By Konradus Epa
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has praised the country’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, for its commitment in supporting pluralism.
“I praise the NU’s consistency in upholding the four pillars of our society, namely Pancasila [five principles], the 1945 constitution, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika [unity in diversity], and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” he told about 10,000 people attending the organization’s 85th anniversary celebrations in Jakarta yesterday.
The organization’s moderate stance is greatly appreciated and is needed to improve society, which often faces threats and challenge, the president said.
The organization will maintain its standards, Nahdlatul Ulama head, Said Agil Siradj, promised.
“We will keep promoting Islam as Rahmatan lil ‘Alamin [a blessing to the world], and will stay friendly and inclusive.”
He went on to say the organization will continue to preserve the principles and pillars on which the country was founded.
Executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Father Antonius Benny Susetyo also praised NU.
Their commitment to pluralism does them credit, he said, hoping they will continue to uphold diversity in Indonesia.
The NU was founded in 1926 by Hasyim Asy’arie. It now has about 70 million members.