08/23/2021, 12.34
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Nahdlatul Ulama: Taliban in Kabul a danger for Jakarta as well

by Mathias Hariyadi

For President Said Agil Siroj, the situation in Afghanistan is likely to fuel "a new wave of radicalism". The appeal to army and police leaders to guarantee security and preserve the values of pluralism and unity in diversity. The evacuation of Indonesian personnel from Afghanistan continues, the diplomatic representation transferred to Islamabad. 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The fall of the "legitimate" Afghan government, the hasty flight of President Ashraf Ghani and the rise to power of the Taliban, which today controls a large part of the nation, risk "giving rise to a new wave of radicalism in Indonesia," warns Said Agil Siroj, president of Nahdlatul Ulama (Nu).

The NU president fears repercussions in his own country following the victory of the Taliban in Kabul. In a message published on August 21, he warns that Indonesian extremist groups will find a "moral charge" in the Taliban victory. 

The Nahdlatul Ulama is one of the most prominent moderate Islamic organizations in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. In the past it has distinguished itself in inter-religious dialogue and collaboration in major initiatives and projects, including with Christians, and has always maintained a line of extreme rigor and firmness against confessional fundamentalism, supporting pluralism and unity in diversity. 

For Siroj (pictured), Indonesian extremist movements could claim the success of the Koranic students, saying that it is "Allah's will that helped them" and allowed them to "achieve their [political] goals". Hence the appeal to the government and the military leadership in Jakarta to ensure control and security, safeguarding the ideals of the country just days after the celebrations for the 76th anniversary of Independence, which took place on August 17. 

"We are called," continued the Nu leader, "to remain alert and remain vigilant," especially "the armed forces and the police" who are the first bastions to defend "national unity.

"Whoever dies in defense of the nation," he adds, "will be considered a holy warrior. Moreover, despite having studied at Ummul Qura University in Mecca, the Indonesian Muslim leader calls for defending and promoting the values, culture and wisdom typical of the nation and its people. "You can study in Saudi Arabia but that doesn't mean you have to import Arab traditions and culture (in terms of dress and customs). You can import technology from the West and the Far East (Japan, Korea and Australia) but this does not mean you have to make their habits and lifestyles your own."  

In the meantime, evacuation operations from Afghanistan continue: in these hours an air force plane from Jakarta has repatriated several fellow citizens, taking on board also five Filipinos in response to a request for help from Manila. Also on board were two Afghans married to Indonesian nationals. The aircraft had to wait for two hours on the runway before being allowed to take off. The Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi confirmed that the diplomatic mission has been transferred from Kabul to Islamabad for security reasons. 

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