Mustofa Bisri and C.
"Prior to his death in December 2009, our
friend Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, who fully recognized these
facts, set in motion a pair of interrelated endeavors to help
realize Indonesia’s strategic potential as an engine of spiritual
progress for humanity. The first of these [is] the International
Institute of Quranic Studies (IIQS)...
"The second endeavor consists of a systematic
effort to help educate and mobilize Western governments, civil
society and public opinion at large, to address the complex
array of threats posed by Islamist ideology, terrorism and a
rising tide of Islamophobia in the West. This strategic endeavor,
jointly undertaken by the Nadhlatul Ulama and LibForAll Foundation,
seeks to develop a broad center-left to center-right coalition
in North America and Europe that will unite the 'humanitarian
left' and 'national security-oriented right' in forging the
societal consensus required to marginalize and discredit both
Islamist extremism and its mirror phenomenon in the West..."
Jakarta Globe, "Sahal Mahfudz — Scholar, Activist" by Sumanto Al Qurtuby. "Sahal’s contributions were also crucial in developing new forms of Islamic thought. Since 1984, Sahal led a halaqah (a regular informal meeting for kyais to discuss social-political issues through the lens of Islamic law) whose creative methods of Islamic legal theory and Islamic legal maxims resulted in the production of progressive Islamic ideas and decisions, while at the same time keeping the spirit and essence of Islam as a 'prophetic religion.' His concept became known as 'social fiqh,' a rational-contextual-based understanding of Islamic law trying to solve contemporary social problems."
Indonesian Embassy, Brussels, "Theological Approach is Inevitable in Discussion about Islam and Europe." " 'Indonesia’s experience proves that moderate values which are voiced by moderate Muslim leaders, including academicians and NGOs, in Indonesia greatly contribute to the counter-radicalism in Indonesia,' [Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Arif Havas Oegroseno] explained, at the same time showing a book titled 'The Illusion of an Islamic State' published by the Wahid Institute, LibForAll Foundation and Maarif Institute. The book was a result of research conducted by leading think-tanks in Indonesia and abroad which promote academic and theological aspects. Ambassador Oegroseno further explained that Indonesia's ability to overcome the political and economic crisis in a relatively short time, and with Indonesia’s stature today, have proven that Islam is compatible with modernization, democracy and human rights."
Epoch Times, "Drones Will Remain, Despite Controversies" by Kremena Krumova.
" 'Drones are a stopgap measure employed by Western governments that have not yet developed the insight, the will, or the ability to address the threat of Islamist ideology,' wrote Taylor. And that is where the attention should be focused, Taylor said. 'The most effective means to counter Islamist terrorism is to marginalize and discredit the ideology that motivates it. Without discrediting Islamist ideology among Muslim populations, there will always be a ready pool of new recruits eager to obtain martyrdom while committing acts of terrorism.' "
International Qur'anic Studies Association,
the Qur’an and Authority, " by Dr.
Ali Mabrook, Deputy Director of Academics at LibForAll's International
Institute of Qur'anic Studies (IIQS), and head of its public policy
division, the Center for Contemporary Islam (CCI). In this article,
Dr. Mabrook describes how the Qur’an was transformed from a text
open to the full range of human inquiry and participation into
an instrument of political authority. This politicization of the
Qur'an closed the text to free examination and made its interpretation
both fixed and absolute. Mabrook argues that the first step in
“re-opening” the Qur’an is de-politicizing it. This article first
appeared (on April 17, 2013) in Al-Ahram,
where Dr. Mabrook writes a twice-monthly column. Additional columns,
essays and televised discussions by Dr. Mabrook can be found on
website and Dr.
Holland Taylor: Discrediting Extremism," by Ryan Mauro.
"Muslims who oppose the Islamist agenda are subject to enormous
grief, intimidation and often blood-chilling violence. It is only
natural that those who have the moral courage to accept these
consequences are often associated with the profound spiritual
traditions of Islam known as Sufism. Yet, it absolutely false
to claim that Sufism is considered heretical by mainstream Muslim
authorities, or even to assume that Sufism constitutes a distinct
sect within Islam. Sufism is woven into the very fabric of Islam
itself, for the inner, mystical dimensions of Islam complement
its outer practice and give life to what would otherwise be mere,
empty formalities, easily harnessed by ideologues to achieve their
Notre Dame University, "Nahdlatul
Ulama: Good Governance and Religious Tolerance in Indonesia,"
by Sumanto Al Qurtuby. Article provides useful information about
the Nahdlatul Ulama as "one of Indonesia’s many Muslim groupings
and religious associations that are ardently devoted to extend
the very fundamental teaching of Islam and the Quran as rahmatan
lil ‘alamin—“a source of love and compassion for all humanity,”
and to ensure that this message is embodied on earth."
