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Observations by Moazzam Malik, the British Ambassador to Indonesia, ASEAN and Timor Leste, at the recent  ninth Bali Democracy Forum, that focussed on the theme ‘religion, pluralism and democracy’:

. . . Building on discussions during visits by the former Prime Minister David Cameron to Jakarta in July 2015 and President Jokowi to London in April 2016, we are encouraging links between British and Indonesian Muslim groups so that they can share experiences, learn from each other and find new ways to collaborate. With around 3 million British Muslims – almost 5% of the UK population, there is much that we can learn from these partnerships. Over the last year, the British Embassy has signed Memoranda of Understanding with Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama; supported links between Muslim colleges and community groups so that they can debate and share their understanding of religious teachings; and piloted placements of British Muslim students in Muslim boarding schools and Islamic universities so that they can teach English, share their experiences as minorities in a western country and also learn from what is going on here in Indonesia. In December 2016, we facilitated a first visit by a group of Afghan religious leaders and peace activists – both men and women, Shia and Sunni – to meet counterparts and draw lessons from Indonesia.

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