Muslim scholars agree to support Afghan peace process

Special Muslim scholars agree to support Afghan peace process
From left to right, Head of Indonesian Ulema Council Ma’ruf Amin, Head of Ulema Council of Afghanistan Qiamuddin Kashaf, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, his deputy Jusuf Kalla, and Chairman of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology Qibla Ayaz attend the trilateral meeting among Islamic scholars at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 May 2018

Muslim scholars agree to support Afghan peace process

Muslim scholars agree to support Afghan peace process
  • About 50 scholars who took part in the meeting agreed on the Bogor Ulema Declaration for Peace
  • The scholars reaffirmed that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group

JAKARTA: Muslim scholars from Indonesia, Pakistan and Afghanistan who gathered in the Indonesian city of Bogor agreed to support the peace process in Afghanistan and the role of Muslim scholars in that effort.
Muhyiddin Junaidi, head of the international relations department at the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), said the main topic of the two-day meeting was how to achieve peace in Afghanistan.
There were Taliban representatives at the meeting, most of whom were part of the Pakistani delegation, he added.
“Indonesia thinks there should be another meeting, but a more inclusive one involving neighboring countries,” Junaidi told Arab News.
About 50 scholars who took part in the meeting agreed on the Bogor Ulema Declaration for Peace, which was read out by scholars Quraish Shihab from Indonesia, Qibla Ayaz from Pakistan and Ataullah Lodin from Afghanistan.
The scholars reaffirmed that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.
The meeting was opened by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and closed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
“This declaration has become a historical record for scholars’ contribution to peace,” Kalla said in his closing speech.
Widodo said in his opening speech that hosting the meeting is part of Indonesia’s commitment to support the role of Muslim scholars in promoting peace, following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s request for Indonesia to support the peace process. 
Widodo added that he secured Pakistan’s support for Indonesia to facilitate the peace process during his visit to Islamabad in January.
He reasserted Indonesia’s opposition to the US decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 
He said the move is a threat to peace, and urged other countries not to emulate the US decision.
“The Indonesian people continue to fight for the Palestinians. Palestine is always in every breath of Indonesia’s diplomacy,” Widodo added.