UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta welcomes guests from the United States of America and religious stakeholders at an Interfaith roundtable

Friday, 22 July 2022, UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta welcomes guests from the United States of America and several religious stakeholders at an Interfaith roundtable. The guests are from the American Jewish Committee, the Leimena Institute, the Rector of Sanata Dharma, the Head of Sekolah Tinggi Hindu Dharma Klaten, the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, Interfidei, the representative of Hesston College, and Affiliate Faculty of Peace Studies Goshen College, Deans and Directors from all over UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, and many others.

The Rector of UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Prof. Dr.Phil. Al Makin warmly welcomes them and states, "Indonesia and the United States have a common quest for peace, where the society from both countries are heterogeneous. Thousands of ethnicities and at least eight (8) official religions fabricate the people of Indonesia. It is also the case in the United States of America, where people from many countries gather to collaborate or live there. This similar challenge will make it easier for us to understand each other and collaborate. We are good people with good intentions. Thus we hope to create a good collaboration".

Mattius Ho from Leimena Institute responds, "Thank you, Professor Makin, for your kindness in hosting us here at the University of Sunan Kalijaga. I am also thankful for your support of our program on Interfaith Dialogue."

The delegation of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Ari Gordon, highly appreciates the warmth of UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta in welcoming them. He introduces the AJC's benevolent goals to assure the prosperity and security of the Jewish people. Moreover, AJC aims for a flourishing relationship with many communities. He wrapped up his speech by telling a story.

Once upon a time, A man saw a very old man planting seeds in the ground. He said to the man, "why are you doing that? you won't be able to see the fruit". The old man replied, "I was able to eat fruits because someone before me planted the seeds. I am planting the seeds for the future. Knowing if I fall asleep for decades and decades, someone else will be able to taste the fruit that I planted". Gordon mentioned, "We will not solve the problem in our lifetime entirely, but we are planting the seeds. So we know that the world will eat the fruits of what we are doing today".

Rabbi David Rosen, the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, is also thankful for the warm welcome from UIN Sunan Kalijaga. Even if he did not focus his study on Islam, there is a verse in Surah Al-Hujarat 13. Rosen finalizes his speech by also telling his personal story in Indonesia some time ago. He was at the Airport, and he took a Taxi. On the way, the taxi driver starts a conversation with him and is surprised that his customer is Jewish. The driver was afraid that Rosen hated him for being a Muslim. While on the other hand, Rosen does not have any reason to hate the Taxi driver. It illustrates a terrible condition where we hate or are afraid of something that is not familiar to us. This is the reason why it is so important to know each other.