Hasyim Muzadi, member of the Presidential Council of Indonesia, died yesterday at the age of 72 in Malang (East Java), his hometown.
chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in
the country, Muzadi was iconic for the promotion of pluralism in
During his NU presidency, from 1999 to 2009, he promoted dialogue and
tolerance between different confessions with dedication, in a time when
Indonesia was troubled by the violence of radical Muslim groups against
The news of his death has shocked the country. Together with the world
of politics and the moderate Indonesian Muslim organizations, the
Catholic Church expresses its condolences for the death of Hasyim
Muzadi. Catholics mourn and remember the Muslim religious with affection
and respect for his serious commitment to defending and protecting the
principle of the nation's unity in diversity.
As a gesture of tolerance and compassion, Msgr. Henricus Pidyarto
Gunawan, bishop of Malang, took part in the funeral rites that were held
in the private residence of Muzadi, within the Mahasiswa Pesantren
Al-Hikam Islamic boarding school.
Fr. Eko Putranto, a Carmelite Malang, recalls in a statement to AsiaNews
how Muzadi was "an important person, in the service of the nation’s
pluralism." Fr. Michael Agung Christiputro, of the parish of the Good
Shepherd Batu (East Java), tells of a prayer vigil organized last night
by the faithful in memory of the deceased.
Over the years at the head of NU, Hasyim Muzadi has maintained a deep
friendship with several figures in the Catholic Church, especially with
the Card. Julius Darmaatmadja, former chairman of the Indonesian Bishops
Conference (KWI) and former archbishop of Jakarta.
At this time,
thousands of Catholics express their respect for Muzadi through on
social media, as well as their condolences to the family of the
deceased, a real promoter and hero of interfaith tolerance in Indonesia.