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'Indonesia more tolerant than America and Europe'

'Indonesia more tolerant than America and Europe'

Jakarta, NU Online
General Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) KH Said Aqil "Kang Said" Siroj said that Indonesia has a more reliable openness than countries in America and Europe in dealing with the values of religious pluralism. In the country, religious believers have not only enjoyed freedom but also greatly appreciated every religious holiday, for example with the establishment of a national holiday.<>

"We can see, in America and Europe there is no such Idhul Fitri holiday for Muslims. In France, wearing hijab is also prohibited," he said in the presence of delegates of PCNU throughout eastern Indonesia in the Pre-Conference event held in Sudiang Hajj Dormitory, Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Wednesday (22/4).

And in Indonesia, he added, despite the small number of Buddhists and Confucians, they have still found the freedom to celebrate their great day. According to him, this is because the Muslims who are the majority population in Indonesia could really respect any difference.

Kang Said called this attitude as a character of so-called Islam Nusantara as preserved by NU as the country's largest Muslim organization.

He asserted that Islam Nusantara did not see Islam as a doctrine of aqidah and syariah alone, but also about moral and civilization.

The cleric born in Cirebon, West Java, was of the opinion Islam could not be separated from the homeland and the local cultures. Therefore, nationalism and respect for local wisdom for NU are important to create an atmosphere of peaceful religious coexistence.

"Man laisa lahul ardlun laisa Lahut tarikh. Wa man laisa Lahut tarikh laisa lahu dzakirah. Whoever has no homeland, will never have history. And whoever has no history, will never have character," Kang Said said.

According to him, in the context of statehood, loving the country should be a priority over the group including Islam. This was not present in the majority of Muslims in the Middle East so that there have always been conflicts in the region.

"(Relying on) Islam (as a doctrice of aqidah) is not enough, there must be a national commitment," he said.

Editing by Sudarto Murtaufiq

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