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Muslim group rejects Indonesian gov't proposal to certify clerics

Publication Date : 10-09-2012


The Muslim mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) executive board yesterday rejected Indonesia's National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) proposal requiring Islamic scholars, or clerics, to be certified as a way of minimalising the risk of radicalism.

Nahdlatul Ulama chairman Said Aqil Siroj said that being a cleric is a socially recognised distinction given to individuals who display an advanced understanding of Islam, not a government-stamped title.

This is why Said believes that it would be wrong for the government to judge who is or is not worthy of becoming a cleric. “We have to remember that terrorism is not rooted in Islamic culture. If acts of terror still exist, clerics are not to blame,” he added, as Antara News agency quoted.

He pointed out that clerics could actually play a constructive role in deradicalising individuals, especially those who belonged to organisations that pre-dated Indonesia’s independence, like Muhammadiyah and the NU.

“The government is going too far in handling things like this,” he said.


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