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US ambassador hosts NU leaders

2nd July 2012 | 1.533 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Ambassador Scot Marciel hosted prominent spiritual leaders (kyai) from the Muslim mass organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) at his official residence on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, according to the official website of the US Embassy here on Monday.

With an estimated 35 million members, NU is the world`s largest Muslim civil society organization. Discussion touched on the Indonesian tradition of religious harmony, Indonesia`s democratic transition, and the aspirations of the NU followers represented by the kyai.

Both American and Indonesian participants agreed that tolerance and pluralism are important in diverse societies such as the United States and Indonesia.

The kyai who attended the lunch were Masdar Faried Mas`udi and Saifuddin Amtsir of Jakarta, Ibnu Ubaidillah Syatori and Musthofa Aqil Siradj of Cirebon, Muhammad Machasin of Yogyakarta, and Abdul Aziz Affandy of Tasikmalaya.

The kyai explained the history NU, how the organization works at the grass roots level, and the important role the NU has played throughout the history of independent Indonesia.

The kyai also told Ambassador Marciel that NU sees itself as an organization that can shape the next generation of Indonesia`s leaders.

Conversation also focused on small scale enterprise and entrepreneurship. Ambassador Marciel described various Embassy programs that support aspiring Indonesian entrepreneurs.

Since the NU is an organization comprised primarily of famers and small-scale business organization, such programs are one potential source of future collaboration between the Embassy and NU.(*)