Jokowi admits feeling peaceful while meeting NU clerics

Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo admitted that he always felt peaceful when meeting Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) members or ulemas or when visiting boarding schools managed by NU.

"Every time I am around Nahdiyin (NU members), I feel peaceful. The atmosphere is peaceful. It is the more so when I am with NU ulemas. I just fit in at the NU boarding schools. The atmosphere is "cool," he said, when opening a national meeting of NU clerics and NU grand conference at Hubbul Wathan mosque in Mataram, the capital of eastern province of West Nusa Tenggara, here on Thursday.

He admitted that his feeling was also shared by several leaders from Islamic countries who have visited Indonesia, including President Ashraf Gani from Afghanistan.

"I conveyed to Gani that Indonesia has 17 thousand islands, 714 tribes, and more than 1,100 local languages, as well as various religions. The reason I told him about this is because many countries and heads of state in the world do not know that Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population in the world, and that 87 percent of the countrys population are Muslims. That is why I have always repeated it," he remarked.

As a result of the admiration of unity, cohesiveness, and brotherhood between common Muslims and between Muslims and the government in the country, Gani finally sent a big delegation of clerics and prominent figures to Indonesia, led by former vice president Muhammad Karim Kalili, "to see for themselves after hearing from Gani."

Jokowi stated that the delegation had already visited NU and boarding schools. Gani had expressed his awe on the unity in Indonesia despite the existence of 714 tribes in the country.

Jokowi revealed that Afghanistan had only has seven tribes, but a clash between two of the tribes has resulted in a war, with each of them inviting supporters from outside. The war has lasted since 1973, or for 40 years, and is still going on.

In view of the situation, Jokowi added that Gani, through Kalili, has sought Indonesia?s help to become a mediator to settle the conflict in that country.

And "while saying Bismillah (God willing), I accepted the request," Jokowi noted.

Jokowi said that based on Ganis disclosure, Afghanistan is actually a rich country, with the worlds biggest gold deposits, oil, and gas. But due to the war, these resources could not be managed properly and could not be used for the welfare of its people.

Because of the condition, the Afghan president will again send envoys in big numbers to Indonesia, with the first consisting of clerics and the second from Taliban.

"Later, Indonesia will also send clerics there to share their experience in Afghanistan," he added.

Jokowi stated that other countries have been interested in Indonesia, because they have seen Indonesia as a peaceful country with neutral stance and no vested interests.

"They are all inseparable from the role that has been played by the countrys biggest organization, which is NU," he pointed out in the presence of clerics attending the meeting.

Source: ANTARA News

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