Chairman of Muhammadiyah Din Syamsuddin (left) and president of the Community of Sant'Egidio Marco Impagliazzo (right) sign the MoU.
The head of the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, and the president of the Italy-based Community of Sant’Egidio
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday to work together for the benefit of humanity. “This MoU is between two organizations which have a similar responsibility to help people free themselves from the chains that weigh them down such as poverty and stupidity,” said Muhammadiyah chief, Din Syamsuddin, at a press conference following the signing in central Jakarta. Besides humanity, the agreement -- Working Together on One Humanity, One Destiny, One Responsibility -- also includes cooperation in promoting peace through interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians, and political resolutions. “I hope this cooperation will fully materialize. It has been started, so I hope it can be improved. What we, including other Islamic organizations, should do is move in a world without violence. That is what we want to reach,” Syamsuddin continued. Marco Impagliazzo from Sant’Egidio called the agreement a “concrete commitment.” “We will organize various activities, including helping needy children,” he said. “The reason why the community chose to link up with Muhammadiyah was because it represents spirituality in Indonesia, especially in the way it deals with poverty and promotes peace,” he added. Indonesia is also an example of how people from different religious backgrounds can live together, he continued. Both parties have agreed to come up with humanitarian and cultural initiatives. These initiatives will be implemented through seminaries, thematic projects and any other activity thought appropriate to achieve the goals that are set. Both organizations are also committed to further the development of interaction with institutions, governments and associations in their respective countries. Related Report: Interfaith dialogue must foster peace