Podcast in Bahasa Indonesia
Podcast in English
The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) is the largest Islamic organization in the world, with a claimed affiliation of approximately 60 million Indonesian Muslims. Under the leadership of the late Abdurrahman Wahid, its former general chairman (1984 – 1999), it established itself as an Islamic organisation which supports moderation, democracy, and tolerance towards all recognized religious faiths in Indonesia. This has continued under the leadership of Wahid’s successors, Hasyim Muzadi (2000-2010), and Said Aqil Siradj (2010-present).
However, NU is currently facing several challenges. Firstly, radical Islamic groups such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State, has threatened NU’s promotion of moderation, toleration, and respect toward the sovereignty of the Indonesian state. Secondly, NU faces strong competition from newer, conservative-leaning Islamic groups, which are attracting many of its members, particularly young university-age Muslims. Facing these challenges, NU decides to reinvent its theological outlook by rebranding it as “Islam Nusantara” – Islam from the Indonesian Archipelago which is tolerant toward local cultures and traditions while remaining faithful towards the basic tenets of Islamic teachings.
In this lecture, KH Said Aqil will explore the themes of Islam Nusantara which promotes religious moderation, tolerance toward other faiths, and peaceful dialogue between different faiths and nations. He will also elaborate on NU’s effort to promote Islam Nusantara to other countries in the world, especially in the Muslim World. Lastly, KH Said Aqil will detail how Islam Nusantara has been received by the Indonesian Muslim community both within and outside of NU as well as on any challenges it is facing today.
About the Speaker
Dr Kyai Haji Said Aqil Siradj is currently the general chairman of the largest Islamic organisation in the world, the Nahdlatul Ulama, based in Indonesia. Born in Cirebon – West Java, KH Said Aqil spent his early years at three different Islamic boarding schools (pesantren/mardrasah) in Cirebon, Kediri and Jogjakarta. He obtained his undergraduate degree on the fundamentals of Islamic teaching (ushuluddin) and dakwah from King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia) in 1982. He went on to study comparative religion studies and obtained his Master’s degree from Umm al-Qura University (Saudi Arabia) in 1987. He completed his doctoral degree on the study of faith (akidah) at the same university in 1994.