|ISLAM AND DEMOCRACY; The Indonesian Experience*|
|Written by Azyumardi Azra|
|Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:10|
Indonesian Islam, no doubt, since its early history in the late 12 is basically a moderate and tolerant Islam. This is due not only to the peaceful penetration and spread of Islam in the Indonesian archipelago, but also to social and cultural systems of the Indonesian people. Therefore, social, cultural, and political expression of Islam in Indonesia is quite distinctive if one compares with Islam somewhere else.
Despite its cultural, social, and political distinctions, Indonesian Islam is no less Islamic compares with Islam in other areas of the Muslim world. Indonesian Muslims subscribes to the very same fundamental beliefs of Islam as laid down by the Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, which later were elaborated and formulated by authoritative and recognized ` ulama’ (Muslim religious scholars). Indonesian Muslims also practice Islamic rituals like Muslims in other areas. If there are some differences, they are only in small or even trivial matters (furu`iyyah), not in fundamental teachings of Islam." theory.
According to this theory—based on Clifford Geertz’ divisions of "santri" (strict Muslims), "abangan" (nominal Muslims) and "priyayi" (aristocracy)—Indonesian politics was heavily divided along religious line and traditional loyalty. Sociological and religious changes that have been taking place since that last decade of Soeharto’s rule have contributed to the rapid demise of the politik aliran. Indonesian politics, since the the reform era, has been characterized by less and less politik aliran. In contrast what has characterized Indonesian politics since then is interest" if not "opportunist politics".
The election of SBY-JK clearly shows"secular" person, he is known in Indonesia as good and"conspiracy theory" seems to decreasing. Virtually all Therefore, it is wrong to assume that Indonesian Islam is theologically, octrinally, and ritually peripheral vis-à-vis Islam the places and developed. But that should not lead one to argue that Indonesian Islam is also a politics that religious line is no longer relevant. Though SBY has been called by some international media as a practicing Muslim; while JK on the other hand has long been known as having more Islamic credentials, being the former leader of HMI (Association of University Muslim Students), for instance.
Thirdly; despite the 9/9 bomb blast, Indonesian Islam remains moderate and tolerant Islam. The bomb has in fact contributed to a more resolute and stronger attitude among Indonesian Muslims in general to confront radicalism; more and more Muslims abandon the defensive and apologetic attitude towards the ruthlessness of the perpetrators of the bombing. The belief among some people of the so-called Muslim leaders issued statements in strongest terms ever to condemn the bombing.
Therefore, one of the most important keys to address terrorism in Indonesia is more stringent law enforcement; the professionalism and credibility of the police in the investigation of the perpetrators of bombing and other kind of terrorism is very crucial in addressing terrorism. With public support, the police are now in a better position to decisively act in the war against terrorism. Not least important is the support of civil society organizations—particularly moderate Muslim organizations—in the fight against terrorism. An encouraging development took place in the aftermath of Bali bombing II. In
conjunction with the post-Ramadhan and Id al-Fitr celebrations, Vice President MJK met at his official residence with a number of Muslim leaders, including from the NU, Muhammadiyah and MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia/the Council of Indonesian `Ulama), and representatives from other organizations. During the meeting, Vice President also showed a video tape of the perpetrators of Bali blast II who had military training and messages for their families before they conducted the suicide bombing.
The end result of the meeting was the formation of the Team of Anti-Terrorism (Tim Penanggulangan Terorism/TPT) led by KH Ma’ruf Amin, a respected `ulama’ from the MUI. He is assisted by a number of vicechairpersons from the NU, Muhammadiyah, DDII (Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia/the Indonesian Council of Islamic Preaching) and Ministry of Religious Affairs. The team has decided to launch a number programs; firstly, disseminating the true teaching of jihad from national to grass-root levels through Muslim organizations, and educational institutions; secondly, researching literature on misleading concept on jihad in order to provide counter-discourse; developing cooperation with related institutions in countering terrorism.
There is a lot of signs that Indonesia under President SBY is more likely to be more stable. The expectation towards the new national leadership basically continues to run high in Indonesia. One of the most important keys for President SBY and Vice-President MJK to get stronger support from the people is their ability to form a cabinet that could win the widest possible public acceptability. For many, it is disappointing that SBY-JK cabinet consists of some ministers that are lacking of credibility and professionalism in their field. President SBY seemed to have been very compromising with political parties in particular. President SBY also failed to satisfy public in general when he did a partial reshuffle of his cabinet in early December, 2004.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:57|