Jakarta. Governments of countries with large Muslim populations must practice good and transparent leadership to avoid violence, radicalism and terrorism, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said at the close of an Islamic scholars’ gathering in Malang, East Java, on Wednesday.
Kalla warned that if a government did not treat its people fairly, it would be setting the stage for its own destruction.
“It will also lead to the migration of millions of Muslims to other countries to gain protection,” he told delegates at the 4th International Conference of Intellectuals, Scholars and Muslim Sufi, held by the International Conference of Islamic Scholars, or ICIS.
Kalla welcomed the conference’s Malang Message – a commitment to nurture peaceful Muslim society – and encouraged Islamic scholars to continue providing guidance for people to attain education and prosperity. He urged ICIS to engage more closelywith Muslim youths and educate them about the values of a peaceful Islam.
Former Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told the conference that Islam needed to show its tolerance and embrace reconciliation instead of violence.
Hassan Wirajuda, a former Indonesian foreign minister, said the Muslim community had to find its own solutions to its problems and end the violence espoused by radicals such as the Sunni militant group Islamic State.
He urged a greater role by the government and religious leaders in preventing extremism and promoting a moderate understanding of Islam through interfaith dialogue and internal discourse with the community.
Michael Privot, the director of the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism, said the world needed to see the Indonesian experience of a tolerant Islam if it was to successfully counter a rising tide of Islamophobia prompted by Islamic State and other extremists.