Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - A total of 30 young ulemas from different parts of West Java Province passed the English Program for Ulemas, and they would be sent to campaign for a peaceful and moderate Islam at international forums in the future, West Java Governor M Ridwan Kamil said.

They were selected from 265 ulemas who registered for the program. In the first batch, 30 young ulemas passed the program, co-organized by the West Java provincial government and the United Kingdom Embassy in Jakarta, he said here on Thursday.

Speaking at the program's closing ceremony, Kamil said he would motivate the alumni of the English Program for Ulemas to use their improved proficiency in English to help their colleagues in their respective cities and towns.

"The purpose of this program is to help the ulemas in West Java become messengers of peaceful Islam to the world," he said, adding that the program was aimed at improving the English proficiency of the ulemas before sending them to overseas inter-religious forums.

The UK Embassy in Jakarta and the West Java provincial government have been studying that within three to six months from now, the alumni of this English program would be sent to the United Kingdom.

"Thus, a process for building a dialogue on peaceful Islam, as well as portraying the image of a peaceful Islam in Indonesia and West Java to those in Europe through the United Kingdom, will begin," Ridwan Kamil said.

In addition to the English Program for Ulemas, the West Java provincial government would continue its collaborative programs with the UK Embassy in the future, including the English Program for Bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, British Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik highlighted the significance of this English Program for Ulemas, especially now that the world is digitally well connected.

Indonesia was expected to play a global role in promoting interreligious peace, he said, adding that Indonesia could become a good example for both Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world in meeting the rights of minorities.


Translator: Ajat Sudrajat, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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