prominent Jewish figures have joined Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf—General Secretary of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization—in urging religious, cultural and political elites to end the practice of weaponizing identity, which exacerbates communal hatred and short-circuits analysis of the complex phenomena that contribute to ethnic and religious violence. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_04_25_Calls for U.S. to Engage with Nahdlatul Ulama in the Wake of Indonesia’s Presidential Election

Professor, Policy Expert and Religious Freedom Advocate A.J. Nolte: “NU. . . represents one of the few genuinely influential, well-organized, and politically powerful voices of moderate Islam” 

President Jokowi reaching out to voters in the world’s largest Muslim-majority democracy

United States diplomats, government departments and foreign policy practitioners are being encouraged to engage with Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—the world’s largest Muslim organization, with over 50 million followers—after NU-oriented voters from the heavily-populated island of Java, which constitutes the geographic, political and economic center of Indonesia, proved “decisive” in re-electing moderate Muslim leader Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to his second and final term in office. Writing in Christian foreign policy journal Providence, A.J. Nolte—assistant professor of politics at Regent University’s Robertson School of Government—noted how “Jokowi’s winning coalition was based almost entirely on support from areas of East and Central Java dominated by the Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama.”

“Indonesia may be undergoing a kind of electoral ideological sorting into three camps, whose differing views on the relationship between Islam and the state will have a huge impact on the country moving forward,” observes Nolte. Whilst the heavily-Javanese NU supports religious toleration, a second emerging bloc, which voted overwhelmingly for Jokowi’s rival Prabowo Subianto, represents “an ominous trend worth watching.” This bloc is “committed to a rigid application of political Islam in Indonesia” and consists of “two groups: West Javanese, whose version of Islam is influenced by Wahhabi teachings brought back to Indonesia from Mecca, and Malay Muslims from the so-called ‘out-islands,’ who have generally been somewhat more rigid in their orthodoxy than their Javanese counterparts for centuries.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_04_17_Muslim Scholar’s Call for “Honest Discussion” Elicits Global Response

Nahdlatul Ulama General Secretary’s Appeal to “Renounce the Practice of Weaponizing Islam for Partisan Advantage” Praised for Offering a “Way Forward” in the Aftermath of Christchurch Terror Attacks

On March 25, 2019, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the world’s largest Islamic organization—Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), with over 50 million followers—responded to the brutal slaughter of 50 Muslims at prayer in Christchurch, New Zealand. Writing in The Telegraph, a prestigious newspaper with close links to Britain’s governing Conservative Party, Mr. Staquf urged people of all faiths and none to go through the “uncomfortable” process of “resolutely acknowledging the causal factors of the violence that we are seeing in so many parts of the world,” and summon the courage to ask “questions that require difficult but honest answers.” The article, entitled “To prevent another Christchurch, Islam must confront the attacks in its name that have radicalized the West,” was welcomed by policy experts, journalists, opinion leaders and government officials for encouraging discourse about a highly-fraught and complex phenomenon that threatens all humanity.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center—a human rights organization that seeks to prevent hatred, discrimination and genocidal violence—noted in the Times of Israel that, “we won’t defeat burgeoning hate by embracing soothing but dishonest political correctness. . . Muslims, Jews, and Christians should take their cue from Yahya Cholil Staquf.” Rabbi Cooper’s article, co-authored with historian Dr. Harold Brackman, examined how many commentators exploited outrage at the Christchurch massacre, and solidarity with its Muslim victims, to shut down discourse and thereby obstruct an honest public discussion of causal factors, while rabid anti-Semites promoted conspiracy theories, some of which claimed that Mossad or other Jews were responsible for the terrorist atrocity. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_04_10_World’s Largest Political Network Embraces Humanitarian Islam

Centrist Democrat International Adopts PKB Resolution, Signaling a Profound Shift in Global Discourse Regarding Extremism and Terror

BRUSSELS, Belgium: On April 10, 2019, the Executive Committee of Centrist Democrat International (CDI)—the world’s most extensive political network, with over 100 affiliated parties in more than 70 nations—unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the “universal principles and aspirations” of the global Humanitarian Islam movement, and calling for the “widespread dissemination and study” of its foundational texts.

A “Resolution on acknowledging that universal human fraternity is essential to the emergence of a global civilization founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being,” was drafted and presented to the Committee by the National Awakening Party (PKB), Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party. The resolution commends Nahdlatul Ulama—the world’s largest Muslim organization—for its “groundbreaking” role in having “first articulated the concept of universal human fraternity as a shari‘ah basis for legal equality between Muslims and non-Muslims” at its National Congress held in Situbondo, East Java, in 1984. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_03_25_Don’t weaponize the term Islamophobia

To prevent another Christchurch, Islam must confront the attacks in its name that have radicalised the West

YAHYA CHOLIL STAQUF    |    25 MARCH 2019

How can we prevent another atrocity like the one in Christchurch? CREDIT: REUTERS

How can we – Muslims and non-Muslims together – prevent another atrocity like the one in Christchurch? As I have watched New Zealanders of all faiths mourn, this has been the question on my mind. So far, few of the answers offered have come close to the truth.

What the massacre revealed was the need for a clear understanding of the weaponisation of ethnic, religious and political identities that is going on throughout the world. This was Brenton Tarrant’s evil aim: to contribute to a polarisation of the West – and to a parallel phenomenon in the Muslim world. His actions, which eerily resemble those of Isil and other Islamist terror groups, were calculated to intensify the hostility and suspicion that already exist towards Muslims in the West. They were also designed to elicit a response from Islamists and so encourage a cycle of retaliatory violence.

