The Star Online published an interview, by Global Peace Festival (GPF) Malaysia, with Dr. H. Marsudi, also commonly referred to as Pak Marsudi. Pak Marsudi is currently general-secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia.
GPF Malaysia asks Pak Marsudi about NU’s experience promoting interfaith in Indonesia, to which he responds: “The purpose Allah created men and women in the world with differences – in languages, in tribes, in religions – is for people to get to know each other better, thus the lesser problems and conflicts people have with each other, and the more human beings are able to live in together in peace,” writes the Star Online.
Pak Marsudi describes the Nadhlatul Ulama doctrine, which outlines three formations of brotherhood: brotherhood among Muslims, brotherhood among nations, and brotherhood among people. According to Pak Marsudi, these formations are the foundation of NU’s efforts behind “promoting interfaith understanding and peace.”
When asked about the causes and spread of religious intolerance nations, Pak Marsudi replies, “In reality, intolerance is not caused by religion per se but by other factors.” Among these factors he listed, competing for the woman’s affection or something as mundane as traffic.
Another issue that GPF Malaysia raises during the interview is whether politics and religion should be separate, Pak Marsudi comments, “We [NU] believe the values of Islam can be part of our lives, our politics, our state and our business in every form of our daily lives.”
During the interview, Pak Marsudi also touches upon Nahdlatul Ulama’s experience on “working on issues related to global Islam” and Malaysia’s “Allah” issue that has recently been the center of international news.
Dr. H. Marsudi was a speaker during the Global Peace Convention 2013 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from December 5-8 with the theme of “Unity in Diversity: Building Social Cohesion for Sustainable Peace through Universal Aspirations, Principles and Values.”
Read the full interview at The Star Online.