AJC Mourns Death of Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid

Ken Bandler

AJC expressed sorrow at the death of Abdurrahman Wahid, the former President of Indonesia. President Wahid, who was 69, passed away in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

"We have lost one of the greatest Muslim leaders and humanists of our time," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "He was a tireless advocate for reform and moderation, as he emphasized to AJC when we met in Jakarta in 2000 and in subsequent conversations.'

President Wahid, who was affectionately known as Gus Dur, had an outstanding career as a political and religious leader in Indonesia and on the world stage. He was the first elected president of Indonesia following the demise of the Suharto regime. He was also the Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, and the founder of the National Awakening Party (PKB).

President Wahid consistently worked for and publicly advocated for peace, tolerance, and reform. Among his many courageous acts were speaking out against extremism and terrorism. He also called for Indonesia to establish relations with Israel and convened a conference in Bali on the Holocaust.

President Wahid addressed AJC's Annual Meeting in 2002. AJC hosted a dinner for him on Capitol Hill during his last visit to the US in 2008.


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