Speaking at Interfaith Meet in Jakarta, Saudi King Seeks Dialogue and Tolerance to Fight Extremism

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Indonesian officials take selfie with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.  Image: AFP
Indonesian officials take selfie with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. Image: AFP

Addressing an interfaith meet in Jakarta, the Saudi King lauded the unique diversity in Indonesia that enabled followers of different religions to have peaceful coexistence and tolerance in society. The King also emphasized the significance of fighting extremism in all religions and cultures. King Salman and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo met 28 interfaith leaders including nine Islamic leaders, three leaders of Konghucu faith, and four each from the Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, and Hindu religions

JAKARTA (IINA) – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Friday underscored the significance of working for fostering interaction and dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures so as to strengthen the principles of tolerance.

Addressing the interfaith leaders of Indonesia, the King lauded the unique diversity in Indonesia that enabled followers of different religions to have peaceful coexistence and tolerance in society. The King also emphasized the significance of fighting extremism in all religions and cultures. King Salman and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo met 28 interfaith leaders at the Raffles Hotel where the King is staying during his visit to the country. They included nine Islamic leaders, three leaders of Konghucu faith, and four each from the Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, and Hindu religions.

Apart from a number of princes and ministers accompanying the King, several Indonesian ministers were also present at the 45-minute meeting, including Coordinating Minister for Human Resource Development and Culture Puan Maharani, who is also the granddaughter of first president Soukarno; Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi; and Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin.

King Salman with leaders of various faiths at the interfaith meet in Jarkta, Indonesia on Friday.
King Salman with leaders of various faiths at the interfaith meet in Jarkta, Indonesia on Friday.

At the outset of the meeting, King Salman expressed delight at meeting the religious figures of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, pointing out that Indonesia enjoys political stability and economic renaissance as a result of the spirit of tolerance and coexistence among the Indonesian people with all its segments. He drew attention of the religious leaders to the fact that all religions strive to protect human rights and happiness.

The monarch stressed that Saudi Arabia has adopted the concept of dialogue among followers of religions and cultures, and contributed to establish a center for that purpose in Vienna, called King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.

“This shows the Kingdom’s desire to strengthen dialogue among all,” he added. In his speech, Widodo spoke about the importance of the spirit of tolerance and moderation among the followers of different religions. He said King Salman’s visit to Indonesia will strengthen cooperation in a way bringing forth goodness for the two countries and their peoples.

A number of Indonesian interfaith leaders also spoke on the occasion. They expressed their happiness over the historic visit of King Salman to Indonesia and thanked him for giving an opportunity to meet him. The religious leaders considered such important meetings as a great motivation in disseminating culture of tolerance and moderation as well as in fighting extremism and terrorism, and thus achieving global peace and security.

Islamic leaders who attended meeting were Din Syamsuddin, Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, Prof. Dr. Kammarudin Amin, Rof. Dr. Alwi. Shihab, Zannuba Arriffah C. Rahman (Yenny Wahid), Abdul Mufti, Masyakuri Abdillah, Komaruddin Hidayat, and Yudie Latief. Hanriette T. Hutabarat, Rev. Rony Mandang, Rev. Dr. Jacob Nahuway, and Gomar Gultom represented the Protestant Church while Suharyo Harjoatmojo, Antonius Subianto Osc., Paskalis Bruno Syukur Ofm., and Franz Magnis Suseno were from the Catholic Church.

Buddhist leaders at the meeting were S. Hartati Tjakra Murdaya, Bhikku Sri Pannyavaro, Suhadi Sanjaya, and Arif Harsono, while the Hindu leaders were Retired Major General Wisnu Bawa Tenaya, Ir. Ketut Parwata, Retired Lieutenant General Putu Soekreta Soetanta, and Made Gede Erata. Uung Sendana, Budi Santoso Tanuwibowo, and X.S. Djangrana were the Konghucu religious leaders present at the meeting

After three days of hectic official programs, the King will leave Saturday for a vacation to the tourist resort island of Bali to stay there until March 9. During the landmark visit, the King held officials talks with President Widodo in Jakarta and addressed Indonesia’s parliament. On Thursday, he met with a number of Islamic leaders and scholars at the Merdeka Palace besides visiting Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque.

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia on Thursday signed a number of memoranda of understanding and strategic partnership agreements in the fields of energy, health, housing and tourism. The deals, which were inked during the meeting of the Saudi-Indonesian Business Council, are amounted to a total of SR13.5 billion. The King and Widodo oversaw signing of another 11 pacts on Wednesday.

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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