About The WAHID Institute

The WAHID Institute was established with its launching on September 7, 2004, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Jakarta. It was founded during a time when the world has not yet healed from the pain and panic caused by the 11/9/2001 tragedy in New York, and when Indonesia has seen numerous communal violences triggered by clash of religions or ethnics happening in many places around the country, including in big cities.


Eventhough Indonesia has entered the democratization era by having political procedures since 1998, nevertheless the emergence of violence in various forms has con!rmed that democracy with its philosophy has not yet embedded in to the culture of the society. Many factors were in play, but one of the most important is the role of religions – particularly Islam, because of the number of its devotees within the country – and ethnics that has been molding the cultures of the society. In the mean time, the world is full of fear caused by violence and terrorist acts and the many counter movements against them.


The WAHID Institute emerged with the dedication to realize the intellectual commitment of KH Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) in advancing the development of both Indonesian as well as Islamic society, improving the welfare of lower class of the society, building democracy and fundamental justice, and expanding peace and non-violence throughout the world.


At the regional and world level, The WAHID Institute facilitates dialogues and understanding between Muslims and other religions and cultures, including between the Islamic world and the West. In Indonesia, The WAHID Institute fosters the emergence of young promising thinkers and activists to realize the commitment and vision of Gus Dur. The WAHID Institute organizes education events for youth, capacity buildings for Muslim clerics to generate cross-religions, cross-cultural, and cross-ethnics dialogues, and assists and promotes them to actively participate in the process of building economic welfare and justice and good governance.



  • The WAHID Institute seeks to achieve the intellectual vision of H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid for the development of Indonesia, the welfare of the nation, and the social justice of humankind based on Islamic values that upholds pluralism, multiculturalism, democracy, and human rights.
  • The Wahid Institute strives for a just and peaceful world by espousing a moderate and tolerant view of Islam and working towards welfare for all.


  • Cultivating, maintaining and spreading the Islamic values of peace and tolerance.
  • Cultivating dialogues among local and international cultures to expand harmony between Islam and various cultures and religions of the world.
  • Fostering initiatives to strengthen civil and society and good governance in Indonesia in expanding democracy.
  • Promoting active participations of various religious groups in cultural dialogues and dialogues for peace.
  • Developing initiatives to improve welfare and social justice.



H.E. KH Abdurrahman Wahid

KH Abdurrahman Wahid, or also known as Gus Dur, was an important figure of Islam and peace. In Indonesia, he was known as a prominent intellectual figure as well as the main !gure of modernist Islam. He was very world renowned as a man of peace and anti-violence. His thoughts and his movement was aimed to find an understanding to reduce various tensions and conflicts around the world, including between Islam and the West. He led the biggest Islamic organization in the world – Nahdlatul Ulama – for 15 years (1983-1998), when he introduced the tradition of inter-religious and -cultural dialogues, not only in Indonesia, but also throughout the world, for the purpose of achieving peace and promoting democracy. His leadership as the fourth President of Republic of Indonesia (1999-2001) was during a time of crisis and full of turmoil; nevertheless he succeeded in putting the foundations of the country for law enforcement, military repositioning, people oriented economic development, as well as fostering the cooperation among religions to support democracy and law enforcement in the country.


Dr. Gregorius Barton

Dr. Greg Barton is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Since the late 1980s he has researched the influence of Islamic liberalism in Indonesia and its contribution to the development of civil society and democracy. One of the central !gures in his research has been Gus Dur, whom Barton has come to know better than perhaps any other researcher.


Yenny Zannuba Wahid

Yenny Wahid, the second daughter of H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid, was a former journalist for Australian newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Graduated from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration, she was appointed as a special sta# for political communication for President Yudhoyono in 2006, which she left a year later to concentrate on her work on the grass roots. In 2009 she was named as one of the Young Global Leader honorees by the World Economic Forum, along with the likes of Tiger Woods and Mark Zuckenberg. Currently she serves, among other positions she holds, as a member of the Global Council on Faith.


Ahmad Suaedy

Ahmad Suaedy is an activist of progressive Islam. Since 1990s he has been facilitating the progress of Islamic youth movements, many were critical to the democratization process of 1998. After 1998 reform, he has been involved in the advocating movement of religious minorities and traditions in Indonesia. For the past 5 years, he’s been actively conducting research on Islam as minorities around South East Asia; such as in South Thailand, South Phillippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, East Indonesia, and Malaysia (Penang); as well as building the vast network of South East Asia progressive Muslims.


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