While human rights activists criticize Indonesia’s failure to curb anti-LGBT zealots and roll back homophobic fundamentalist Islamic laws, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised Indonesia as a model of “modern Islam” that other Muslim-majority countries should follow.
Pence praises moderate Islam in Indonesia
Vice President Mike Pence praised Indonesia for its tradition of “modern Islam” Thursday [April 20], sending a conciliatory message to the Islamic world as the Trump administration continues to cause unease among Muslims.
Pence was speaking in the world’s most populous Muslim nation midway through a 10-day swing in Asia meant to reinforce key US alliances at the start of the Trump administration. He met with the country’s president, Joko Widodo, and toured the largest mosque in the region.
Pence said the US would continue working with Indonesia to combat terrorism, and said the country’s form of Islam should serve as an example to other nations.
“As the largest majority Muslim country, Indonesia’s tradition of modern Islam, frankly, is the inspiration to the world,” he said.
“We commend you and your people. In your nation as in mine, religion unifies — it doesn’t divide. It gives us hope for a brighter future. And we’re all grateful for the great inspiration that Indonesia provides for the world.”
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