Jakarta-wapresri.go.id. Vice President  (VP) Jusuf Kalla received Nahdlatul Ulama Central Board (Pengurus Besar Nahdlatul Ulama/PBNU) led by its Chairman Said Aqil Siradj, at the Vice President Office, on Jalan Merdeka Utara Jakarta, on Wednesday (27/4/2016).

At the meeting, Said invited the Vice President to attend the International Summit of the Moderate Islamic Leaders (ISOMIL) that will be held on May 9, 2016 in Jakarta, and is slated to be officially opened by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“This event is a follow up of the last Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit. Different from OIC which is more a government-to-government cooperation, ISOMIL is a people-to-people cooperation. The forum would also be a second-line diplomacy that we have applied,” he said.

Said further reported that 35 countries have confirmed their participation in the forum, to share with Indonesia’s best practices in dealing with terrorism and radicalism, as well as to present the face of Islam that is moderate, peaceful, and tolerant.

The Vice President in response welcomed the initiative. Indonesia, he added, as the world largest Muslim nation could be a model in how to manage differences and to stage Islam as rahmatan lil alamin (blessings to universe).

“I frequently state in many forums, including in the OIC, that in promoting its tourism, Indonesia is highlighting Borobudur temple and not Istiqlal Mosque, to prove that we value diversity. This might be similar to India that although the majority is Hindu, what is promoted for its tourism is Taj Mahal, not the temples,” he said.

Various conflicts, radicalism, and terrorism afflicting the Muslim world today, the Vice President said, has prompted Indonesia to immediately build an international Islamic university which is expected to be a new hub of the right teaching and knowledge of Islam.

“The essence of life is akhlaq (morals). Where in the Middle East could we learn about it now, considering the current condition in the region?” he said.

The Vice President then complained those who made the ideology of Islam only for pragmatic reasons, such as telling people that they are building Islamic solidarity, yet in fact they desire to rule over politics and economy.

Accompanying NU Chairman in the meeting were members of NU Central Board, namely Yahya C. Staquf, Helmy Faishal Zaini, Maksum Mahfudz, and Abidin.