Islamic groups call for unity amid political year
The Jakarta Post
Two of the biggest Islamic groups in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, have pledged to ensure unity in the world's largest Muslim democracy during "the year of politics" and the era of "rampant hoax.
In a joint statement issued on Friday, NU and Muhammadiyah said they were committed to "strengthening the consensus of the founding fathers" that the stateideology of Pancasila and the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia "are the final forms" for the country.
"Indonesia is a country that has diversity in terms of ethnic groups and religions that must be protected," read the statement, published on NU's website, nu.or.id.
"Differences must be seen as a blessing to support harmony," the two organizations said.
The two groups specifically highlighted two challenges that face democracy in Indonesia: 2018 as a year of politics and the rampant spread of hoaxes and hate speech.
The term year of politics refers to the upcoming simultaneous regional elections in 119 regions across Indonesia and the intensified efforts by the country's parties to consolidate their positions before the presidential and legislative elections slated for next year.
"Let’s make democracy a part of our life, as a nation, to create substantial changes," said the NU and Muhammadiyah.
Amid what they dubbed the era of social media, the NU and Muhammadiyah called on their members to "build a conducive climate" because the rampant spread of hoaxes, hate speech and slander could potentially "disturb the unity of the nation". (ahw)
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