Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid Dies

The former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has died in hospital at the age of 69, after a prolonged illness. His presidency commenced after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1999.

Wahid’s leadership and policies attracted much controversy amongst Indonesians. Eventually, he was alienated within his own party and removed from office in 2001.

During and after his presidency, he promoted religious and ethnic tolerance. He wrote a seminal article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 30, 2005 titled “Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam” in which he called on “people of good will of every faith and nation” to unite to defeat the ideology of religious hatred that underlies and animates terrorism. He advocated for relations with Israel. When the Iranian government held a Holocaust Denial Conference in 2006, President Wahid convened a counter conference in Bali to promote the true historical view.

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