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Islamic, Catholic groups to cooperate

Intellectuals of both religions united to help boost development for all

ISKA's chairman Muliawan M. Margadana (third from left) with Ilham Akbar Habib (centre) ISKA's chairman Muliawan M. Margadana (third from left) with Ilham Akbar Habib (centre)
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • June 6, 2011
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The head of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) has reaffirmed his organization’s intention to cooperate with the Association of Catholic Graduates and Intellectuals of Indonesia (ISKA) on various issues including education, economics and health.

“I was elected as chairman of the ICMI only a few months ago. I will develop a synergy with the ISKA,” Ilham Akbar Habibie said following a recent seminar organized by the Catholic association in Jakarta.

He said the two associations have not yet discussed the programs they will carry out.

“This is the first time I’ve met people in the ISKA. We will discuss what we will do,” he said.

The seminar entitled: Technology Innovations and Social Change was organized to mark the Catholic association’s 53rd anniversary.

More than 100 people from various organizations and religious backgrounds attended the seminar which had three main speakers including Ilham, son of former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.

In his address, he outlined three main issues hindering technological and human development -- lack of education, poverty and malnutrition.

“We should tell people to use technology to meet needs,” he suggested, saying that intellectuals should do more to close the social gap in the country.

ISKA chairman Muliawan M. Margadana said the seminar aimed to pave the way for cooperation with the ICMI.

He said the two associations will start cooperation with programs that are in the public interest.

“It is impossible for us to work all alone. We should develop an alliance with other groups including the ICMI,” he acknowledged.

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