OPENING REMARKS THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA H.E. DIMAS SAMODRA RUM AT THE SEMINAR ON “THE RISE OF RADICALISM IN ISLAM IN THE MIDDLE EAST: HOW TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM THROUGH NATIONAL UNITY PERSPECTIVE” BEIRUT, 11 DECEMBER 2014 IN BEIRUT

12/16/2014

 
?Your Eminences The Grand Mufti Lebanon, Sheikh Abdul Latief Derian, in this opportunity represented by Sheikh Hisham Khalifa, General Director of Islamic Endowments Lebanon,

Your Eminence The Higher Shiite Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, represented by Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan, Grand Mufti Jaafarite Shiite,

Your Eminence Sheikh Al Aql of the Mouwahidoune Druze Sect, Sheikh Naim Hassan, represented by Sheikh Sami Abil Mouna, Secretary General of Al Irfan Druze Theological School,

Your Excellences Ambassadors,

The Honorable Speakers, Sheikh Hassan Abdullah, Chairman of Administrative Board of Tajamo Ulama,,

Sheikh Dr. Abdul Nasser Jabri, Secretary General of the Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia,

Dr. Mohammad Chamseddine, Political Researcher for International Information,

Mr. Agung Wijaya, Head of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama , Special Branch Beirut

The Honorable Moderators,

Distinguished Participants,  

Ladies and Gentlemen,   

 

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

 

First of all, it is very great pleasure and honor for me to welcome all of you to our seminar this morning. In this opportunity, allow me to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to you for your presence in this seminar that is organized by the Embassy of Indonesia in collaboration with the Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic Organization, Special Branch in Lebanon.


Secondly, let me also express my thanks and appreciation to all Prominent and Honorable Speakers, Moderators and participants who will share their valuable views on the topic that we are going to discuss. We really appreciate your kind attention and sharing with us despite your busy day. We hope that your views will give us enlightenment on how to address the problem of radicalism for the lasted peace in the region.

The theme of our seminar today is: “The Rise of Radicalism in Islam in the Middle East: How to Address the Problem through National Unity Perspective”, and we consider that this topic is quite relevant to be addressed nowadays.  As you may all already aware, radicalism or some will say extremism or terrorism purported by some of the so called Muslims has become the news of the day and also the raising phenomenon in the Middle East Regions. These kinds of acts by Muslim extremists have become a concern for the nations in the regions, as well as in some other Muslim nations in the world, including my country, Indonesia. It is unfortunate for the ordinary and peace loving Muslims that this radicalism phenomenon become an obstacle for them which is only trying to exercise Islam peacefully.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Islam means peace and peace is always natural part of Islam. It is intrinsically a religion that is always trying to seek peace and balance in everyday life. The act of terrorism that was committed by the minority of its followers is very unfortunate for the image of Islam as the religion of peace.

Many Muslims that turns into radicalism some are due to political, economic, and socio-cultural circumstances that are unfortunate for them.  Many Muslims feel that they are being treated unfairly by the system, not only politically but also economically. Meanwhile, in the socio-cultural context, many Muslims lost their orientation towards what Islam really are, due to the heavy socio-cultural influence from outside his/her core believe system of Islam.

In this situation radicalism seems to offer solution in the form of counter attack to the outside influence that was perceived as attacking them. In that sense, the radicals feel that they are fighting in the name of Islam and Allah to against what they perceived as deviation to the true way of religion of Islam.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the context of Indonesia, we are the biggest Muslim country in the world in terms of population, with our 220 million Muslims among 250 million people of Indonesia, but religious radicalism was never the way for the people of Indonesia throughout our history. The Muslims of Indonesia are always overwhelmingly moderates since Islam is coming to our country for the first time in the 7th century.

Nevertheless, in Indonesia many will see an odd phenomenon these days where some small groups seem to hail these radicalism or extremism. These groups are minorities, and overwhelmingly shunned by our people as well as the government and the media.

We are not denying that some glitches and tensions have hampered the Indonesian Muslim societies these days due to the influence of this extremist ideology. But it was never becoming big due to the moderate and peaceful of Muslims in Indonesia, which we believe as the true way of Islam.

The Government of Indonesia was even having declared its firm position against these extremists groups. Recently the Government of Indonesia through the Coordinating Ministers for Politics, Laws, and Securities has published to the media that the Ideology of Islamic Extremists is against Islam, the Pancasila (5 Principles) ideology of Indonesia and against the diversity principles within the Unitary State of Indonesia.

The Government of Indonesia officially declare that it does not allow the tenet of religious radicalism to be flourished in Indonesia and every effort to propagate the idea should be prevented, within the community or through the conventional and online media. We did this by prohibited its representations to exist within the Indonesian societies, formally as well as informally. We also collaborated with the religious and community figures to make a socialization program for enlightening the public on the danger of religious extremism to our society.

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This seminar will aimed to explore in more details about how radical Islamic groups have complicated the politics in Middle East, and we will also try to explore the role of Islam, and national unity in maintaining the peaceful coexistence among the countries in the Middle East.

We see that the role of national unity as well as unity among the followers of Islamic religion is as something that is really important to deter extremism ideology. If the feeling of unity is prevailed among the followers of Islam in the region, as well as the national cohesiveness within Muslims and other religions in the countries, it can be somehow deterrence for extremism ideology to easily enter the fabric of the society. 

In this seminar we will also hear the views of the Prominent and Honorable Speakers from Lebanese Islamic religious groups as well as Lebanese political researcher on the cause and how to address the problem of radicalism in the region. We will also hear the Indonesian perspectives from the Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama as the biggest Islamic Organization in Indonesia, with its more than 60 million members.

We hope that this seminar will be able to contribute at least one proposed answer among many other proposed solutions to address the problem of radicalism for the lasted peace in the Middle East, as well as in the Islamic world,.

Finally, Once again I would like to invite you to join our discussion and enlightening ourselves by listening to the speakers and be involved in the questions and answers to come.

I thank you and have a pleasant seminar. Syukron Jazilan, Terima kasih.