European Institute for Asian Studies
Indonesia: A Model of Tolerance, Pluralism and Harmony
  • Start04:00 PM - Nov 07 2017
  • End06:00 PM - Nov 07 2017
  • Asia Platform, Rue de la Loi 26, 10th floor, 1040 Brussels
  • + 32 2230 81 22
  • alberto.turkstra@eias.org

Programme

15:30-16:00

16:00-16:10

Registration

Introduction by the Chair

Mr Alberto Turkstra, Programme Coordinator, European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS)

16:10-16:20 Introductory Remarks
H.E. Mr Yuri Thamrin, Ambassador of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

16:20-17:30

Panel Discussion

 

Dr Ferimeldi, Ministry of Religious Affairs of Indonesia

Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada, Rector of the State Islamic University of Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta

Prof. Dr. FX Armada Riyanto, Catholic Scholar and Author

Dr. H. Abdul Mu’ti, Secretary Generaly, Central Board of Muhammadiyah

Rev. Gomar Gultom, Secretary, Indonesian Church Union

Mr Abdul Fatah, Representative, Nahdlatul Ulama

17:30-18:00

18:00

Q&A

Networking Reception

Indonesia: A Model of Tolerance, Pluralism and Harmony

At present Europe seems dominated by a climate of fear, mistrust, mutual suspicions, and misunderstandings which has given rise to populist parties promoting a “us vs them” mentality; thereby, scapegoating religious and ethnic minorities for the woes of the continent. Indonesia, on the other hand, despite being one of the most diverse countries in the world (over 240 ethnic groups, more than 300 languages and six official religions), has managed the complex relationship between religion, state, and society in a tolerant and harmonious way. Indonesia’s constitution provides for freedom of religion and has a history of being the most tolerant Muslim-majority country in the world with a well-balanced harmony between numerous religious and ethnic groups. The experience of hundreds of years of coexistence between several religions has developed a special tolerance in Indonesia, a key factor for democracy.

The state attaches special importance to keeping dialogue between religious communities open: every one of the 34 provinces is host to a Religious Harmony Forum. Interreligious dialogue is also undertaken by universities, youth organisations and NGOs. Indonesia, as a leader in inter-faith dialogue, also as a strong mandate to promote it abroad. It holds many bilateral inter-faith dialogues – including with Singapore, Myanmar, Fiji, and Australia in its immediate neighbourhood – as well as regionally and multilaterally (through the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, for example). Indonesia is bidding to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020 with an agenda strongly focused on human security, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. Indonesia, as a living model of tolerance and pluralism, can benefit from UNSC membership to promote these values in its interactions with other members of the international community. In short, Indonesia is gracefully endowed with a very rich spiritual-religious capital and it is hoped it can assist and offer some valuable lessons to the EU in tackling extremism, radicalisation, and other related challenges.


Indonesia, despite being one of the most diverse countries in the world has managed the complex relationship between religion, state, and society in a tolerant and harmonious way. Indonesia has a history of being the most tolerant Muslim-majority country in the world with a well-balanced harmony between numerous religious and ethnic groups.



European Institute for Asian Studies

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