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Islam Nusantara is Indonesian Religious Identity, Gus Yahya Says in the US

Islam Nusantara is Indonesian Religious Identity, Gus Yahya Says in the US
NU Supreme Council Secretary-General (PBNU) KH Yahya Cholil Staquf
NU Supreme Council Secretary-General (PBNU) KH Yahya Cholil Staquf

Washington, NU Online

NU Supreme Council Secretary-General (PBNU) KH Yahya Cholil Staquf attended an interfaith meeting at the Great Mosque of Muhammad, Washington DC, United States, Tuesday, July, 13.


On this occasion, a man familiarly called Gus Yahya explained the term Islam Nusantara as a religious identity for the Indonesian people. This term was created in 2015.


"In 2015, we made an expression that we claim can describe our religious culture in Indonesia. It is 'Islam Nusantara' . We identify ourselves as Islam Nusantara. Nusantara means the East Indies Archipelago," he said.


"Islam Nusantara is an Islamic civilization in the archipelago," Chairman of Raudlatut Thalibin Islamic Boarding School, Leteh, Rembang, Central Java added.


The concept of this term, according to him, is very complex. However, it is simplified by Supreme leader (Rais Aam)  Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) 2014-2015, KH Ahmad Mustofa Bisri to be easily comprehended. "Islam Nusantara is Indonesian people who embrace Islam, not only Muslims living in Indonesia," he said.


Gus Yahya explained this when he was asked for his views on the W. Deen Mohammed community. He is of the view that just like Islam Nusantara, this community also provides a true picture of America.


"We see W Deen Mohammed as a mirror of America, namely Americans who embrace Islam. Islam inspires to be a better America. That's why we idealize Islam to play a role," he explained and greeted by audiences applause.


On that occasion, Gus Yahya gave a book to the Secretary-General and CEO of the World Evangelist Alliance (WEA) Thomas Schirrmacher. The book contains fundamental writings from scholars and leaders of NU and WEA.


"This marks the beginning of our joining the agreement on the Global Movement of Humanitarian Islam and the WEA," he said.


Thomas was very honored to receive a book souvenir from Gus Yahya. He thanked the people who brought him to the meeting.


The meeting raised the theme, "God Doesn't Need to be Defended." Holland's Deputy Chair of Humanitarian Islam Carol Taylor said that the theme is a very popular sentence in Indonesia. It is created and conveyed by KH Abdurrahman Wahid, the Fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia.


Reporter: Syakir NF
Editor: Aiz Lutfi
Translator: Muhammad Faizin