Persatuan Islam: Islamic Reform in Twentieth Century Indonesia

Persatuan Islam: Islamic Reform in Twentieth Century Indonesia

Persatuan Islam: Islamic Reform in Twentieth Century Indonesia

Persatuan Islam: Islamic Reform in Twentieth Century Indonesia

Excerpt

Three basic concerns have absorbed the attention of Indonesian Muslims in the twentieth century: response to local non-Muslim culture, concern for basic Islamic belief and practice, and accommodation with modern thought and technology. Like Muslims elsewhere, Indonesian Muslims have responded in different ways to these concerns. One group has identified itself closely with traditional Middle Eastern Islamic beliefs, ritual and Jurisprudence and attempted to make local culture and modern thought conform to it. A second group has continued to identify with indigenous Southeast Asian religious values and with locally evolved customary law and has reshaped Islamic beliefs and ritual to coincide with these indigenous values. A third group has responded to Western secularism and attempted to relegate formal religion to the realm of private worship and belief with only a moral and ethical influence on society and government. The interaction of these three attitudes has been a primary factor in the particular development of Indonesian social and political life over the past seventy years.

The major Islamic organization’s that have appeared in Indonesia in the twentieth century—Sarekat Islam, Muhammadijah, Nahdlatul Ulama and Masjumi—have all been representatives of the group that emphasizes traditional Middle Eastern Islamic beliefs and practices. All have been concerned with the primacy of Islamic law, even though their concepts of just what constituted that law were vague and different from one another. All have maintained that religious values are so important that the state should be responsible for assuring the adoption of such values throughout Indonesian society, although again there has been no common concept of what these values actually are or just what the state was to do about them. All have been convinced that the traditional Islamic values are correct and that all of Indonesian society should come to accept this premise . . .

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