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Jakarta cleric moot urges Afghan sides to join direct talks

Jakarta cleric moot urges Afghan sides to join direct talks

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May 11, 2018 - 13:34

JAKARTA (Pajhwok): Indonesia President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday opened the Trilateral Ulemainfo-icon Conference involving clerics from Indonesian, Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon at Bogor Palace, which deliberated upon how ulema could help achieve peace in Afghanistan.

Themed “Islam as Rahmatan lil Alamin: Peace and Stability in Afghanistan” the event, hosted by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), expressed support for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan and deliberated on how ulema could play their role in establishing a conducive environmentinfo-icon supportive to the peace process.

"This meeting is part of Indonesia's commitment to promoting the ulemas' role [in creating peace]," said Jokowi during the opening ceremony on Friday morning. "We know our efforts to create peace are never easy, but as people of faith, we must believe in help from God. Hence, we should not lose hope or give up."

In its declaration, the ulema conference said “the core message of Islam is centred upon the principle of peace, mercy and compassion. We, therefore, support Paigham-e-Pakistan, Afghan declarations and other peace initiatives about peace in Afghanistan by the Ulema from Islamic Worldinfo-icon which favour peace, Islamic brotherhood, and denouncing violence and terrorism.”

Speaking at the event’s launch ceremony, President Jokowi said ulema could better promote peace, as they were model figures that most Muslim adherents followed and listened to, and also possessed the authority "to shape the Muslim image".

The declaration said the ulema appreciated and supported the Kabulinfo-icon Peace Process and regional countries, Islamic world and the international community for expressing their full support to the Afghan peace process.

The ulema said they took note of conducive environment for peace in Afghanistan and called upon all sides to join direct peace talks.

Ulema especially from countries like Indonesia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, having a deeper understanding of the difficult challenges facing the Muslim countries, could play an active role in promoting peace and solidarity in the Muslim world, especially in Afghanistan.

“Ulema’s abled guidance and discourse based on the injunctions of the Holy Qur’an and examples set by the Holy Prophet Mohammad, PBUH, whereby he always preferred to adopt the ‘middle course’ (Wasath) (Ar.) in life, is the best course to set the direction right for the Muslims.”

“As ordained by Rasulullah PBUH (Al-Bukhari Vol. 8, hadithinfo-icon 470) “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately; Always adopt a middle, moderate regular course, whereby you will reach your goal (of paradise)”.

The ulema reaffirmed that violence and terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, or ethnic group, as violent extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including violence against civilians and suicide attacks, are against the holy principles of Islam.

In his remarks, the Indonesia President also emphasized that peace and stability in Afghanistan had been Indonesia’s long-standing goal, so he "strongly condemned" the planned relocation of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I urge other countries not to follow [the US's] move, which has disrupted the peace process," Jokowi said, adding that Palestine was on "each Indonesian's breath."

Earlier this year, Jokowi met his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani and, as well as Pakistani president Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Abbasi, in their respective countries to propose that they hold a trilateral ulema conference in Indonesia, to which they agreed.

The ulema representatives from the three countries were expected to discuss their role in sowing the seeds for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Their agenda included the five key issues of peace and friendship under Islam, violent extremism, aitidal (tolerance), the ulema's peace-building role, and the role of the state in the peace effort.

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