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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
08/09/2007 INDONESIA
Moderate Fauzi is the new governor of Jakarta
05/25/2011 INDONESIA
Indonesian Priest: Pancasila, a guarantee of religious freedom, against fundamentalism
by Mathias Hariyadi

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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