Nahdlatul Ulama: good governance and religious tolerance in Indonesia

SUMANTO AL QURTUBY

Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, has been poorly understood in the West. While most Western political commentators and policy makers absorb an almost daily dose of news or intelligence regarding Islamist extremist organizations or terrorist groups in the predominantly Muslim countries of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, there is far less information and understanding of Muslim peacemakers, moderate-progressive groups, and organizations that advocate for tolerance and pluralism. Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) is one of the world’s foremost Muslim associations devoted to the spread of the Islamic message of justice, peace, and tolerance. Read the full article »

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Contending modernities in East London

ANGUS RITCHIE

In its religious intensity and diversity, east London is an exciting testing-ground for “Contending Modernities.” It is an area with a long history of migration, and the religious and cultural diversity it brings, raising the question: How do migrant communities with diverse religious and cultural identities shape a common life? Catholic and Muslim migrants in particular have historically both been treated with some suspicion in the UK. The experience of Catholic and Muslim engagement in broad-based community organizing runs counter to such suspicions. Community organizing harnesses precisely the “problematic” quality of these faiths — above all their loyalty to a truth that transcends the nation-state, and a “critical distance” from the status quo — as a means of working for justice.

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