President Jokowi Welcomes Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar at Merdeka Palace

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 30 April 2018
Category: News
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President Jokowi receives a courtesy call from Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Prof. Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ath-Thayeb at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday (30/4) (Photo by: Public Relations Division of Cabinet Secretariat).

President Jokowi receives a courtesy call from Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Prof. Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ath-Thayeb at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday (30/4) (Photo by: Public Relations Division of Cabinet Secretariat).

Prior to the High Level Consultation on Wasatiyyat Islam Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar on Monday (30/4) paid a courtesy call to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta.

Speaking to reporter after the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said that the President and the Grand Sheikh discussed the role of Indonesian Government in spreading Wasatiyyat Islam and added that High Level Consultation on Wasatiyyat Islam was initiated by Presidential Special Envoy Din Syamsuddin, in collaboration with Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Retno added that the Grand Sheikh also said that the world, including Muslim-majority countries, is facing many challenges which cannot be solved without implementing Wasatiyyat Islam. However, she said that she did not discuss the Palestinian issues with the Grand Sheikh, but ensured that Indonesia will continue to help the struggle of Palestinian people.

In the meantime, the Presidential Special Envoy for Interfaith and Civilization Dialogs and Cooperation Din Syamsuddin said that the Bogor Summit on Wasatiyyat Islam will be attended by 100 Ulemas and Muslim both from Indonesia and abroad. The Summit, according to him, will discuss the conception of Wasatiyyat Islam and its implementation in the context of global civilization.

Din added that Indonesia wants to show the world that Wasatiyyat Islam has become part of Indonesian Muslims’ life, something that the Grand Sheikh really appreciates. According to him, Pancasila, the foundation of the republic, is also a manifestation of Wasatiyyat Islam and the term “moderate” cannot fully explain the concept of Wasatiyyat Islam, and “middle path of Islam” has a closer meaning.

“The main idea (of Wasatiyyat Islam) is the Islamic concept that upholds the balance, full of tolerance, takes the middle path, and solves problems by compromise and deliberation, without obstruction or disparaging others and without labeling others with “infidel.” Din said, adding that he is grateful that Indonesian people tend to solve their problems in a peaceful manner and without violence.

Din also said that the participants of the Bogor Summit represents the high-ranking Ulemas,  Muslim intellectuals from many countries, not only from the OIC members, but also from UK, America, Canada, and Australia, President of Japanese Moslem Association, President of Korean Moslem Federation,  President of China Islamic Association, Mufti from East Asian countries, Grand Mufti or former Grand Mufti of Bosnia, and Mufti from African countries.

Din further said that the purpose of the Summit is revitalization of the concept Wasatiyyat Islam in Islamic world.

He went on to say that during the meeting with President Jokowi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar argued that there is no solution to the problems of world civilization without Wasatiyyat Islam.

Din also expressed his hope that Muslims will uphold Wasatiyyat Islam as a main concept in Islam and not be trapped in radicalism, fundamentalism and extremism. He also expects that the proposal of Wasatiyyat Islam will become a solution to the crisis of the global civilization. The participants of the Summit are also expected to agree on Risalatul Bogor (Bogor Message), Din added. (MAY/RAH/EN) (RI/EP/Naster)

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