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Jakarta Post

Female Islamic clerics call for unity ahead of elections

  • Ati Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, March 1, 2018   /   09:24 pm
Female Islamic clerics call for unity ahead of elections Call for unity: Badriyah Fayumi (left), leader of the Mahasina 'pesantren' (Islamic boarding school) in Bekasi, West Java, Hindun Annisah (center) of Pesantren Hasyim Asy’ari in Jepara, Central Java, and Yulianti Muthmainnah of Aisyiyah, the women’s wing of Muhammadiyah, read out a joint statement after a meeting of Indonesian women ulema at Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Central Jakarta on March 1. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Women ulema from across Indonesia are calling on all parties to uphold unity ahead of the elections.

In a five-point statement, female Islamic clerics urged the country to maintain plurality by avoiding poor practices in this year's political contests, such as politicizing identity differences and using hate speech, which could damage social cohesion of the nation.

Two female Islamic leaders, Yulianti Muthmainnah of Aisyiyah, the women’s wing of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization Muhammadiyah, and Hindun Annisah of the Hasyim Asy’ari pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Jepara, Central Java, read out the statement, which was signed by 137 women ulema, after their meeting at Istiqlal Grand Mosque on Thursday.  

Badriyah Fayumi, leader of Pesantren Mahasina in Bekasi, West Java, said the moral calls represented concerns of female clerics who worked actively in pesantren, majelis taklim (Quran study congregations) and other religious education forums.

“The Women Ulema Network shares a similar concern; hence, this moral call will be followed up on simultaneously by all female cleric networks, which have been solidifying since the first Indonesian Women Ulema Congress in Cirebon, West Java, in April 2017,” said Fayumi.

Participants of the meeting said women ulema had characteristics useful for spreading the religion, as they could convey their messages in calm words while uniting followers and upholding Islamic principles. (ebf)