Muslim Council of Elders Organizes Iftar in the Presence of Prominent Religious Leaders and Symbols in Indonesia and Malaysia

The Muslim Council of Elders organized an iftar banquet for leaders and symbols in Indonesia and Malaysia, attended by a large number of prominent religious leaders and figures from various religious denominations and sects, in addition to a select group of political, cultural, and intellectual personalities. This initiative is part of the Council's mission to foster values of tolerance, peace, acceptance of others, and interfaith dialogue and coexistence.

The Indonesian branch of the Muslim Council of Elders hosted a Ramadan iftar banquet attended by several religious leaders and prominent figures, including His Excellency Dr. Muhammed Quraish Shihab, member of the Muslim Council of Elders and former Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs, as well as His Excellency Dr. Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, former Minister of Religious Affairs, and His Excellency the Egyptian Ambassador, Yasser El Shimy, and His Excellency the Malaysian Consul, Datuk Syed Muhammad Hasrin, along with deputy ministers of Religious Affairs, Education, and Culture, representatives from Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah societies, the Indonesian Ulema Council, as well as representatives from major international and local institutions in Indonesia, and academics.

During her address, Ayu Kartika Dewi, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs for Social Affairs in Indonesia, commended the efforts of the Muslim Council of Elders in promoting coexistence and human fraternity in Indonesia and globally. She also highlighted Indonesia's unique experience as the largest Islamic country in the world in terms of fostering interfaith harmony, making it a role model in spreading a culture of tolerance and mutual respect worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Indonesian Church Council, Jacklevyn Manuputty, reflected on the impact of the holy month of Ramadan on the Indonesian people, where conflicts are mitigated, and dialogue is encouraged, emphasizing the importance of activities that promote humanity and coexistence. He urged the Council to continue its noble efforts, wishing it further success and prosperity in its journey.

Representatives from various faiths, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Catholicism, and Theravada Buddhism, shared their reflections on Ramadan and fasting, affirming that these experiences contribute to unity and coexistence among diverse religious communities in Indonesia.

The iftar concluded with the watering of the Peace Tree in Indonesia by religious leaders, along with the screening of film materials showcasing the efforts of the Muslim Council of Elders over the past decade since its establishment, coinciding with the 21st of Ramadan.

In Malaysia, participants in the iftar banquet organized by the Malaysian branch of the Muslim Council of Elders in Kuala Lumpur praised the Council's efforts to bring together religious leaders during this significant event, recognizing the importance of dialogue and mutual understanding as fundamental tools for building mutual understanding and respect among diverse religious and cultural components and fostering more cohesive and understanding societies. They affirmed that such activities contribute to joint efforts to promote peace and peaceful coexistence in Malaysia and worldwide.

Datuk Senator Dr. Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, member of the Muslim Council of Elders and Malaysia's former Minister of Islamic Affairs, underscored in his speech the Council's core message, emphasizing the dissemination of a culture of dialogue, mutual respect, and awareness of shared values among religions, in addition to combating religious bigotry and discrimination, and promoting communication and collaboration among religious leaders.

Cardinal Wojciech Załuski, Apostolic Nuncio of Malaysia, Brunei, and East Timor, highlighted the significance of the Document on Human Fraternity co-signed by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Francis, as a roadmap towards achieving world peace and enhancing interfaith understanding. He emphasized Malaysia's exceptional position as a country with unique cultural and religious diversity, playing a pivotal role in this journey.

For his part, Dr. Dzulkefly Hassan, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs in Malaysia, affirmed that continuous dialogue and mutual acquaintance among religions constitute a fundamental cornerstone for building a unified and tolerant society. He emphasized that mutual understanding and mutual respect are essential elements for achieving social harmony and lasting peace, asserting that the religious and cultural diversity that characterizes the country makes it a model to be emulated in achieving communal coexistence and religious understanding.

Dr. Sharanjit Kaur, from Universiti Teknologi Abdul Rahman and representative of the Sikh community, emphasized the utmost importance of mutual understanding and understanding in laying the foundations for peaceful coexistence and harmony in Malaysia, stressing the need for mutual respect and understanding of others' spiritual and cultural traditions as a way to achieve a cohesive and harmonious society. Sister Loh Pai Ling, representative of the Buddhist Association of Malaysia, highlighted the significant importance of instilling dialogue and peaceful coexistence values from a young age, explaining how education and communication between generations can strengthen mutual understanding and build bridges of empathy and friendship among followers of different religions.

The Muslim Council of Elders' foreign branches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Kazakhstan operate within the framework of the Council's mission to strengthen communication with Muslims worldwide, with the aim of promoting values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence.



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