"Unlike Indonesia, nations in some other parts of the world have been devastated due to the absence of the spirit of nationalism," Siradj remarked here on Thursday.
Speaking at a public lecture at the Kendari State Islamic Institute, the professor at the Surabaya State Sunan Ampel Islamic University said the principle of Indonesian nationalism has existed long before the country gained independence.
"Nahdlatul Ulama Founder KH. Hasyim Asy`ari had forecast in the 1920s that one day, Islamic countries, especially in the Arab land, would become fragile and fragmented if those countries did not harbor a love for the homeland," he noted.
According to Asy`ari, clerics in the Middle East at that time did not harbor a spirit of nationalism in order to maintain the sovereignty of the country for a common good.
However, he said that in Indonesia, Muslim scholars harbored a high spirit of nationalism, accompanied by an awareness that Indonesia was destined to become a pluralistic nation; hence, its people were obligated to respect and value the diversity.