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Cablegate: Cda's Introductory Calls On World's Largest Muslim

VZCZCXRO3844
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1051 1030814
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130814Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4326
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHJA/ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0655
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1465

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001051

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KISL PGOV ID
SUBJECT: CDA'S INTRODUCTORY CALLS ON WORLD'S LARGEST MUSLIM
ORGANIZATIONS

REF: JAKARTA 993

This cable is sensitive but unclassified; please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) As part of post's ongoing engagement with
Indonesia's Muslim community, CDA made courtesy calls on the
chairmen of the world's two largest mass Muslim
organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)'s Hasyim Muzadi and
Muhammadiyah's Din Syamsuddin. By way of introducing their
organizations, the chairmen both spoke about their
organizations' long histories in Indonesia, not only as
religious and cultural institutions but also as sources of
political change. Syamsuddin particularly noted the critical
role that Muslim organizations played in smoothing the
transition to democracy here.

2. (SBU) Both emphasized the activities that they have
undertaken to foster interfaith dialogue and understanding,
Muzadi as NU's leader and a member of the International
Conference of Islamic Scholars, and Syamsuddin in his dual
role as Muhammadiyah chair and the head of the Indonesian
Ulama Council (MUI). (Note. In a separate meeting with the
CDA, Jakarta's Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja praised Muzadi
and, to a lesser extent, Syamsuddin for these efforts. End
note.) Muzadi and Syamsuddin also pointed to the recent
Sunni-Shi'a conference (ref A), co-sponsored by NU and
Muhammadiyah, as evidence of their activism in promoting
Middle East peace.

3. (SBU) Muzadi and Syamsuddin commented on their
long-standing and largely positive relationships with the
U.S. and other Western countries, with Syamsuddin noting that
Muhammadiyah has been working with the U.S. for thirty-five
years. Both men spoke with pride about various roundtable
dialogues they had organized to bring U.S. officials together
with representatives from the full range of Islamist
organizations, notably after 9/11 and in the run-up to the
war in Iraq. However, they were critical of U.S. foreign
policy toward the Muslim world, and expressed disappointment
that the U.S. "ignored" their advice not to invade Iraq.
Muzadi was especially bitter and outspoken, contending that
the bloodshed in Iraq has somehow proved his advice was
correct. CDA pushed back that no one wanted peace and
reconciliation in Iraq more than the U.S. Nevertheless, they
emphasized that despite their disagreement with our policies,
they were committed to maintain their organizations'
cooperative relationships with us.
HEFFERN

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