We must not let him, or anyone else, succeed. Solidarity across racial, religious, cultural and political lines to address this global crisis is the only answer. But this means resolutely acknowledging the causal factors of the violence that we are seeing in so many parts of the world. As a Muslim, this leads me to questions that require difficult but honest answers. Continue reading this article with images. . .

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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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2019_03_22_Nahdlatul Ulama-Based PKB Joins Centrist Democrat International

Indonesia’s Largest Islamic Political Party, PKB, to Project “Soft Power” Globally

Muhaimin Iskandar and César Rosselló at a press conference in Jakarta, displaying a document that welcomes PKB to full membership in CDI. They are flanked by Nahdlatul Ulama General Secretary and Presidential Advisor KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf (wearing a white shirt) and members of PKB’s Central Board.

JAKARTA, Indonesia: On March 22, 2019, a delegation representing the world’s largest political network—Centrist Democrat International (CDI), with over 100 affiliated parties in more than 70 nations—visited Jakarta, where they met with the Central Board of Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party. H. Muhaimin Iskandar, Chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB) and Deputy Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), greeted the delegation, headed by César Rosselló, CDI’s General Coordinator for Asia Pacific and Latin America. CDI—originally, an exclusive coalition of Christian Democrat parties—approved PKB’s accession unanimously and in record time at a meeting of its Executive Committee in Cape Verde on November 27, 2018.

Indonesia’s print and broadcast media heavily covered the event, providing widespread favorable publicity for PKB in the midst of a national election campaign. The nation’s presidential and legislative elections will be held on April 19, 2019. PKB is allied with President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) of Indonesia and the party controls four cabinet posts in the current Jokowi administration. The nation’s leading newspaper, Kompas, reported that PKB—the first Indonesian political party to join an international network—was swiftly granted full membership status by CDI “due to its party ideology, which is based on democracy, moderation and anti-radicalism.” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_02_01_World’s Largest Muslim Organization Promotes European Unity

Leader of massive, grassroots Islamic movement urges Europe’s political center to unite
“Engage in honest discourse about Islam, to end the cycle of religious supremacism, separatism and terror that has polarized European societies, and may trigger widespread civil unrest”

Portuguese Socialist MEP and Chair of the Indonesia–European Parliament Friendship Group, Ana Maria Gomes, greets KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, BRUSSELS: On January 31 and February 1, 2019, 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—led an official delegation to address the European Parliament’s center-left and center-right political groupings at the invitation of Portuguese Socialist Party MEP Ana Maria Gomes and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).

Visiting in his capacity as a member of Indonesia’s Presidential Advisory Council, with a protocol rank equivalent to Minister of State, Mr. Staquf delivered a heavily-attended speech urging Europe’s centrist politicians to halt the rapidly accelerating polarization of European societies by acknowledging and addressing legitimate concerns raised by populist forces about the nexus of national and international security threats linked to Islam, terrorism and migration. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_01_25_Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Recognizes the Contribution of Indonesian Islam to Peace and Democracy

“A Worthy Model for the World to Emulate”
Former Muhammadiyah Chairman, Dr. Syafii Maarif:
“An Antidote to the Disease, and Civilizational Decay, Afflicting the Middle East”

H.E. José Ramos-Horta

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: On January 17 and 25, 2019, Gadjah Mada University (UGM)—Indonesia’s preeminent institution of higher learning—held a pair of high-profile events to accompany the launch of a global campaign to nominate the world’s largest Muslim organizations for the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of their unique contributions to Islamic democracy and global conflict resolution.

H.E. José Ramos-Horta—who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996; led East Timor’s independence movement; and served as its president from 2007 – 2012—joined UGM and an international assembly of scholars to discuss Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah’s historic achievements and their nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both groups’ contributions to Indonesian democracy played an essential role in granting independence to East Timor in 1999, following 24 years of Indonesian military occupation. Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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2019_01_03_Towards an Islamic Jurisprudence Suitable to Our Emerging Global Civilization

Leading Muslim Scholars Encourage the Reform of Problematic Tenets Within Islamic Orthodoxy: “Shall We Remain Silent, or Confront Tyranny?

Forum participants (photo courtesy of Sofian J. Anom)

REMBANG, Central Java, Indonesia: On January 3, 2019, one of the most respected Islamic boarding schools in Southeast Asia—PP Raudlatut Thalibin—hosted an all-day forum to examine the necessity of recontextualizing (i.e., reforming) obsolete tenets of Islamic orthodoxy that constitute the center of gravity for a wide range of Islamist movements, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Entitled “GP Ansor’s Nusantara Manifesto: Towards an Islamic Jurisprudence [Suitable to Our] Emerging Global Civilization,” over 70 Islamic scholars from throughout Indonesia attended the event, co-sponsored by the 5-million-member Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) young adults movement, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, and its theological wing, Rijalul Ansor.

In his opening remarks, Rijalul Ansor Director KH. Aunullah Habib stated that, “Today, the world is facing chaos because of attempts by Muslim extremists to implement elements of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] that are no longer compatible with 21st century reality. The catastrophic violence and human misery that result from these attempts are most visibly on display in the Middle East but threaten the entire world, presenting each of us with a profound moral choice: shall we remain silent or follow the example of the noble prophets in confronting tyranny?” Continue reading full communiqué with images. . .

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