Nahdlatul Ulama

A worldwide anti-ISIS campaign Against Jihadism has been started by Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama.

Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's biggest Islamic organization, has launched an anti-ISIS campaign worldwide. The membership of this organization has exceeded 50 million people and preaches a message of a tolerant Islam. Its youth wing has started a three day long conference in Java to wage a campaign against jihadism.

The faith centric hate disseminated by Islamic State has lacked a counter-narrative, and the Nahdlatul Ulama is developing that. It pulls no punches in the counter attack, describing the extremists as savage, shallow, unfaithful and even wallowing in filth. The organization also challenges the contention of the ISIS is that there is only a single path to be a Muslim.

The Nahdlatul Ulama is a mix of Sunni religion, political party and charity. It was established in 1926, as the response to Wahhabism– yet another Sunni movement. The latter is an ultra-conservative movement with its origination and spiritual headquarters in Saudi Arabia. It promotes puritanical laws hailing from the time of origin of Islam. Wahhabism rejects the contemporary idea of religion as an exclusive private activity and demarcation of religion and state. Wahhabi philosophy underpins Islamic State actions, the latter using the former's religious textbooks and wholeheartedly accepting the hardline ideology of killing unbelievers.

The stated aim of Nahdlatul Ulama is to spread the message of a tolerant Islam in all affected countries to curb terrorism, radicalism and extremism. The Indonesian organization started this global initiative in 2014.

Nahdlatul Ulama's work was highlighted by the terror attacks in Paris, which Jusuf Kalla, the vice president of Indonesia condemned at the Malang Conference held during the last week of November. The host of this meeting was International Conference of Islamic Scholars- another anti-radicalism project begun by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry in 2002, post the September 11 attacks. Kalla said that these attacks have nothing to do with religion as there is no justification in Islam concerning them.

Mustofa Bisri, head of Nahdlatul Ulama, warned that the situation is critical due to shallow grasp of Islam. A few vocal elements among the Muslim population justify their savage attitude by claiming that they are acting in accordance with God's commands- a mistaken notion. He added that the Sunni view of Islam extols that every expression and aspect of Islam must have compassion and love. It also fosters perfection of the human nature. This message is set to broadcast across Europe, Asia and North America as this group tries to take ideological lead in combating terror.

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