Indonesia is known as a Muslim country that has democratic, peaceful, and civilised characters. This is not apart from the role of Islamic mass organisations, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, AM. Fachir, said NU and Muhammadiyah had significant roles in democracy and peace building in Indonesia, both have also been actively engaged in world peace building.
Becoming one of keynote speakers in an international seminar Islam in Indonesia: Inspiration for World Peace in Senate Hall UGM, Friday (25/1), Fachri said Indonesia was a country active in promoting interfaith dialogue and offering the concept of peaceful Islam.
“Projecting Islam as a Rahmatan lil Alamin (a mercy to all creations) has been done by NU and Muhammadiyah for 15 years. This is done through diplomacy among all religious leaders,” he said. Fachri explained Indonesia continued to offer a peaceful Islam concept to the world. In his views, Islam in Indonesia is facing complex challenges amidst uncertainties around the world. Multilateralism is degrading and the world is losing global leadership. The conditions of Muslims around the world also calls for concerns due to the high rate of illiteracy, unemployment, and low GDP contribution as well as the negative perception towards Islam.
Hence, Fachir called for Indonesian Muslims to maintain the country’s nature of Rahmatan Lil Alamin to the world, Islam which is peaceful and able to thrive amidst diversity. Thus, NU and Muhammadiyah as Indonesia’s largest Islamic mass organisations need to contribute to nurturing these values. “NU and Muhammadiyah have to be the one that binds diversity,” he affirmed.
Former Chairman of Muhammadiyah, Buya Syafii Maarif, said Islam in Indonesia compared to other religions would be an antithesis of illnesses that had caused unrest in other parts of Islamic world.
Meanwhile, former President of Timor Leste as well as Nobel Peace Laureate in 1998, Ramos Horta, also attended the seminar. He delivered his views on democracy and peace process in Indonesia as well as the role of Islamic organisations in it. He appreciated the role of NU and Muhammadiyah that can nurture peace in Indonesia. Both were also seen as able to build peace and democracy at the world level.
Other speakers in the seminar included KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, Prof. Azyumardi Azra, Prof. Mark Woodward, and researchers from UGM’s Centre for Security and Peace Studies.
The seminar was held to promote the role of Islam in democracy and peace building at the national, regional, and international levels. It also raised Islam in Indonesia as a model that is in line with the values of democracy and peace internationally. Furthermore, the seminar observed the roles of Islamic organisations, namely Muhammadiyah and NU, in the context of democracy and peace at national, regional, and international fora.