Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC mourns passing of former President Wahid

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January 6, 2010



With the death of former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid last week, on behalf of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein conveyed sincere condolences to his family and the Indonesian people.
 
"We feel very privileged to have known such a courageous leader, reformer, humanist and towering figure in the promotion of harmonious co-existence between diverse peoples, religions and nations. He was a principled defender of minority rights, a powerful voice for democracy and a leading international promoter of an inclusive and tolerant Islam. Interfaith dialogue, involving Jews and all other faiths, was both a mission and a passion, right up until his death. Abdurrahman Wahid's life was an inspiration to all who strive for constructive social action in the cause of reconciliation and human rights," Dr. Rubenstein said.


"And the Jewish world, including Israel which he visited several times and admired, certainly viewed him as an outstanding personality and a very good friend", Dr. Rubenstein said.

"We share in the mourning for this great man at this sad time. We are confident, however, that his memory will long be a source of encouragement and hope to all of those millions of admirers in Indonesia and around the world profoundly touched by the countless good deeds and bravery of this champion of human decency," Dr. Rubenstein concluded.

For further comment:
Dr. Rubenstein
03 9681 6660

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