Maarif is one of Indonesia’s most famous scholars whose political comments regularly attract significant attention. In 2008 he won the prestigious Magsaysay Award for guiding Muslims to embrace tolerance and pluralism. This former president of the influential Muhammadiyah organization is actively involved in interfaith and peace movements both domestically and internationally, largely through his Maarif Institute for Culture and Humanity. He was recognized for his role in promoting interfaith dialogue and religious harmony at the Habibie Awards. Maarif is also a Prof of history at the National University of Yogyakarta and a productive author and columnist, currently writing two regular columns in ‘Republika’ newspaper and also in Gatra Magazine.