U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, Robert O. Blake, Jr., celebrated the legacy of the 4th President of Indonesia, KH. Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, during a visit to Jombang, E. Java on Thursday, December 11, 2014. Accompanied by the US Consul General in Surabaya, Joaquin F. Monserrate, Ambassador Blake visited Nadhlatul Ulama Junior High School in Mojoagung, that adopted the ‘Teachings of Gus Dur’ in its curriculum, and met with Gus Dur’s brother, KH. Salahuddin Wahid, or Gus Sholah, the leader of the famous Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School in Jombang. Ambassador Blake also paid respect to Gus Dur’s grave in Tebuireng, to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Gus Dur’s passing which falls on December 30th.
Ambassador Blake noted that Gus Dur’s teachings of tolerance, democracy and human rights are the values shared by Indonesia and the U.S. In the U.S., Gus Dur is likened to Martin Luther King, an American activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Ambassador Blake also said that “Gus Dur’s teachings and leadership have played a large role in shaping the diverse, tolerant and vibrant democracy we see today in Indonesia. I’m very happy to see that Gus Dur’s teachings, i.e. democracy, human rights, tolerance and non-violence, live on and are embodied by the young people in Indonesia.”