The OIC summits were attended by state leaders, and Isomil is a meeting of ulemas."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Islam is believed to be a religion of middle path and religion of peace.

There is no radical Islam nor liberal Islam.

However, there are two groups of extremists who misinterpret Islamic teachings in radical way or, on the contrary, in liberal way.

To counter the two extreme groups, some 400 ulemas (Islamic clerics, scholars) and leaders are expected to voice the moderation of Islam during the first International Summit of Moderate Islamic Leaders (Isomil) being held in Jakarta, from May 9 to 11, 2016.

The participants of the conference being hosted by the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), one of Indonesias major Muslim organizations, are from 33 countries among other things Malaysia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Europe.

Maruf Amin, a leader of the NU, said the two contradictory extreme groups - radical and liberal - are both dangerous and must not be followed.

In his opening report during the Summit, Amin has called on Muslim clerics and scholars to promote and remind the Muslims of the Islamic moderation concepts in their preaching.

The conference is aimed at reminding the participants of the importance of preaching the path of moderation at a time when radical groups have been emerging.

"The Isomil is aimed at promoting a movement of preaching on moderation in our respective environments, so there will be moderate Muslims all over the world," Maruf Amin, who is also chairman of the Council of Indonesian Ulemas (MUI), stated.

Islam brings good news, and not fears. Islam promotes gentleness and not roughness. Islam is full of tolerance and not fanaticism, he said.

Jordanian Ulema Syeikh Hamdi Murad appreciated NU for bringing ulemas from many countries to sit and discuss the important topic together.

He hoped that the conference could contribute solutions to problems being faced by several Islamic nations and help restore the true face of Islam as a religion of peace.

"Not only in Indonesia, this declaration is for Muslims all over the world, to bring back the true Islam," Murad said.

Indonesias Vice President M Jusuf Kalla when officially opened the meeting, has called for unity and integrity among Muslim majority nations to address issues such as radicalism and terrorism.

"Problems being faced by the Islamic world, however, could not be easily solved just in conferences. These need unity and integrity among us," Kalla said.

The presence of 1.6 billion Muslims in 57 countries across the world should be a force to spread word about the virtues of Islam, he argued.

"Certainly, we want moderate Islamic states that give us a sense of purpose, because Islam is a religion that teaches compassion and goodness, and unites all of its followers. That is our goal and ideal," he explained at the opening ceremony which was also attended by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The Isomil is a follow up to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summits, held recently in Jakarta and Turkey.

"The OIC summits were attended by state leaders, and Isomil is a meeting of ulemas," Said Aqil Siroj, NU chairman, explained.

Aqil Siroj said President Joko Widodo had called on him to organize the meeting in a bid to promote Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, and to prevent the spread of radicalism in Indonesia and other friendly countries.

"In fact, the vice president expressed his concern when we attended the OIC Summit in Turkey recently as he noticed that certain Islamic leaders, whose countries were in conflict, did not greet each other," he remarked.

The international meeting also attended by foreign ambassadors of Muslim majority nations, and NU leaders, is being held for the first time in Jakarta with the aim of influencing public policies in dealing with radicalism and terrorism and promoting peace in the Middle East.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla recently expressed concern over the migration of Muslims from Syria to Europe.

"We are sad to see bombings taking place everywhere in predominantly Muslim countries, followed by radicalism, terrorism, and others," Kalla affirmed.

The vice president stated that radical movements, such as the Al Qaeda and ISIS, were born in countries, which failed to authoritarian rulers.

However, the vice president is of the view that the most serious radicalism is attack by one country to another country.

Kalla pointed out that several Western nations attacked Islamic countries in the name of democracy.

He pointed out that the United States and its allies attacked countries like Iraq and Libya, and those attacks triggered radicalism and terrorism among people who were furious, desperate and frustrated.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in his recent European trip brought a message of peace and tolerance.

"Having the biggest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia has an obligation to show to the world that in Islam, democracy and tolerance could go hand in hand," he said in London recently.

He underlined that Indonesia would be glad to share its experience with other countries, including Britain.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2016