Ahmad Mustofa Bisri, known as Gus Mus, won the Yap Thiam Hien Award for his dedication to human rights and diversity in Indonesia. (Photo from his Facebook account)
A cleric from Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Islamic organization, has won the 2017 Yap Thiam Hien Award for his efforts in upholding human rights and promoting diversity through writing.
Ahmad Mustofa Bisri, known as Gus Mus, is the first Muslim cleric to receive the award, which was established by the Jakarta-based Human Rights Study Center Foundation in 1992 to honor the late Yap Thiam Hien (1913-89), a noted lawyer and human rights defender in Indonesia.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti presented the award to the 73-year-old leader of Raudlatut Thalibin Islamic Boarding School in Rembang, Central Java, on Jan. 24 at a ceremony in Jakarta.
Foundation director Todung Mulya Lubis said Gus Mus had fought for human rights in terms of religious issues and for diversity and social harmony.
Gus Mus had shared with people his ideas through poems and never took part in any protests, he said.
In a speech, Gus Mus stressed the importance for the nation to fight injustices. "Injustices make people angry. Angry people make radicalism," he said.
Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, secretary of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace's national council, acknowledged that Gus Mus deserved the award.
"He fights for inclusivism with all his soul and energy. He commits to uphold the state philosophy of Pancasila (five principles). He is a figure who can become a bridge of peace," he said.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.