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Cablegate: S/R Pandith's December 15-16 Visit to Indonesia

VZCZCXRO7012
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #2113/01 3631016
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291016Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4206
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002113

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/R PANDITH
DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, DRL, DRL/IRF
NSC FOR D. WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PGOV PREL KISL ID
SUBJECT: S/R PANDITH'S DECEMBER 15-16 VISIT TO INDONESIA

REF: JAKARTA 02027

1. (U) The following messages is Sensitive but
Unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: During her December 15-16 visit to
Indonesia, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah
Pandith spoke about President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's
vision of U.S. grassroots engagement with Muslim communities
throughout the world. Noting the importance of Indonesia,
S/R Pandith outlined for the press, officials, academics and
students the importance of private sector involvement, the
promotion of entrepreneurship, and the engagement of civil
society in order to connect with the
next generation. She stressed the importance of helping to
find ways to build new partnerships, the use of technology,
and acting as a convener, facilitator and intellectual
partner. SRMC stressed the impact Muslim youth can have
through building of networks among like-minded individuals
both on a local and more regional level. The local press has
reported accurately and positively on her visit. END
SUMMARY.

VISIT TO SOLO AND JAKARTA

3. (SBU) During her December 15-16 visit to Indonesia
Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith,
traveled to Solo in Central Java and Jakarta. She met with
officials, academics, students and the press in both cities.
She toured the national Istiqal Mosque in Jakarta, and
visited a church and mosque in Solo which share a common
wall--and friendly relationship. Following are highlights of
her visit. The main component of the visits were
opportunities to talk with students both in high school and
at a university. SRMC also stressed the importance of
Indonesia as a model of how Islam, pluralism, women's rights,
and democracy work well.

SOLO -- HARMONY IN FORMER CENTER OF ISLAMIC MILITANCY

4. (SBU) S/R Pandith traveled to Solo to see first hand the
steps that Mayor Jokowi had taken to facilitate tolerance in
the city and environs. Jokowi focused his efforts on
community participation, entrepreneurship, infrastructure
improvement, interfaith dialogue and law enforcement.
Through his efforts, relative harmony has been achieved among
the different religious groups in Solo (there is a large
population of Christians) and 24 Islamic boarding schools
(pesantren). The city government has
built markets, relocated squatters, and provided free
computers and internet connections to marginalized
communities.

5. (SBU) In her separate meetings with the mayor, pesantren
residents, and State Islamic University students, Pandith
explained President Obama's and Secretary Clinton's vision
for a new form of grassroots engagement with Muslim
communities throughout the world. She talked about why
Secretary Clinton had established an Office of the Special
Representative for the first time in US history and she
talked about the importance of pluralism in America. She
challenged the students to be leaders in
their schools and communities, and to use social media to
showcase Islam in Indonesia to the world. She stressed the
importance of entrepreneurship in demonstrating to Muslim
youth in other countries that they can shape how Islam is
viewed internationally. She highlighted parts of the
President,s Cairo speech and talked about the importance
America places on building partnerships with Muslims around
the world. She focused on the diversity of Islam which got
much support from the audiences.

IN JAKARTA -- SOLICITING IDEAS TO GROW RESPECT

6. (SBU) On December 16, S/R Pandith met with members of the
recently formed Indonesia America People to People (IA-P2P).
IA-P2P was created in response to President Obama,s Cairo
speech. In line with the President's vision, the founders
--leading Indonesian academics and retired politicians-- are
working at a grassroots, level to facilitate "mutual
understanding and mutual respect." She urged the Indonesians
to tell their story of a Muslim majority country that had
embraced religious tolerance, democracy, and modernity. The
group explained that Indonesia's commitment to these values
and principles needed to be maintained and nurtured,

JAKARTA 00002113 002 OF 002


particularly among young people.

7. (SBU) Members of IA-P2P explained the steps that their
organizations had taken to highlight for Indonesian youth the
importance of these values. Examples of the group's actions
included: producing a movie which focused on tolerance;
publishing books by both Indonesian and foreign authors who
spoke about the benefits of religious plurality; and printing
comic books whose main characters respected religious
differences. The well regarded rector of Paramadina
University Anies Baswedan stated that Indonesian youth could
usefully connect with young people around the world to
discuss issues of mutual concern such
as good governance and protecting the environment. He
explained that Paramadina,s graduate school offered a course
on eliminating corruption. As part of the course, students
had to identify, research and report on local cases of
corruption. In order to document the corruption, many
students made short videos and/or took photos. Pandith, who
was very enthusiastic about the project, encouraged Baswedan
to establish a Facebook page, which explained the effort and
included the student's videos, photos and stories. Moreover,
the Indonesian students could encourage youth in other
countries to submit their
own examples of uncovering corruption. Pandith offered to
connect Baswedan with experts on setting up Facebook pages.

8. (SBU) During a lively dinner hosted by the Ambassador
with leaders from the government, civil society, academic and
business communities, the guests shared their experiences,
explained on-going projects, and proposed projects on
instilling the value of respect and tolerance among
Indonesian youth. The Ambassador urged his guests to discuss
among themselves, as well as with S/R Pandith, how
best to encourage business involvement in the process. Many
of the guests were eager to bring the private sector forward
into helping on these issues. One of the guests, Lily Munir,
talked about a new program she was launching out of the NGO
Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) where they create
youth events that get kids interested and active on pushing
back against violent extremist ideology.

9. Embassy Jakarta has many ideas using local NGOs to work on
issues that utilize technology and youth and SRMC will be
working closely with post on building some of the ideas out.
Further, SRMC noted that in her meeting with women activists
they were interested in doing more to show the diversity of
Islam. The guests were from all parts of the spectrum and
felt that America could do more to help the image of Muslim
women globally to turn it from one of pity and stereotypes to
one that reflected the positive and modernity of what is
taking place on the ground in many parts of the world.

PRESS COVERAGE -- POSITIVE AND ACCURATE

10. (SBU) Press coverage of S/R Pandith,s visit was both
positive and accurate. The influential paper "Rakyat
Merdeka," circulation 200,000, published three articles and
one photo of her visit. One headline read, "U.S. Engages
with Youth in Muslim World." TV1, with a viewership of 7
million, ran footage from Pandith,s tour of the Grand Mosque
Istiqal on a weekly religious talk show. During the
interview, Pandith spoke about the U.S. government's
commitment to engage with Muslim communities.

11. (U) Special Representative Pandith has cleared this
message.
HUME

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