Muslims Must Boost Unity, Non-Violence: Boediono
Muslims in Indonesia are being pressured to show tolerance toward other faiths, but they are also facing problems within their own community, Vice President Boediono said on Monday.
“How do we safeguard unity within the Muslim community by avoiding a self-righteous and deviant attitude?” Boediono asked in his speech at the opening of the 39th Al-Irsyad Al-Islamiyah congress.
He said the challenges were becoming even tougher when some Muslims committed acts of violence that ran contrary to the law. Therefore, he said that the support of a large Islamic organizations such as Al Irsyad, Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah and others were necessary in eradicating all forms of violence.
Islamic organizations, especially with large masses, hope to eradicate all forms of violence, especially those which lead to terrorism, he added.
Boediono said the congress had a strong democratic and modern spirit.
“Al-Irsyad does not stress hierarchy but is more egalitarian,” Boediono said. “From its conception, this association has provided an important place for the role of women.”
The vice president said Islam should embrace democracy and modernism, saying that both “are in line with what we all fight for in this era of reforms.”
It is not clear if his call will be accepted or fall on deaf ears.
The vice president recently attracted the ire of hard-line and moderate Muslims when he called for restrictions on the volume of calls to prayer, which he said were disturbing the non-Muslim community.
On Monday, Boediono aired hope that Al-Irsyad could continue to maintain and develop creative ideas rather than sink into a routine that led to stagnation.
He also expressed his appreciation for the group that had been around for more than 100 years and had been active in various fields such as in education, health, socioeconomics and missionary work that benefited the people.
Al-Irsyad, he said, should in the future synergize with other organizations that shared the same vision and mission in developing the Muslim community, especially in Indonesia.
“By increasing coordination and synergy, I am convinced that our common goal — developing an Indonesian community that is civil and prosperous — can quickly be attained,” the vice president said.
Al-Irsyad was established in 1914 by an ulema who had come from Sudan and was not affiliated with any political party.