First of all, on behalf of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University I would like to welcome all the speakers both from the Netherlands and Indonesia, all the participants from universities inside and outside Yogyakarta, and those from various non-Governmental organizations. It is our pleasure that you can attend the International Conference on “Costly Tolerance” which is held by our university in collaboration with the Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations. I am sure that your academic contributions to this conference are very significant.
Secondly, this conference is very important both for the Dutch and Indonesian societies, because they are plural in terms of their religions, cultures and languages. We don’t have any problems with the sameness of the various communities. But, we cannot deny that in fact there are also many differences among them. These differences must be coped with by the members of the communities properly. If we could not manage them in a good and effective way, there would be a conflict between them. Nevertheless, the conflict management is not always successful. If we look at the situations in several areas in Indonesia and in the Netherlands, which occurred several years ago, we will find that the horizontal conflicts and misunderstandings among the different social affiliations could not be avoided. Of course, such situation should neither happen again in the future in Indonesia nor in the Netherlands. In order to achieve this valuable hope and goal, we must conduct many effective activities. One of them is to strengthen tolerant attitude. Religious and cultural tolerance, I am sure, plays a very important role in preserving peace, mutual understanding and harmony within the plural societies. Dialogue among them constitutes an effective way to strengthen tolerance. This conference that is attended by scholars and students, and social activists from different religions can also be called such a dialogue.
Thirdly, I hope that this conference can lead all of us to have practical policies in relation to the building and strengthening of tolerant attitude and behavior, so that we can apply them to our societies. If this is the case, tolerance is not only discussed in a academic environment, but also comes into practice in the plural societies.
Fourthly, on this occasion, I would like to express my great appreciation to the Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium for Muslim-Christian Relations of which Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University has been a member since two years, for giving us the opportunity to hold this conference as one of its valuable programs.
Last, but not least, I am very grateful to all speakers and participants for their contributions to this conference. Many thanks are also awarded to its organizers from our university and the Netherlands-Indonesia Consortium.
To conclude this short speech, I would like to say: “I declare that the International Conference on Costly Tolerance is officially opened”. May God lead us to the right path in our lives and give mercy to all of us. Thank you very much.
**Speech of the Rector of Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University in the International Conference on ‘Costly Tolerance’Yogyakarta, March 10-12, 2015