NU Chairman: ‘Islam Nusantara’ (Archipelago Islam) not new sect

said aqil siradj

THE general chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Islamic organizattion, Said Aqil Siradj, reiterated that “Islam Nusantara” (archipelago Islam) was no a new school or sect.

“It is not a new school or sect but it is the view of the Indonesian Muslims which is blended with the Nusantara culture,” he said at a discussion on “Strategy to Realize Indonesia without Human Rights Violations.”

He said Muslims in Indonesia were closely associated with the cultures of where they are living and this what has been the foundation of the concept of Islam Nusantara. “This is what differentiates us from our brothers in the Middle East,” he added.

He said the Islam Nusantara concept describes Indonesian Muslims who are blended with the local cultures created originally by loca communities which do not run against the shariah. “We must integrate with the culture as long as it is good and not against Islam as it will make Islam more beautiful. We cannot fight cultures so long as they are not against the shariah such as gambling, adultery, drinking and others,” he said.

When asked if he was not worried that it might in the future develop into a new sect Said Aqil said he was not and he believed clerics would always be there to prevent it from happening. “No I am not. I am convinced clerics will be there to prevent it and a lot has been written about it and they may be used as a reference,” he said.

NU is one of the biggest Islamic organizations in Indonesia. Said Aqil is now seeking reelection as chairman of the organization in the next congress in Jember, East Java, on August 1-5 that will also carry out the Islam Nusantara as its theme.

Thu, 30 July 2015



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