The Jakarta Post
Muhammadiyah chairman Haedar Nashir has said his organization would continue to uphold the idea of Islam berkemajuan, or progressive Islam, in Indonesia amid concerns of rising religious extremism in the country.
Haedar made the pledge in a public lecture he delivered at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday, according to a statement released by Muhammadiyah. The Muslim scholar had been invited to the Australian university to explain the ideas and values of Islam embraced by the country’s largest modern Islamic movement.
"The view of progressive Islam introduced by the founders of Muhammadiyah has given birth to a progressive ideology that is widely known as reformist and modern Islam,” Haedar said in his lecture, as quoted in the statement.
Muhammadiyah, established in Yogyakarta in 1912, is one of the oldest Islamic organizations in the country. While some of its predecessors, such as Syarikat Dagang Islam and Jam’iyatul Khair (both established in 1905), have descended into obscurity, Muhammadiyah currently operates 9200 schools, 170 universities and 500 hospitals and nursing homes.
"Muhammadiyah is committed to spreading the ideas and mission of progressive Islam, as it was the spirit of its birth in 1912," Haedar said.
The Muslim scholar told his Australian audience that the organization believed Islam was opposed to war, violence and terrorism and should be a blessing to mankind.
Islam is basically a religion that consists of "progressive values to build a foremost civilization", he said. (mos/ahw)