Abdurrahman Wahid


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Also known as Gus Dur. Indonesian Islamic thinker, writer, and politician. Elected president of Indonesia in 1998 and replaced by parliamentary vote in 2000. Chair of the Executive Council of Nahdatul Ulama (NU) from 1984 to 1998. Promoted pesantren (rural Islamic boarding schools) as an agent for the development of rural community and democratic society at the grassroots level. Desired reconstruction of socioethical guidelines for contemporary Muslims through reinterpretation of the Quran and Sunnah in historical perspective. Known for his moderate politics and support of religious pluralism and tolerance. Argued that the principles underlying values such as human rights, social justice, fair development, and democracy are inherent in Islam, rather than an ideological compromise or cultural mixture with Western liberalism. Maintained that rediscovery of the values and dynamism of the methodology for jurisprudence has been hindered by traditionalist ulama, who are focused on legal formalism and ritual correctness. Opposed to both secularization of the Indonesian state and Islamic fundamentalism's claims to be a comprehensive way of life superior to existing secular regimes. Believed that neither Islam nor any other religion should be in confrontation with the state or another religion.

See also Nahdatul Ulama

Subjects: Islam.

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