The second International conference of Islamic Scholars
Welcoming remarks by KH. Hasyim Muzadi
Let me first of all take this opportunity to welcome each and every one of you to ICIS II . It is a great honour and privilege for me to be here among ulemmas and islamic scholars from around the world. we are here to share ideas and ways to promote islamic values and teachings. we are here to strengthen our efforts and solidarity to promote welfare and justice for the ummah.
Two years ago, we met in jakarta and committed ourselves to uphold islam as Rahmatan Lil Alamin; as reflected in our jakarta declaration as well as its plan of action. Today, we meet again with renewed commitment to move our shared cause forward, towards global justice and peace. Indeed, we must strive to translate our commitments into practical recommendations.
<>Two years have elapsed and the world has not stood in a standstill. We have witnessed important changes,both encouraging and otherwise. It is very encouraging, for example, that we have witnessed growing enthusiasm within the Ummah for the actualization of the economic system based on Islamic values.We have also witnessed, however, such discouraging phenomenon as the numerous conflicts and abject poverty that continue to plague the islamic world.
In this regard, this second conference is timely. It provides us with the forum to mobilize our intellectual resources. it is our hope that we will also be able to poll other resources, most importantly financial ones. we will strive to integrate our endeavour, to build closer connectivity among us, to promote solidarity among the ummah, and to build bridges between islam and the world.
I have every reason to believe, that we have the capacity to address the challenges faced by the ummah. We have the capacity to project the true nature of islam as rahmatan lil alaamin, we have the capacity to contribute to the promotion of global peace, justice and prosperity.
Let me now highlight the stategic significance of this conference. first and foremost, it strengthens our unity. We, ulemmas and scholars from different mazhabs of islam, regions and cultures, share common resolve to address the mattes of great importance to the ummah. This very unique trait of our conference promotes in itself moderation and tolerance within islamic societies, as well as between islam and the world.
I am pleased to report to you this conference has grown in strength, at least if we look at the participation level. The first conference in 2004 was attended by more than 250 participants from 42 countries. today, our last count reveals the participation of more 300 scholars from 53 countries. I know for a fact that there are still requests from many other scholars to participate, which we highly appreciate. However, due to limited space, we are not able to meet all the requests.
This heartening development reflects the enthusiasm for the continuity of the conference. I believe it is because of its relevance in addressing the dynamics of current and future challenges faced by the ummah.
I am also pleased to inform you there have been activities that follow the spirit of the jakarta declaration. We have successfully conducted the " International workshop on Education" in jakarta, in 2005, organized jointly by the islamic supreme council of America, central board of Nahdlatul Ulama and the World Organized for Resource Development and Education. The central board of NU in collaboration with leeds university of london has also organized the Educational Management Training, and its Comparative studies of Education, in london in 2005.
Another activity was the International conference of the faith-based organizations and islamic scholars on drug policies and strategies organized by the central board of NU, national narcotics board of indonesia, and the colombo plan in jakarta in february 2006. The conference agreed to mobilize faith-based organizations and islamic scholars as partners in formulating, implanting and evaluating policies and strategies in drug abuse prevention.
Beyond those concrete activities, the international conference of islamic scholars has in effect released the enormous energy of moderation. It has empowered the moderates and strengthen their moderate voices. The moderates are note those who have no opinion .The moderates are those those with strong views based on conviction abaout what is right and just. The moderates are those who strike the balance between faith and tolerance, as they strive for peace, social welfare and justice.
The moderates are those who maintain solidarity and lend their support to the victims and the weaker parties, in the name of humanity and justice.
I have the honour to inform you tha