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Monday, 28 March 2011

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Nahdlatul Ulama (also Nahdatul Ulama or NU) is a traditionalist Sunni Islam group in Indonesia.

The NU was established on January 31, 1926 as a reaction to the modernist Muhammadiyah organization. In 1965, the group took sides with the General Suharto-led army and was heavily involved in the mass killings of Indonesian communists. However, the NU later began to oppose Suharto's regime. In 1984, Abdurrahman Wahid, the grandson of NU founder Hasyim Asy'ari, inherited the leadership from his father, and was later elected President of Indonesia in 1999. He formally apologized for NU's involvement in the events of 1965.

The NU is one of the largest independent Islamic organizations in the world. Some estimates of its membership range as high as 30 million, although it is hard to account for this number. NU acts as a charitable body, helping to fill in many of the shortcomings of the Indonesian government in society; it funds schools, hospitals, and organizes communities or kampungs into more coherent groups in order to help combat poverty.

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