Minister of Religion Gus Yaqut Talks About Islamic Populism

TEMPO.CO, JakartaMinister of Religion Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, or Gus Yaqut, talking about Islamic Populism, said there was an attempt to redirect views about religion as a conflict of norms recently.

“In extreme terms, anyone who has a different belief is considered an enemy and therefore must be resisted. The term that is trending is called Islamic populism, ”said Yaqut in an interfaith webinar on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

As the previous chairman of the GP Ansor, the youth wing of the Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama, Yaqut admitted that he had repeatedly emphasized that there would be no Indonesia without Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and other local beliefs.

The Indonesian nation, he added, stands as an agreement between culture and religion. “So whoever wants to eliminate each other on the basis of religion means not recognizing Indonesia, having no sense of being Indonesian,” said Yaqut.

The new minister underlined that he did not want Islamic populism to expand widely. Therefore, in his first speech as minister, he invited all Indonesian people to see religion as a source of inspiration, not aspiration. “Because if that [a religion] being used as an aspiration by the wrong people, it can be dangerous, “he said Gus Yaqut.

Also read: Yaqut Cholil Qoumas Clarifies Statement of Protest Against Shia, Ahmadiyah Group