Indonesian Leader Visits IRLA HQ

Mr. Adnan (3rd from L) during his IRLA visit

On August 2, Mr. Muhamman Adnan of the Central Java Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), Semarang, Java Tengah, from Indonesia visited the IRLA office and met with officers and members of the Adventist Church to learn about constitutional underpinnings for separation of church and state.

Legal counsel for the IRLA Mitchell Tyner presented a brief overview of the United States' history of religion. Discussions centered around the awareness of religious minorities and Americans' general attitude toward Muslims as a whole. Dr. Eugene Hsu, one of the vice presidents for the IRLA, commented that "Those more knowledgable always tend to be less ignorant," emphasizing the importance of dialogue and discussion.

Attorney James Standish briefly shared that the climate in the U.S. did change slightly after September 11, 2001, however, as a whole America can be thankful for the low percentage of negative reaction towards Muslims in America and perceived-Muslim groups, like Sikhs.

Mr. Adnan who chairs the 5-million member NU association that is involved in public policy, expressed his gratefulness for learning about the way America reacted to September 11, and the role its law played in protecting religious minorities, such as Muslims. [Viola Poey Hughes/photographer/writer]