Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia would continue to encourage religious moderation in Afghanistan.
Three Indonesian clerics, said Retno, attended the trilateral dialogue between the Indonesian-Qatar-Afghan clerics which took place on June 14 in the capital city of Doha, Qatar. The agenda is themed “Rebuilding Afghanistan Through Islamic Education and Values.”
The meeting was also attended by five Qatari clerics and eleven Afghan clerics. Indonesia was represented by scholars from Nahdhatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah and the Chancellor of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University Jakarta, Amany Lubis.
In the dialogue between the ulama from the three countries, the ulama from Indonesia raised several issues, including Islamic education in supporting national resilience, women and education from an Islamic perspective, the manifestation of Islamic values in promoting peace and a more harmonious society.
“In addition to the trilateral dialogue of Indonesian-Qatar-Afghan clerics, currently Indonesian clerics are also visiting Kabul, Afghanistan, together with scholars from several OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) countries. Apart from Indonesia, several countries have also sent clerics to Afghanistan, including Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Niger and Sudan,” said Retno.
Specifically regarding women’s rights, continued Retno, Indonesia has consistently voiced the importance of respecting women’s rights, including the right to education. To help the education sector for the Afghan people, Indonesia has collaborated with Qatar through an agreement to supply humanitarian aid to the Afghan people.
Indonesia also offers education and capacity building scholarships for the Afghan people, including women.
Retno emphasized that Indonesia’s commitment to help the Afghan people never subsided. After the Taliban came to power in mid-August last year, for humanitarian reasons, Indonesia has sent aid in the form of food and nutrition weighing 65 tons on January 9, 2022.
The Importance of Inter-Scholar Dialogue
A Middle East observer from the University of Indonesia, Yon Machmudi, emphasized that dialogue between clerics is an important part of the transformation process in Afghanistan, especially because it also involves clerics from Indonesia. Because scholars in the country are experienced in placing the relationship between religion and the state in an Indonesian perspective.
“It is hoped that by exchanging information from Indonesian scholars, the process of forming a state, law and government in Afghanistan can see the Indonesian perspective that sees Islam substantively. So that later it will not lead to various kinds of controversial or discriminatory policies,” said Yon.
Yon claims that Indonesia as the largest democratic Muslim country in the world is suitable to be a learning model for Afghanistan in terms of placing the role of religion in the state.
In addition to dialogue between scholars, he continued, Indonesia can also play a role in strengthening state institutions, systems and institutions, where Afghanistan needs to develop the capacity and quality of their human resources to manage the country and develop Afghanistan.
Yon acknowledged that Afghanistan, including the Taliban, had put their trust in Indonesian clerics and considered their position important. With this belief, Indonesian ulema can convey their views related to development and aspects that can smooth the process of Afghanistan’s transition.
He emphasized that Afghan clerics have the same view as Indonesian clerics who spread Islam rahmatan lil amin (goodness for the universe -ed), then the face of Afghanistan in the future will be more friendly to different groups or views. [fw/ah]