Indonesian Muslim group organizing interfaith event against extremism

Indonesia’s largest Islamic movement is organising an interfaith gathering next week, in which some 10,000 people are expected to participate. Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is organising a mass rally in the capital, Jakarta, on Jan. 17 as a way to fight religious extremism and terrorism, as well as promote pluralism as the true foundation of Indonesian society. NU will be joined by 13 other Islamic organisations, as well as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia (Konferensi Waligereja Indonesia, KWI), various Protestant churches and the Supreme Council for the Confucian Religion in Indonesia (Majelis Tinggi Agama Konghucu Indonesia, MATAKIN).

“We will participate in the event for sure. With this mass rally, we want to bring the message that diversity should be the strength of the nation. We have to show that peaceful coexistence is possible,” Fr Guido Suprapto, KWI secretary for the laity told AsiaNews. “For a Muslim leader, the goal is to promote “in a predominantly Muslim Indonesia moderate ideas that embrace religious tolerance,” he added. For this purpose, Fr Samuel Pangestu, vicar general of the archdiocese of Jakarta, had a large number of leaflets printed and distributed to the city’s Catholics. For his part, Marsyudi Syuhud, NU president and rally organiser, said, “We were taught two words: tasanuf, which means tolerance, and tawasuft, which refers to being moderate people. These two words represent the core spirit of being a good Muslim in society.” (Source: AsiaNews)

Source: Vatican Radio

Image SourceReuters, Vatican Radio