Indonesian vice president urges Muslim organisation to promote moderate Islam

Indonesian vice president urges Muslim organisation to promote moderate Islam
Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla (L).

Amid the spread of radicalism in the country, Vice President Jusuf Kalla called on the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organisation in the country, to promote moderate Islamic teachings.

"The challenge for Nahdlatul Ulama has changed over time. In its first years, it safeguarded the country's fight for independence. Now the challenge is to show that Islam highlights peace," said Kalla during the ceremony to commemorate NU's 89th anniversary on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Kalla said that as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia should be the centre of Islamic studies supported by NU, which has 86.4 million followers in the country.

By becoming a centre for Islamic studies, Indonesia could pave the middle ground between Muslims and the rest of the world, which has become more tense after a barrage of terrorism attacks by the Islamic State militant group.

The government has also involved NU in de-radicalization efforts such as by educating the group's clerics on various schools of Islam, especially radical ones, and how to engage them through dialogue.

 

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