Monday, April 11, 2011

Muhammadiyah, Salafism, and conservatism

Quoted from: Eliraz, Giora. 2004. Islam in Indonesia: modernism, radicalism, and the Middle East dimension. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
This organization [Muhammadiyah] was described at the end of the 1970s as “the most powerful living reformist movement in Muslim Southeast Asia, perhaps in the entire Muslim culture” (p. 21).[1]
The Islamic modernist movement, significantly influenced by `Abduh’s heritage, made a strong, vivid impact in the Malay-Indonesian world early on. In contrast, in Egypt `Abduh’s heritage dissolved quite early on into various and contradicting conceptual trends, ideologies, and movements. Its elements were to be found almost everywhere in Egypt in the first decades of the first twentieth century, and were echoed in almost every ideological and intellectual discourse, debate, and conflict that took place at the time in Egypt. Prominent among these conflicts were those that resembled the major cultural and theological debates going on in the Malay-Indonesian would, such as modernity versus tradition, and the determination of the collective national identity. But at the same time `Abduh’s heritage, with many of its authentic characteristics, did not exist there as a solid, vivid corpus of ideas, and definitely not as a formidable organizational reality, as the Muhammadiyah organization has been in Indonesia (p. 18).
It must be noted that from a later historical perspective, beyond the boundaries of the formative period and into recent decades, Muhammadiyah, in Indonesia, is alleged to show more of a link with Rashid Rida’s salafism than with the modernist ideas of `Abduh, and has adopted a position of “neo-salafism”, including an ideological emphasis on a return to pristine Islam and strict Scripturalism (p. 20).[2]
The traditionalist NU is regarded as more liberal, tolerant, and confortable with the idea of a secular state, as well as with syncretic patterns of Islam.[3] This can be partly explained by the fact that NU’s followers are mainly from the rural areas of Java, and as much they share the Sufi tradition of tolerance, and are also influenced by Javanese Hindu-Buddhist and animist traditions to a certain degree. Muhamadiyah has become more conservative in strictly Islamic terms and there are still some people within this movement who bid for a greater role for Islam in the Indonesia polity (86).
It must be noted that it is among modernist Muslims that many of the present day Islamic radical organizations in Indonesia have their origins (p. 78).[4]

[1] Peacock, Purifying the Faith, p. 6.
[2] M. Din Syamsuddin, Religion and Politics in Islam: The Case of Muhammadiyah in Indonesia’s New Order (Ph.D. dissertation, Los Angeles: University of California, 1991), pp. 268-70, 287-8; M. Din Syamsuddin, “The Muhammadiyah Da`wah and Allocative Politics in the New Order Indonesia”, Studia Islamika, vol 2, no. 2 (1995), pp. 63-4. See also Azra, “The Transmission of al-Manar’s Reformism”, p. 97.
[3] Robert W. Hefner, “Print Islam: Mass Media and Ideological Rivalries among Indonesian Muslims”, Indonesia, 64 (October 1997), p. 86. See also van Bruinessen, “Geneologies”, pp. 123, 127.
[4][4] ICG, Indonesia: Violence and Radical Muslims, p. 11; ICG, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, pp. 3-4.


  1. Bagus artikelnya, menginpirasi kami. Siap bekerjasama untuk Les Privat di Pamulang dan Les Privat di Bintaro SD, SMP, SMA

  2. Bagus artikelnya, menginpirasi kami. Siap bekerjasama untuk Les Privat di Pamulang dan Les Privat di Bintaro SD, SMP, SMA