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Syuhud Sahudi Marsudi

Président de la «Nahdlatul Ulama», Indonésie

God blessed all the audience, ladies and gentlemen  and  especially the committee who organized this event hopefully always be in the protection of Allah and His blessing and and success in performing of all their duties. Amen.

Today I have a good opportunity  to exchange and share  ideas and views  about  " “Religions and the Value of Life in Asia” actually, this is an important topic, not only for moslems in Asia, but also for the countries in the world.

My home land Indonesia ( that before is belong to Nusantara /Asia now ) is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands, with the Population 237.556.363 (National statistic, 2010.) and now almost 250 million people, make it the world's fourth-most populous state (after China, India and the United States). At least 300 different ethnic groups. the official national language is Bahasa Indonesia, with 737 living local languages. And diferent religions, Muslim 87.21%,with their house of worship (mosques) 289.951, and Ratio 1:715. Protestant 6.96%, and the churches are 61.796 ratio 1:267, Roman Catholic 2.91% , with the churches are 7.907, ratio 1:874, Hindu 1.69%,with the temples 24.8011, ratio 1:162 Budhis 0.72%,with the temples 3.342 ratio 1: 510  Khong Hucu 0.06%, 651.ratio 1: 180 and other local religions 0.5% 1.196.317 .

Indonesia, which is the moto is (Bhineka Tunggal Ika) Unity in diversity, is the country’s largest Muslim in the world, 12.9% from total world moslems, has regarded five principles (Pancasila) as the state foundation and ideology as well. Since the establishment of the beloved Republic of Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama ( NU )  has agreed to accept Pancasila as a state ideology. It constitutes the best choice having ever been made by Indonesian people. For it contains not only substantive moral of religious values but also the very deeply expression rooted from the Indonesia’s culture. Pancasila has become a meeting point, between those expecting Indonesia to be a secular state and those expecting it as a religious state, for considering that Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country. 

Pancasila is the integration of Indonesian’s culture into Islamic values or vice versa. Seen from the point of view of religion, Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world ( the biggest Muslim country in theworld). But in the religion - political and ideological, Indonesia is not an “Islamic State “.However, it does not mean Islam in Indonesia is “ not original “. Difficult to deny that the teachings and values of Islam has contributed much to the formation of Indonesian national culture. On the other hand, the institutionalization of Islamic values is also very powerful form of knowledge and intellectual system of the people, customs and belief systems, national culture, economic systems, up to the formation of Muslim behavior in Indonesia. In short, Islamic values has been fused with the culture of Indonesia. Islamic values have been institutionalized and becomes tradition in Indonesia then experience the dynamics and endless adjustments till to day. ( 3 ) From this never stops process , then be a social system called " Islam Nusantara " As noted by Prof.Dr. K.H. Said Aqil Siroj  General Chairman of  Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)  " Islam Nusantara is not a new religion , nor a new flow or sect of religion . Islam Nusantara is thought to be based on the history of Islam into Indonesia not through war , but through compromise to the culture of peace. Islam Nusantara still does not justify the existence of a tradition which is contrary to the Islamic values . For example , the tradition of  legalizing free sex, radicalism, killing each other   was not justified , can not be accepted, can not be compromised. But this is seen as a trigger to perform an intense creative response . In this way Islam Nusantara can gracefully dialogue with traditions of thought of other people including Westerners.

Islam Nusantara is really only simplification of the typology of Islam in Indonesia and  result of the fusion between Islam and culture of peace in Nusantara ( Indonesia ).2 . Islam Nusantara in this perspective is not only on a geographical concept , further away is an encounter culture ( cultural meeting center ) from all over the world . Starting from the Arabic culture , India , Turkey , Persia , including from Western culture produced the culture and values that are very typical . Therefore , Islam Nusantara is not only a geographical concept but rather a philosophical concept and perspective or insight into a mindset , values and perspective in view and the face of the coming culture . ( 5 )

Islam Nusantara meant a struggle for the Islamic understanding , dialogue , and blend with the peace culture of  Nusantara ( Indonesia)  through a process of selection and acculturation and adaptation . Islam Nusantara is a dynamic and friendly with diverse cultures and religions . Islam Nusantara is not only fits received by people of Nusantara  but also give  beautiful color to the cultural heritage as the accommodative of “ Islam  Rahamatan lil Alamin” ( Blessing for Universe ) .

Listening to the voice of Islam in the world today , Islam Nusantara is needed , because of  its trademark emphasizes the middle path  (tawasut / moderate ) is not extreme ( Tathoruf ) , always balanced ( Tawazun) and inclusive , tolerant ( tasamuh ) and co-existing peacefully with other religions , and can accept democracy well .

Islam Nusantara is not anti- Arab culture , Islam Nusantara remains grounded in the faith and the unity as the essence of Islam brought by the Prophet Muhammad SAW . Therefore , these characters are attached to Islam Nusantara  are :

First , contextually, Islam can be understood as a doctrine in the context of time and place . The changing of time and regional differences become a key of interpretation and ijtihad . Thus , Islam will continue to be able to renew itself and dynamically in response to a changing times and places. Moreover , Islam by bending capability of dialogue with different societies , ability to adapt a good culture in any difference places is the true teaching of Islam as, shahih li kulli zaman wa makan  ( relevant to all the  times and places ) .

Second , Tolerant ( Tasamuch ), Contextuality , Islam  makes us aware that the interpretation and understanding of the diverse opinion in Islam is not distorted when ijtihad is done with responsibility . This attitude will bring a tolerant attitude towards the various differences in interpretation of Islam . Furthermore , awareness of reality context of plural in Indonesia also demanded recognition of existence of religions with all its consequences . The spirit of diversity in Nusantara is the pillar of the establishment of Indonesia .

Thirdly , respect ( Ihtirom ) for tradition . When we realized that Islam is built on good old traditions , it is a proof that Islam is not always hostile to local traditions . Islam is not hostile , but rather a means vitalization of the values of Islam , because the values of Islam need a framework which is familiar with the life of its adherents. 

Fourth , progressive ( Taqaddimiyah ) . Namely, Islam  accepts progressive aspect of the teaching and the reality which we  faced . The progress of changing time and technology  is not understood as a threat, because Islam Nusantara is familiar with the teaching of “Al-Mukhafadhotu ‘ala qodiimi sshoolih wal-akhdzu bil-jadiidi ashlah “ Keeping the good old traditions and taking a new better  traditions.

Fifth ,To  make Islamic teaching in Nusantara  as a doctrine that can address universal  human problems regardless of differences in religion and ethnicity. Rosululloh Said : Irkhamuu Man Fil Ardhi Yarkhamukum Man Fi Samai: Be mercifull with those on earth, And God will be mercifull with you.

With the above description and the model implemented in Indonesia, hopefully we can take the benefits and goodness, and improve the shortcomings, so we can live in peace, togetherness, fair, prosperous, and became the nation's dignity. And the last , Don’t stop building peace, until we have arrest in peace. Walkhamdulillahi Robbil ‘alamiin.