Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – A total of 213 hafiz or Al-Quran memorizers from Indonesia have participated in the selection for mosque imam candidates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Religion.
“This program is a part of bilateral relations between the two countries. Being an imam of a mosque in the UAE is a matter of honor and pride for Indonesia,” said Director General of Islamic Community Guidance Kamaruddin Amin in a written statement received here on Friday (Aug. 27).
Kamaruddin noted that the selection of candidates for the UAE mosque imams was carried out online and offline, and took place from August 25 to 27.
The selection of mosque imams in the United Arab Emirates is a strategic part of the bilateral cooperation between the Indonesian and United Arab Emirates governments.
The imams of the mosque will also serve as Indonesian ambassadors to the Middle Eastern country.
“The imams of the mosque are expected not only to be prayer leaders, but also Indonesian agents in spreading moderate Islamic understanding,” he said.
In addition, the selected mosque imams were expected to take inspiration from the UAE’s moderation in the midst of global and multi-cultural life.
The UAE’s need for mosque imams from Indonesia was discussed when Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the United Arab Emirates in 2019. Crown Prince Sheikh Zayed specifically asked 200 mosque imams from Indonesia to be assigned to his country.
Following up on the request, the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Religion and the authorities of the United Arab Emirates conducted a selection targeting 74 imams. Thus, by 2021 there will be 100 imams ready to be assigned to the United Arab Emirates.
Reporting by Indonesia Window