» 05/12/2012, 00.00
Indonesia, Islamic paramilitary group defends Christians, Hindus and Buddhists
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
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".
West Java: moderate Muslims support Yasmin Church against the fundamentalist
The controversy over the construction of a Protestant church denied a permit by mayor continues, despite the Supreme Court ruling. Both parties seek support from different Muslim organizations.
Nepalese Muslims "happy" to celebrate feast together with Hindus
The festival of Dashain, one of the most important moments for Hindu tradition, has become an occasion of "social harmony" and interreligious dialogue. Positive assessments from Hindu and Muslim leaders, who promote the "sharing of moments of celebration."
Two Christians Killed in Sulawesi
Indonesian Priest: Pancasila, a guarantee of religious freedom, against fundamentalism
The five pillars of the state, that led to the creation of Indonesia, are back on the political agenda. The institutional leaders promote them to counter the fundamentalist drift in the archipelago. Starting next year, it will be included on school curricula. Recruitment of adherents to the fundamentalist cause continues, through brainwashing.
Moderate Fauzi is the new governor of Jakarta
Exit polls from the capital’s election for governor award victory to the nationalist candidate and seal defeat for the PKS, an Islamic rooted party, whose policies concerned ethnic and religious minorities. Official results are due next week.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
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