The Jakarta Post, "E.
Java to promote Gus Dur’s grave as tourist attraction,"
by Indra Harsaputra. "Tapping into Indonesians’ penchant
for spiritual enlightenment, the East Java administration said
on Wednesday that it planned to promote the grave of Indonesia’s
former president and prominent cleric of the largest Islamic organization
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Abdurrahman
'Gus Dur' Wahid, in Jombang, as a magnet for both domestic
and foreign travelers. 'Between January and May 2012, the number
of people visiting Gus Dur’s grave reached 2.75 million. It means
that around 550,000 people visit the grave each month, or 18,333
people per day,' [East Java Tourism Agency chief Jariyanto] said."
This makes President Wahid's grave one of the ten most visited
pilgrimage sites in the world.
Two of the many popular tributes to President Wahid, which emerged
spontaneously in the years following his death in 2009: Gus
Dur: Champion of the People and Gitu Saja: Koq Repot
Just How Things Are: No Problem).
Inter Press Service News Agency, "Mystical
Islam Deters Fundamentalism," by Alexandra di Stefano
Institute for Religion and Democracy/Family Security
"The Anti-Islamist Texts the Free World Needs to Use,"
by Ryan Mauro. "The Illusion of an Islamic State
is more of a policy paper than a book. It is the end product of
a study where 27 academics traveled across Indonesia and interviewed
nearly 600 extremists in order to define the motivations, strategies
and weaknesses of Islamists. The authors' stated goal is to confront
the Muslim Brotherhood, Wahhabism and Hizb ut-Tahrir and turn
Indonesia into an ideological launching pad against them.... The
book is young, only published in Indonesia in May 2009, but has
had a tremendous impact. The project was funded by a single American
donor and a Swedish government grant. The Gulf governments, on
the other hand, spend billions promoting Islamism. The success
of The Illusion of an Islamic State is frustrating in
a way. If a relatively small expense could do so much good, then
what would happen if real money and support was put behind it?"
Democracy Digest, "Indonesia’s
civil Islam under threat?" "The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood
and resurgence of Wahhabi/Salafi groups in the wake of the Arab
awakening highlights the urgent need for 'a renaissance of Islamic
pluralism, tolerance and critical thinking,' according to two
Foreign Policy, "God
needs no defense," by Endy Bayuni. " 'Those who
claim to defend God, Islam, or the Prophet are thus either deluding
themselves or manipulating religion for their own mundane and
political purposes,' wrote Wahid, who died in 2009. Wahid, in
his article, addressed the issue of freedom of speech, which many
Muslim leaders say has been abused to encourage insults of their
God, religion, and the Prophet Mohammed: 'Defending freedom of
expression is by no means synonymous with personally countenancing
or encouraging disrespect towards other's religious beliefs, but
it does imply greater faith in the judgment of God, than that
of man.' "
Gus Mus, Spiritual Leader of Millions of Indonesian Muslims: 'Radicalism
Flourishes Under Democracy,'" by Michel Maas. "The
[Illusion of an Islamic State] appeared in Indonesia
in 2009, and immediately ignited a firestorm in the Muslim world.
The authors received death threats and were painted as 'enemies
of Islam' by the very people who defend terrorist attacks, and
refer to terrorists as 'martyrs' and 'heroes.' This is noteworthy
and significant, because the book is directed against precisely
these radicals, and against the irredeemable version of Islam
they wish to impose on others. The book'’s title is derived
from Abdurrahman 'Gus Dur' Wahid's introductory text: 'Their dream
of an Islamic state is merely an illusion, for the true islamic
state is not to be found in the structure of any government, but
rather, in hearts which are open to God and all his creatures.'
In other words: God and politics have nothing to do with each
New Europe, "The
Illusion of an Islamic State: A book that makes history,"
by Dionyssios Kefalakos. "There are very few books that can
be called 'the book'. Undoubtedly 'The
Illusion of an Islamic State' is one of them."
Terong Gosong, "American
Agents," by Yahya Cholil Staquf. "One of America's
closest allies is Saudi Arabia. And yet the Saudis' own ideological
allies, in Indonesia, spout venom and curse the United States
every single day. And because we [of the Nahdlatul Ulama] are
firmly committed to the path of moderation and tolerance, these
same Wahhabi sympathizers denounce us as American agents. Even
though America has no idea who we are!!!"
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