The Secretary of State of the United States Mike Pompeo has made Indonesia an example of a harmonious life in religion, as he condemns extremism and violence in the name of certain beliefs.
"Really, there is no reason to say that Islam cannot coexist peacefully with Christians or Buddhists. We all know that coexistence in peace and mutual respect is possible," Pompeo said during a joint dialogue with the Ansor Youth Movement in Jakarta, Thursday.
"Indonesia, since the 1998 Reformation, has provided a positive example to the world of how different aspects, different ethnic groups, as well as different ideologies can live together peacefully," said Pompeo.
He added that harmony amid differences of belief would be difficult for those who twisted Islamic teachings to justify their violent behavior - in this case, ISIS calls an example.
In the event which was hosted by Head of the Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) Executive Board Yahya Cholil Staquf and attended by a number of interfaith figures, Pompeo praised the two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia, NU, and Muhammadiyah, for their role in creating religious freedom.
"Groups such as NU and Muhammadiyah represent tens of millions of Indonesian Muslims who believe in a growing tradition of tolerance and democracy," said the US Secretary of State.
Regarding religious freedom, Pompeo called for more religious figures to speak out and oppose discrimination and oppression of anyone whose rights to life, including their religious rights, are violated.
For this reason, he called Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China, as a matter of violations of human rights related to religious freedom.
Pompeo made an official visit to Asian countries, October 25-30. He has visited India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, then carried out an agenda for one day in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, Pompeo started the visit by holding a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, then meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Finally, he attended the GP Ansor religious dialogue. Afterward, Pompeo is scheduled to make the first stop in Vietnam - for a visit not originally included in this itinerary - on Thursday and Friday (30/10) tomorrow, before returning to the US. (Antaranews)