2024_04_13_CDI Marrakech

World’s largest political network highlights the need to foster human fraternity as an antidote to the intensifying clash of civilizations

“O people, your Lord is One, and your Father is One: all of you are from Adam, and Adam was from the earth. The noblest of you in God’s sight is he or she who is most fully conscious of God”
~ Muhammad bin Abdullah (saw.)
Discrimination saying, ‘This one is a relative, that [other one] a stranger,’ is only for the small-minded. For the noble-minded, the whole world is a single family”
~ Maha Upanishad

MARRAKECH, Morocco, 13 April 2024 — Leaders of the world’s largest political network, Centrist Democrat International (CDI), have unanimously adopted a Resolution on the urgent need to foster universal human fraternity in order to address multiple crises facing humanity. The resolution cites “the re-emergence of religious conflict in the 1990s and post-9/11, as well as indications of an intensifying clash of civilizations, which threaten to unravel the rules-based international order established in the wake of the Second World War.”

The resolution was drafted by Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party, PKB, which was founded in 1998 by senior leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization. It notes that “in 2022, Nahdlatul Ulama established the G20 Religion Forum (R20), in conjunction with Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20, in order to ‘help ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems, in the 21st century.’” Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_02_19_Royal Anthropological Institute

Journal of the world’s oldest anthropological institute recognizes Humanitarian Islam’s global importance

“[Nahdlatul Ulama’s] ambition is high: not merely to counterbalance the dominance currently exercised by Saudi and Egyptian religious authorities, tied to autocratic regimes, but also to set an example for all other scriptural religions, to renounce their ‘hard texts,’ which can be cited to justify xenophobia and violence.”
~ Dr. Jonathan Benthall
Department of Anthropology, University College London

LONDON, United Kingdom, 19 February 2024 — The world’s oldest scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology — Britain’s Royal Anthropological Institute (est. 1871) — has published an academic review of Humanitarian Islam: Reflecting on an Islamic Concept (Brill | Schöningh, 2023), an edited volume compiling analyses by some of the world’s leading experts on the global Humanitarian Islam movement.

The review — published in Volume 30, Issue 1 of Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute — is the latest in a series of analyses by world-leading experts in the fields of anthropology, international relations, geopolitics, religious studies, and global peace and security, who recognize that Humanitarian Islam merits serious academic research.

Dr. Jonathan Benthall — an Honorary Research Associate at University College London who served as Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute for a quarter-century and is founding editor of the academic journal Anthropology Today — wrote the review, which may be read in full below. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_02_05_Zayed Award for Human Fraternity

Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah organizations recognized for their contributions to humanity and to international peace and security

“The largest Islamic organization in the world, Nahdlatul Ulama, plays a major role in spearheading global peace and diplomatic efforts”
~ Zayed Award for Human Fraternity

KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board (left) and Dr. Haedar Nashir, Chairman of the Muhammadiyah Central Board, at the Zayed Award ceremony in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — On 5 February 2024, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity — a joint initiative of the Holy See, Egypt’s al-Azhar University, and the Government of Abu Dhabi — presented the 2024 Zayed Award for Human Fraternity to Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah organizations for their “respective roles in the humanitarian field, as well as their peacebuilding efforts at the national, regional, and international levels.”

The humanitarian award is named after Shaykh bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, and the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence Shaykh Ahmed al-Tayyeb of al-Azhar signed the Document on Human Fraternity on 4 February 2019 in Abu Dhabi, during the first-ever Papal visit to the Gulf region.

Prior recipients of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity include Pope Francis and Shaykh Tayyeb; UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres; King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan; and the Roman Catholic grassroots organization Sant’Egidio. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_01_31_MBZ College for Future Studies

Nahdlatul Ulama/UAE strategic engagement deepens: President Joko Widodo and Emirati leaders inaugurate MBZ College for Future Studies at NU University of Yogyakarta (UNU)

“UNU must be prepared to serve as a locomotive, inspiring and facilitating an extraordinary leap of progress within Nahdlatul Ulama’s institutions of higher learning throughout Indonesia”
~ H.E. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia

H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy & Infrastructure, presents a 3D model of an Abu Dhabi-funded UNU campus building to H.E. KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — On 31 January 2024, Indonesian President H.E. Joko Widodo, Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman H.E. KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, and United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy & Infrastructure H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei laid the foundation stone of a high-rise building that will house the Mohamed Bin Zayed College for Future Studies (CFS) on the campus of Nahdlatul Ulama University of Yogyakarta (UNU Yogyakarta).

