Spirit of nationalism makes Indonesia strong: PBNU

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Nahdlatul Ulama Central Executive Board (PBNU) Chairman Said Aqil Siradj has asserted that the spirit of nationalism makes Indonesia a powerful country.

"Unlike Indonesia, nations in some other parts of the world have been devastated due to the absence of the spirit of nationalism," Siradj remarked here on Thursday.

Speaking at a public lecture at the Kendari State Islamic Institute, the professor at the Surabaya State Sunan Ampel Islamic University said the principle of Indonesian nationalism has existed long before the country gained independence.

"Nahdlatul Ulama Founder KH. Hasyim Asyari had forecast in the 1920s that one day, Islamic countries, especially in the Arab land, would become fragile and fragmented if those countries did not harbor a love for the homeland," he noted.

According to Asyari, clerics in the Middle East at that time did not harbor a spirit of nationalism in order to maintain the sovereignty of the country for a common good.

However, he said that in Indonesia, Muslim scholars harbored a high spirit of nationalism, accompanied by an awareness that Indonesia was destined to become a pluralistic nation; hence, its people were obligated to respect and value the diversity.

Source: ANTARA News

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