Afghan Ulamas Expect Unity as Indonesian Ulamas


Indonesian ulamas (Muslim clerics) achieved high appreciation from Afghan ulamas. For one reason, Indonesian ulamas of Muhammadiyah and Nadhatul Ulama could go hand in hand to encourage the development. The success of Indonesian ulamas attracted Afghan ulamas. They expected that of Indonesia they could be unified as Indonesian clerics.

The aforementioned paragraph was the main point of a discussion of Afghan cleric delegates (People’s Voter Education Networks) and Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY). The discussion and field trip was on Thursday (5/5) in main hall A.R. Fachruddin A, Floor 5, UMY. It raised issues of tolerance, pluralism, gender and establishment of human rights in Indonesia.

One of the Afghan ulama delegates, Abdul Halim Wardak bin Abdul Samad who is the member of Ulamas Council, uttered that, since Afghanistan was independent from Soviet Union, it has always confronted tribe wars because each tribe in Afghanistan has concerned with their own interest. “It is also caused that a lot of countries had interest in Afghanistan. They tried to take Afghanistan. Thus, it emerged wars among tribes.

According to Abdul Halim Wardak, Afghans are hard to unite since there is interference of other countries. Indeed, Afghan ulamas are divided into three: supporting government, supporting Taliban, and remaining silent without taking any side. Hence, ulamas on the discussion and he wished that all Afghan ulamas could be unitied. “If Afghan ulamas could come together, they would be as Indonesian ulamas. Afghan new government is now attempting and often organizing discussion with Taliban to unite with them. And, Alhamdulillah, Taliban has been willing to construct their office with government,” he told.

Moreover, Head of LP3M of UMY Hilman Latief, S.Ag., M.A., Ph. D. stated that Indonesia is a multicultural country. There are six religions officially recognized by government, namely Islam, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Budha, and Kong Hu Cu. However, there are other local religions officially unrecognized by government. “A lot of differences and diversities do not imply that there is not any problems to overcome. Indonesia confronted conflicts among religions. Nevertheless, all ulamas and religious leaders in Indonesia tried to encourage how to create peace. And, essential Islamic organizations such as Muhammadiyah and Nadhatul Ulama were the pillar to promote peace,” he asserted,

The other significant aspect, the lecturer of Islamic Faculty of UMY continued, Indonesian ulamas possessed adequate huge roles of development, education, and social prosperity in Indonesian. They were also the main partners of government in family planning. “In addition, ulamas’ engagement are enormous in coining democracy in Indonesia, particularly in general election. Therefore, Indonesian ulamas enact tolerance as the foremost key to support and promote pluralism (acknowledgment od diversity). In fact, Islam is a peaceful religion and it is now promoted in Indonesia,” he conveyed.

Furthermore, Afghan ulama delegated on the discussion were 20 people. They were ulamas represented a leader of a mosque, ulamas of Ministry of Religion of Afghanistan, Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, social religious activists, lecturers, and representatives of The Asia Foundation. They stayed in Indonesia from 28 April to 8 May 2015 and visited Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Cirebon, and Semarang. It aimed at seeing and discussing closer diversity practices in Indonesia regarding tolerance, pluralism, gender, and establishment of human rights.

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