A champion of humanity, Gus Dur continuously worked for transformation of society in many areas: Islam, interfaith dialogue, multiculturalism, civil society, democracy and human rights.
From 1984 to 2001, Gus Dur chaired Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest Moslem social-organization in Indonesia. With its 60 million members, Gus Dur drove the progressive movements of the Indonesian moderate Moslems. For this, Gus Dur was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Leadership.
In 1999, Gus Dur was elected as 4th President of Republic of Indonesia. Only 2 years in office, he struggled to reconstruct a firmer foundation for democracy in Indonesia. His legacy: demilitarization in government ministries & agencies, separation of Police & Army, dissolution of ethnic banning ot the Indonesian Chinese, humanity-based approach in Papua & Aceh, mandating gender perspective mainstreaming in public policies, setting up Constitutional Court, Corruption Eradication Comission, Lembaga Ombudsman, and many more.
In international landscape, Gus Dur was involved in the first Forum 2000 along with Dalai Lama, Vaclav Havel, Frederik Willem de Klerk, Bill Clinton, Hans Küng, Shimon Peres, Prince Hassan bin Talal, and others. He served as chairperson of World Conference for Religions and Peace, and other international organizations.
The gusdurian network
Gus Dur’s lifelong work has become a source of reference and inspirations for thousands of people. These followers and disciples call themselves gusdurian. In their own walk of lives, the gusdurians are seeking to maintain the legacy of Gus Dur’s struggle and develop it in a way that serves the challenges of the day. The GUSDURian Network Indonesia is an arena established for interaction & consolidation among gusdurians scattered all over Indonesia and the world. Through the network, comprehensive and collaborative actions are developed to serve the people. This network was established circa 2010, and managed directly by Yayasan Bani Abdurrahman Wahid (Bani Abdurrahman Wahid Foundation), founded by the immediate family of Gus Dur.As a value-based organization, the gusdurian uses Gus Dur Core Values as its paradigm on developing programs and strategies.
Strategy and programs
The gusdurian network focuses its strategies on:
- Empowering grassroot people
- Strengthening civil society
- Disseminations of Gus Dur ideas & thoughts and its regenerations
- Producing social leaders through capacity building programs
- Advocacy on strategic issues
For the 2014-2016 period, the network focuses on issues of:
- Islam, Interfaith Dialogue, and Multiculturalism
- Peace and Tolerance
- Economic Empowerment
As of 2014, thousands of people across Indonesia are involved in the gusdurian network, from Moslem clerics, other religious leaders, social activists, to professionals and university students. We have seen the emergence of 100+ local forums in more than 90 cities. And the younger generations of gusdurians have initiated more than 80+ small, independent youth groups. These gusdurian forums and youth groups are independent of each other, but connected through the gusdurian network. As a result, concerted campaigns and movements have been established for many issues, for example:
- International Day of Tolerance 2013-2014 campaign in 27 cities
- World Peace Day 2014-2015 campaign in __ cities
- People's Voice for Development as part of Global SDGs Action/2015 campaign in 55 cities
- Islamic Leaders for Anticorruption Movements events in 10 cities
- Seminars & Conferences on Peace & Interfaith Dialogue (50 events annually)
- Seminar, Training, & Conferences on Issues of Democracy (50 events annually)
- Advocacies on agrarian/land conflicts, discriminative policies & public services, etc
The strength of Gusdurian Network Indonesia lies in the extensive independent network working from grassroots level to high level policy making bodies, bound together by common values "inherited" from Gus Dur. As a symbol widely respected, Gus Dur opens the door of participation and contribution to activities and programs led by Gusdurian Network, from people of different faiths and communities. Capitalizing on this strength, Gusdurian Network strive to fulfill Gus Dur's dream of Indonesia: a just and prosperous nation.