Jakarta, wapresri.go.id – A nation will achieve harmony only when tolerance and justice are realized.

“The essence of tolerance is mutual respect, either from majority group to minority or vice versa from minority group to majority,” said Vice President Jusuf Kalla when officially opening the national meeting of Ulama and scholars (Halaqah Nasional Ulama dan Cendekiawan) at the Millennium Hotel, Jakarta on Thursday (Nov. 16) evening.

Indonesia, the Vice President said, should be grateful as the world recognizes it to have the high level of tolerance among its citizens. This is for example, he pointed out, visible from the official national holidays.

“Of the 15 national holidays a year, 12 days of which are religious holidays: 5 days for Islam, 3 days for Christians and Catholics, 1 day for Buddhists, 1 day for Hindus, and 1 for Confucianism,” he explained.

He further said, although the number of adherents of some religions is quite small, some even less than 1 percent, they still get their religious holidays.

“Now to compare to England. Although the Muslim population has reached 3 to 4 percent, they do not get a day off during Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha,” he said.

Justice, the Vice President continued, should also be realized to achieve a harmonious life.

The Vice President noted that of 15 major conflicts that occurred in Indonesia after the Independence Day, 10 of them were triggered by injustice. According to him, the Aceh conflict that lasted for more than 30 years was actually triggered by economic injustice, while the conflict in Ambon in 1999-2002 was basically caused by political injustice.

“The question arises then why can religion be dragged into those conflicts? Because religion is a sentiment that is easily ignited,” he explained.

Here, the Vice President affirmed, the ulama have a central role in straightening the wrong religious understanding that could lead to terrorism and radicalism.

In addition, he continued, scholars are also expected to encourage people to develop entrepreneurship to build self-reliance and pressing gaps and injustices in the economic field.

“The Prophet not only teaches annikahu sunnaty, marriage is my sunnah, but also attijaratu sunnaty, being an entrepreneur it also my sunnah,” said the vice president.

Earlier, Amin Abdullah, the Board of Trustees of the Maarif Institute, said the forum entitled “The Role of Ulama in Building a Harmonious Nation’s Life” is taking place from 16 to 19 November 2017.

“In this three-day meeting, it is hoped that there will be a progressive and moderate alternative thinking to face contemporary challenges in national life,” said Amin.

The meeting is initiated by Maarif Institute and supported by Postgraduate Studies of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University of Yogyakarta, Executive Board of the Institute of Study and Human Resource Development of Nahdlatul Ulama (Lakpesdam NU), and the presidential working unit on the implementation of the state ideology of Pancasila (UKP- PIP). (FM, KIP Setwapres)