Leading Ulema Says Indonesia Is Not an Islamic Country

Ma’ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, center. (Photo courtesy of BeritaSatu)

By : Novi Setuningsih | on 3:49 PM June 20, 2017
Category : News, Religion

Jakarta. Ma’ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, said on Monday (19/06) while visiting the Indonesian Military headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, that Indonesia is not an Islamic country or a country of infidels, but a country founded on a mutual agreement between people of different faiths.

According to Amin, it was the consensus of Muslim leaders in 1945 to modify the first tenet of Pancasila — which now says "Belief in One Almighty God," removing the line "with the obligations for Muslims to carry out the Islamic shariah."

For that reason, Amin said, Indonesia is not an Islamic country, but a country typified by a strong relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims who have promised to live together in peace, helping and caring for one another.

"Ulemas had agreed to remove the line so Indonesia can become a united country. From the perspective of Islam, Indonesia is a peaceful territory, or 'darul suluh'... not an Islamic country, 'darul Islam.' It's not a country of infidels, 'darul kufar,' or a country in war. It's a country founded on mutual agreements by people of different ethnics and religions," Amin said.

The MUI chairman expressed his concerns that some groups are now challenging Pancasila's "unity in diversity" principle.

Amin called on Muslims to put aside their differences and work together with people of different faiths across the country to stop the spread of radical ideologies.

"Let’s protect this country together. Indonesia has to stay united," Amin said.

He added that the biggest threat to a united Indonesia comes from intolerant groups that have been hogging the spotlight recently.

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