Indonesia calls for moderate Islamic world, unity in fight against radicalism

Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla (on stage) delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders in Jakarta.
Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla (on stage) delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders in Jakarta.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla on Monday (May 9) called for an Islamic world that is "moderate" and pressed for unity in diversity among countries in the region in the fight against radicalism.

He added that youth who do not have deep faith are susceptible to radicalism not for wealth or political fame, but rather as a "shortcut to heaven".

That is why Islamic leaders need to do more to resolve issues of radicalism, especially with the world in constant fear of "radicalism in action", which comes in the form of terrorism, wars and conflicts.

Mr Kalla was speaking at the opening of the International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders (Isomil) in Jakarta, organised by the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country and the NU - with about 40 million members - is its largest Muslim organisation.

The two-day conference is being attended by Islamic leaders from about 30 countries around the world.

A key focus of the event is for these leaders to discuss and find new ways to promote a moderate form of Islam as an antidote to extremist ideologies.

"I appreciate the important ideas, but those ideas will be more useful if we practise them together among the countries here," said Mr Kalla.

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