Construction of the CFS facility represents a significant expansion of strategic collaboration between Nahdlatul Ulama, the Abu Dhabi-based Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities, and the Governments of Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under the leadership of UAE President H.H. Mohamed Bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi has pledged $100 million dollars for the development of UNU Yogyakarta and the College for Future Studies. A unique feature of CFS will be the integration of Islamic values such as rahmatan lil alamin, or universal love and compassion, into an educational curriculum focused on science, technology (including AI and robotics), and future studies, thereby contributing to the development of peaceful, inclusive, tolerant, prosperous, and sustainable societies. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_01_29_Nahdlatul Ulama’s Civilizational Strategy

NU National Congress highlights Nahdlatul Ulama’s civilizational strategy

“At a time when many secular-minded people in the West subscribe to a new cultural relativism that denies the reality and importance of shared civilizational values, it is NU and Indonesia who call upon all nations of the world to affirm a shared moral purpose….
“There are few spiritual messages more profound than this, and none more relevant for the troubled times in which humanity today lives.”
~ Robert Hefner
Professor of Anthropology and International Relations at Boston University and President of the American Institute for Indonesian Studies

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — On 29 January 2024, hundreds of Islamic scholars joined political leaders and experts in the fields of geopolitics, religious studies, and international peace and security to celebrate the 101st anniversary of Nahdlatul Ulama’s founding according to the Islamic hijri calendar. Held in conjunction with Nahdlatul Ulama’s National Congress (KONBES), which sets policy for the 100-million-member organization, the event opened with a discussion of Nahdlatul Ulama’s strategy to bring the world’s geopolitical and economic power structures into alignment with the highest moral and spiritual values.

The KONBES was held at the prestigious al-Munawwir Krapyak madrasah in Yogyakarta, one of Indonesia’s most storied and influential Islamic seminaries. Once run by the venerated scholar and Chairman of the NU Supreme Council, Kyai Haji Ali Maksum (1915 – 1989), many of Indonesia’s most prominent modern figures were educated within its halls, including its first democratically elected head of state, H.E. KH. Abdurrahman Wahid (“Gus Dur,” 1940 – 2009), the widely revered religious scholar, public intellectual, painter, and poet, KH. A. Mustofa Bisri (“Gus Mus,” 1944 – present), and current Nahdlatul Ulama General Chairman KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_01_28_“Gus Dur” at al-Azhar

Egypt’s al-Azhar University celebrates the life and legacy of KH. Abdurrahman Wahid

“Al-Azhar considers Nahdlatul Ulama to be its sister organization, for NU employs the same classical Sunni religious methodology taught at al-Azhar al-Sharif”
~ Dr. Osama al-Azhari
Advisor for Religious Affairs to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

CAIRO, Egypt, 28 January 2024 — In a sign of Nahdlatul Ulama’s burgeoning influence in the Middle East, al-Azhar University — one of the oldest and most influential seats of learning in Sunni Islam — held an official celebration of H.E. KH. Abdurrahman Wahid’s life and legacy. Popularly known as “Gus Dur,” the long-time Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (1984 – 99) and first democratically elected president of Indonesia, attended al-Azhar University in the 1960s.

President Wahid (1940 – 2009) was renowned for his lifelong efforts to promote a pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam that enables Muslims to live at peace with the modern world and to embrace the values of democracy and universal human rights. Nahdlatul Ulama’s current initiatives — including the Humanitarian Islam movement, Islamic Jurisprudence for a Global Civilization (fiqh al-hadarah), and the Movement for Shared Civilizational Values — were directly inspired by President Wahid and are being executed by his close friends and disciples. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_01_02_The Muslim 500 — 2024

NU Chairman KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf among world’s 20 most influential Muslims

“We need to find a new, moral interpretation of religion that will guide people of different faiths to have more harmonious relations with one another”
~ KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf
The Muslim 500

AMMAN, Jordan, 2 January 2024 — For the second year running, the world’s premier index of Muslim power and influence, The Muslim 500, has ranked Nahdlatul Ulama Chairman KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf among the 20 most influential Muslims on earth.

Mr. Staquf is at the forefront of a global movement working to reform obsolete and problematic tenets within religious orthodoxy, and thereby ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems, in the 21st century. He has co-authored numerous landmark theological treatises, declarations, statements, and proclamations that have been disseminated to millions, and which carry the unambiguous support and religious authority of the world’s largest Muslim organization.

The Muslim 500 is published by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, a research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, headquartered in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Continue reading full communiqué…

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2024_01_01_National Post

Roman Catholic priest, professor, and columnist highlights Humanitarian Islam’s potential to transform the Muslim world

“‘Humanitarian Islam’ — a religious vision tolerant of pluralism and committed to interreligious harmony, human rights and democracy [has] the potential to change the thinking of hundreds of millions of Muslims in the next generation… It is a development very much worth watching and, at year’s end, a cause for hope”
~ Fr. Raymond J. de Souza
Senior Fellow at Cardus and the University of Toronto

TORONTO, Canada, 1 January 2024 — On the first day of the New Year, prominent Canadian Catholic priest, professor, and commentator Father Raymond J. de Souza dedicated his column in Canada’s National Post to an expansive analysis of the prospects for Middle East peace.

In his article, titled “A budding peace grows in the Islamic world, despite terrorist efforts,” Fr. de Souza praised Nahdlatul Ulama’s Humanitarian Islam movement for having a greater long-term potential impact than recent diplomatic breakthroughs in the region, such as the Abraham Accords or the Chinese-brokered détente between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading full communiqué…

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