23 May 2017
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  • » 03/17/2017, 11.33

    INDONESIA

    Hasyim Muzadi, defender of pluralism, has died: the condolences of Indonesian Catholics

    Mathias Hariyadi

    The Church remembers him for his commitment to defend and protect the principle of the nation's unity in diversity. The Muslim cleric has promoted dialogue and tolerance between different confessions in an Indonesia marked by hatred of radical Muslims.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Hasyim Muzadi, member of the Presidential Council of Indonesia, died yesterday at the age of 72 in Malang (East Java), his hometown. A former chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in the country, Muzadi was iconic for the promotion of pluralism in Indonesian society.

    During his NU presidency, from 1999 to 2009, he promoted dialogue and tolerance between different confessions with dedication, in a time when Indonesia was troubled by the violence of radical Muslim groups against religious minorities.

    The news of his death has shocked the country. Together with the world of politics and the moderate Indonesian Muslim organizations, the Catholic Church expresses its condolences for the death of Hasyim Muzadi. Catholics mourn and remember the Muslim religious with affection and respect for his serious commitment to defending and protecting the principle of the nation's unity in diversity.

    As a gesture of tolerance and compassion, Msgr. Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan, bishop of Malang, took part in the funeral rites that were held in the private residence of Muzadi, within the Mahasiswa Pesantren Al-Hikam Islamic boarding school.

    Fr. Eko Putranto, a Carmelite Malang, recalls in a statement to AsiaNews how Muzadi was "an important person, in the service of the nation’s pluralism." Fr. Michael Agung Christiputro, of the parish of the Good Shepherd Batu (East Java), tells of a prayer vigil organized last night by the faithful in memory of the deceased.

    Over the years at the head of NU, Hasyim Muzadi has maintained a deep friendship with several figures in the Catholic Church, especially with the Card. Julius Darmaatmadja, former chairman of the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) and former archbishop of Jakarta. At this time, thousands of Catholics express their respect for Muzadi through on social media, as well as their condolences to the family of the deceased, a real promoter and hero of interfaith tolerance in Indonesia.

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