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New chairman wants to protect minorities

New chairman wants to protect minorities

Muhammadiyah's newly elected chairman, Haedar Nashir, (center)
poses with other executives of the organization in Makassar on
Thursday. Haedar will hold the position of chairman until
2020.(Antara/Yusran Uccang)

A calm and laid-back plenary session at the Muhammadiyah muktamar
(national congress) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, endorsed on Thursday
sociology professor Haedar Nashir as chairman of the organization for
the 2015-2020 term, replacing outgoing leader Din Syamsuddin.

election of the 57-year-old scholar raised hope that the organization
would maintain its stance on protecting beleaguered minority groups,
including Shiite and Ahmadiyah, given his track records as a figurehead
of the organization's moderate faction.

Haedar, whose wife Siti
Noordjannah Djohantini was also elected as the chairperson of
Muhammadiyah's women's auxiliary, Aisyiyah, assumed the top position
after all 13 newly elected members of the Muhammadiyah board of
leadership unanimously agreed to name him the next chairman.

after his election, Haedar delivered a speech in which he vowed that
under his leadership Muhammadiyah would continue giving protection to
all minority groups in Indonesia regardless of their faiths and cultural
backgrounds as part of the organization's efforts to bring harmonious
relations to this multicultural country.

Muhammadiyah has the
solution that the majority should protect the minority and at the same
time the minority should build a synergy with the majority. We will try
to prevent conflicts or mediate any developing conflict. We must protect
the minority, Haedar said in his speech at the venue of the national
congress at Makassar Muhammadiyah University, in Makassar on Thursday

In his speech Haedar also congratulated Nadhlatul Ulama (NU) for electing its new chairman during its muktamar in Jombang, East Java, on Wednesday.

Haedar vowed to further improve cooperation with NU through a number of
strategic partnership programs, including campaigns to protect minority
groups in Indonesia.

Haedar also pledged that Muhammadiyah would continue to stay neutral in the country's politics.

Muhammadiyah will stick to its stance of not having an alignment with political
parties in the country and will not establish any political party in the
future. As an independent organization Muhammadiyah will maintain
communications with all political parties, Haedar said.

Meanwhile, Muhammadiyah's new secretary-general, Abdul Mu'ti, said that Haedar was elected in a unanimous decision.

It only took the board of leadership 10 minutes to make its decision on the chairmanship and secretary-generalship.

Haedar topped the list of preferences of the 13 new Muhammadiyah board of
leadership members polled on Wednesday after 1,974 out of 2,389 congress
participants voted for him to sit on the board. Mu'€™ti came in fourth
place with 1,802 votes.

A political analyst from the State Islamic University (UIN), Syarif Hidayatullah Fuad Fanani, said that
Haedar and Mu'ti, whom he considered moderates, were the perfect pair
to lead Muhammadiyah.

Pak Haedar is good at internal bureaucratic reform to deal with internal affairs in Muhammadiyah, while. Pak Mu'ti is a good at international relations,' Fuad told The Jakarta Post.

Meanwhile, Muhammadiyah observer Kim Hyung-jun from Seoul National University said
that he believed Haedar and Mu'ti would keep their promise to protect
minority groups in Indonesia. They are both moderate figures, Kim

In a separate election, Haedar's wife Siti was reelected
as Aishiyah chairperson after being elected earlier to the women's
organization's board of leadership during its congress in Jakarta.

Header and his wife repeated the feat achieved by Muhammadiyah's founder,
Islamic cleric Ahmad Dahlan, in 1912 when he was elected to lead
Muhammadiyah, while his wife assumed the top post of Aisyiyah.