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The scholar's concern is that Indonesia should not go the way of Pakistan

Ulil Abshar Abdalla is a Muslim scholar and co-founder of the Liberal Islam Network and Freedom Institute.

His views have been deemed radical by some Muslim clerics in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

He staunchly believes Islam is not in contradiction of democracy, pluralism or human rights and is convinced it's important to focus on this interpretation of Islam in Indonesia and other Muslim countries.

He adds that in some Islamic countries it can be dangerous to have your opinion differ from official doctrine.

Although his beliefs have earned him a loyal fan base - thousands of Indonesians follow him on the social networking site Twitter - there are also some elements of Indonesian society who don't approve of his teachings.

He received a death threat because of an opinion piece he wrote for a newspaper based in Jakarta about the urgency of rethinking and reinterpreting Islam. The story upset a small number of Islamic clerics in Indonesia.

But Ulil insists these sort of threats don't bother him too much and he hasn't changed his life in any way because of them.

His main concern is that Indonesia shouldn't go the way of Pakistan.

He spends a large part of his working day championing the cause of moderate Islam, appearing regularly on talk shows to discuss his views.

For him, a modern, Muslim and democratic Indonesia is the ideal future for his country.



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