The United States recently not only praised Indonesia for adopting democracy but also expressed its willingness to make Indonesia its new partner in boosting relations with the Muslim world. Likewise, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) commended Indonesia for continuously showing the world how Islam and democracy can live in harmony.
On Monday, OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and conveyed the OIC’s “appreciation” to Indonesia for showing that democracy could emerge in the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population.
“The secretary-general of the OIC said Indonesia played a significant role in developing Islam and democracy simultaneously,” presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told reporters after the meeting between the two leaders at Merdeka State Palace in Jakarta.
He added Ihsanoglu also appreciated Indonesia’s push for reforms within the OIC. The reform includes the adoption of democratic values to make it more relevant to the 21st century.
As part of the reforms, the OIC has begun working on building a bridge between the Muslim world and the West, such as by inviting representatives from Western countries, including the US, to its 11th Ordinary Conference in Dakar, Senegal. The conference discussed how to cope with negative images of Islam.
“One of the principles the OIC has adopted is that the Muslim world has to build a bridge with the Western world. The OIC has to be part of the bridge because there will be no peace without this bridge between the East and the West, the North and the South, and so on,” Dino said.