Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization elects new chief
It is hoped Yahya Cholil Staquf will uphold the moderate values of the 80-million-strong Nahdlatul Ulama group
Yahya Cholil Staquf, the new chairman of Nahdatul Ulama, poses with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo: Official website of Nahdatul Ulama)
Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, known for its moderate ideology, has elected a new chairman.
Yahya Cholil Staquf, the organization’s current secretary-general, was elected on Dec. 24 for the next five years, defeating the current chairman.
Siradj, who has served as chairman for two terms, said he hoped his successor would continue the organization’s mission to teach a moderate and tolerant form of Islam.
Nahdlatul Ulama, which has around 80 million followers, is known for its appreciation of pluralism, seen with its banning of the term “infidel” to describe non-Muslims and promoting cultural values that are recognized as being friendly and polite.
Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, a member of a presidential unit promoting communal tolerance, said he hoped Staquf will strengthen the role of Nahdatul Ulama in fighting off threats posed by religious extremism.
“His election is a blessing for all of us given his very encouraging moderate views, which are also recognized at international level,” he said.
Staquf was born into a family of Islamic scholars and one of his younger siblings is the current minister of religion, Yaqut Cholil Qaumas
“We always need organizations like Nahdatul Ulama that are getting stronger in spreading influence in order to stem the views of other groups that can damage our nation.”
Staquf was born into a family of Islamic scholars and one of his younger siblings is the current minister of religion, Yaqut Cholil Qaumas.
Their father is Cholil Bisri, who is a former deputy chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly and one of the founders of the National Awakening Party.
Staquf is often invited to speak about Islam at various international forums.
Categories: The Muslim Times