"My hope is that these documents will be examined seriously by the Vatican so that the Vatican can make decisions to engage with us and work together with this," Staquf said.
The Muslim leader also brought a delegation of Indonesian Catholics and young Muslims practicing "humanitarian Islam" with him to Rome to attend the general audience with the pope. Together they asked Pope Francis to visit Indonesia to continue his interreligious dialogue.
Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country historically known for its ethnic diversity and peaceful religious pluralism, which has seen an increase in religious-based violence and radical groups in recent years.
"They explained to the pope that we stand for the harmony of Indonesia, so that when we [Nahdlatul Ulama Muslims] see threats toward our fellow Indonesian Christians, we protect them," Staquf said.
"I mentioned to His Holiness that we believe Humanitarian Islam is in alignment with noble values of Christian humanism ... It was received very well," he said.
Archbishop Agustinus Agus of Pontianak, who accompanied Staquf on the trip, facilitated the Sunni sheikh's meetings with the pope and members of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Archbishop Agus told CNA that when Sheikh Staquf expressed that he wanted to come to the Vatican to give the pope Nahdlatul Ulama's response to the Abu Dhabi declaration, he knew it was "the right time … for one of the great leaders of the Muslims to meet the pope."
"I feel that I have a responsibility for the future of Indonesia," Agus said.
Staquf stressed that the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries around the world must end. He said that when looking at the rise of the Islamic State and other radical groups, one cannot ignore the theological underpinnings that allow their radicalism and violence to spread.
"Let's look at why these problematic views can spread effectively everywhere in the Islamic world in these Muslims communities because it is supported by … what is considered to be authoritative elements of the orthodoxy. So we need to change that so that people cannot use that elements to make troubles, to make problems," he said.
"We have a network of hundreds of thousands of clerics and Muslim scholars in Indonesia. So we all know what is in the teachings of Islam," he said. "We know that there are some elements that do not encourage harmony and even can be potential obstacles to harmony."
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One of the areas Nahdlatul Ulama is working to reform is religious education for Muslim youth. They are constructing a curriculum for teaching Islamic history that places less of an emphasis on the violence of the past, and more on spirituality.
"We want to create materials for education which contains more about the character of the prophet, the compassionate character of the prophet, rather than these records of conflicts and wars," Staquf said.
"We use a creed for this movement, the global movement of humanitarian Islam. Our creed is: 'We choose rahma' ... 'We choose compassion," he said.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.