Indonesia's to largest Muslim organizations Nadhlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah say they are committed to campaigning for moderate Islam to counter the emergence of militant groups, a local newspaper said Thursday.
They pledged that they would not seek strict religious formalism in pluralist Indonesia -- meaning the upholding of the outward signs and practices of the religion -- nor tolerate the use of violence in the name of the religion, said The Jakarta Post.
Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said radical groups did not represent Islam, and therefore terrorism should not be simplistically linked to the religion because of their misuse of its name.
"No religion, including Islam, tolerates any use of violence. The terrorists are those who are not patient and misunderstand the religion," he said after presenting his paper on religiosity at the second International Conference of Islamic Scholars here Wednesday.
He blamed the actions of violent radical groups on law enforcers who were slow to act against their militancy.
"The police should take action against mass organizations using violence in the name of religion because their violent acts are against the law."
But Din also said the motivation of such groups must be identified.
"As long as the law is not enforced and injustice is found in society, radicalism or terrorism will gain ground in the country."
NU chairman Hasyim Muzadi expressed optimism that the two organizations would be able to counter radicalism and liberalism which emerged with the onset of the reform movement in 1998.
"NU will continually campaign for the true Islam and its rich values among Muslims, so that they have an appropriate understanding about how to fight for Islamic values in the pluralist society."
Hasyim, who said radical groups would eventually disband if law enforcers took a firm stand on their use of violence, acknowledged there were mistakes by some organizations in fighting for the implementation of sharia (Islamic) law.