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» 05/12/2012
INDONESIA
Indonesia, Islamic paramilitary group defends Christians, Hindus and Buddhists
by Mathias Hariyadi
It's called Banser and is a branch of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a movement established in 1926 which aims to protect all minorities in the country. Recently, they foiled an attack by Islamic fundamentalists against a Canadian writer. According to members of NU "Muslims and Christians believe in the same God," spread of radical Islam depends on the " government that supports them for fear of losing votes."

Yogyakarta (AsiaNews) - Canadian journalist and author Irshad Manji was threatened with death by Islamic fundamentalist groups for having written a book about Islam and freedom entitled Allah, Liberty and Love. For weeks, members of radical movements have stopped the author from presenting the book, often by attacking people attending meetings. Only during a speech at the headquarters of the Free Journalist Alliance in South Jakarta, were there no assaults, thanks to the intervention of members of Banser, the paramilitary group of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the Shiite Muslim movement that defends the country's ethnic and religious minorities .

Founded in 1926 by Kiai Hajj Hasyim Ashari - grandfather of the late Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, nicknamed Gus Dur - over the years has become a flag of moderate Islam. NU gave birth to the paramilitary unit Banser and the Gerakan Pemuda Ansor youth wing.

Kiai Hajj Husein Nuril Arifin, a Muslim leader of Semarang (Central Java province), told AsiaNews: "True Islam supports the spirit of tolerance and love among human beings. With Christians, we believe in the same God The differences are in how we practice our faith: there is no reason to worry about those who exercise a faith different from ours. Muslim leaders should practice this spirit of tolerance, rather than just talk at seminars and conferences. "

According Aan Anshori, a member of the NU, the problem in Indonesia is that "the government is afraid of losing the support of Muslim fundamentalist groups," and this is why the will not take the necessary measures to stop them. "If we look at the attacks on Irshad Manji - he explains - they were radical Islamists: in the book he speaks of freedom [Hurriyah], Justice ['Adalah] and social equality [musawwa]. Ideas that these groups do not adhere to".

 


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See also
11/17/2011 INDONESIA
West Java: moderate Muslims support Yasmin Church against the fundamentalist
by Mathias Hariyadi
10/13/2008 NEPAL
Nepalese Muslims "happy" to celebrate feast together with Hindus
by Kalpit Parajuli
10/14/2004 INDONESIA
Two Christians Killed in Sulawesi
05/25/2011 INDONESIA
Indonesian Priest: Pancasila, a guarantee of religious freedom, against fundamentalism
by Mathias Hariyadi
08/09/2007 INDONESIA
Moderate Fauzi is the new governor of Jakarta

Editor's choices
NEPAL – ASIA
Nepal earthquake: Church and international community coming to the aid of survivorsThe Italian Bishops’ Conference has pledged € 3 million in emergency medical assistance. The South Korean Church has allocated funds for the displaced. India, Pakistan and China are already on the ground. A Chinese airline has hiked ticket fares to evacuate its nationals. Israel is selective in its help, airlifting 25 children of surrogate mothers and gay couples.
VATICAN
Pope prays for Nepal quake victims, hopes they receive "fraternal solidarity"A good shepherd is like Christ, someone who “is a guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.” When the pope met the crowd at the window of his study, two new priests stood by his side.
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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