Islam and the 2009 Indonesian Elections, Political and Cultural Issues

Islam and the 2009 Indonesian Elections, Political and Cultural Issues

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English
100 Pages

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The history of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is part of the longstanding tradition of political Islam in Indonesia. Born in 1912 with the foundation of the Union of Muslim Traders (Sarekat Dagang Islam) this trend dominated the emerging nationalism in the Dutch East Indies for nearly twenty years. This initial momentum lies at the the origin of the two-dimensional Islamist project: to islamicise society by cleansing Islam of all practices considered to be impure; to mobilise the electorate by invoking Islamic values and their necessary implementation. Indeed, the birth and development of political Islam was closely linked to the reformist Muslim movement which in religious, cultural and social matters attempted to face the colonial challenge through a religious surge. In Indonesia, the Muhammadiyah, founded in 1912, and the Persatuan Islam, founded in 1923, provided most of the early generations of activists. During the decade after independence, militant Islam played a leading role in Indonesian politics. Between 1945 and 1960, the Masjumi party, which brought together most Muslim organisations, was one of the main government components and thereby constituted the matrix of political Islam in Indonesia to which the current generation of activists still refer. The discussions conducted within this party, especially the delicate compromises made between divine law and people's democracy, preconfigured the present debates conducted by Islamic parties. Like the current leaders of the PKS, this first generation of “government Islamists” was also confronted with economic and social modernity issues such as those related to the role of the West in this process. As the two following contributions remind us, its failure is mainly due to domestic reasons that in turn heavily influenced the way Indonesian Islam later considered these issues. Banned by President Sukarno and marginalised by the emerging New Order, the proponents of militant Islam had no choice but to withdraw from conventional politics. Here the organisational model of the Muslim Brotherhood (also repressed in several Arab countries) as well as the financial resources and literature made available to them by Wahhabi Islam networks contributed to the radicalisation of their discourse. The two terms Dakwah (preaching) and Tarbiyah (education) were therefore used to describe a movement based on the conviction that the re-Islamisation of Indonesian society was the essential precondition for its return to the political scene. Paradoxically, after the initial phase of repression, it was the New Order that favoured this agenda. From the early 1990s, some of the networks born from the Islamic revival were instrumented by a power lacking support and looking for scapegoats (Sino-Indonesian Christians...) on whom to deflect public anger. However, most student associations from the Tarbiyah movement did not let themselves be dragged into this trend and, true to their moral position, joined the opposition against the declining Soeharto regime. From this movement the Justice Party (PK) was born in 1998 (later transformed into the Prosperous Justice Party, or the PKS).


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Islam and the 2009 Indonesian Elections, Political and Cultural Issues The Case of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)
Ahmad-Norma Permata and Najib Kailani
DOI: 10.4000/books.irasec.754 Publisher: Institut de recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine Year of publication: 2010 Published on OpenEdition Books: 3 July 2018 Serie: Carnets de l’Irasec Electronic ISBN: 9782355960017
http://books.openedition.org
Printed version ISBN: 9786169028246 Number of pages: 100
Electronic reference PERMATA, Ahmad-Norma ; KAILANI, Najib.Islam and the 2009 Indonesian Elections, Political and Cultural Issues: The Case of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).New edition [online]. Bangkok: Institut de recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine, 2010 (generated 05 juillet 2018). Available on the Internet: . ISBN: 9782355960017. DOI: 10.4000/books.irasec.754.
This text was automatically generated on 5 July 2018.
© Institut de recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine, 2010 Terms of use: http://www.openedition.org/6540
The history of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) i s part of the long standing tradition of political Islam in Indonesia. Born in 1912 with the foundation of the Union of Muslim Traders (Sarekat Dag ang Islam ) this trend dom inated the em erg ing nationalism in the Dutch East Indies for nearly twenty years. This initial m om entum lies at the the orig in of the two-dim ensional Islam ist project: to islam icise society by cleansing Islam of all practi ces considered to be im pure; to m obilise the electorate by invoking Islam ic values and their necessary im plem entation. Indeed, the birth and developm ent of political Islam was closel y linked to the reform ist Muslim m ovem ent which in relig ious, cultural and social m a tters attem pted to face the colonial challeng e throug h a relig ious surg e. In Indonesia, the Muham m adiyah, founded in 1912, and the Persatuan Islam , founded in 1923, provided m ost of the early g enerations of activists. During the decade after independence, m i litant Islam played a leading role in Indonesian politics. Between 1945 and 1960, the Masjum i party, which broug ht tog ether m ost Muslim org anisations, was one of the m ain g ove rnm ent com ponents and thereby constituted the m atrix of political Islam in Indone sia to which the current g eneration of activists still refer. The discussions conducted wi thin this party, especially the delicate com prom ises m ade between divine law and people's dem ocracy, preconfig ured the present debates conducted by Islam ic parties. Like the curr ent leaders of the PKS, this first g eneration of “g overnm ent Islam ists” was also confr onted with econom ic and social m odernity issues such as those related to the role of the West in this process. As the two following contributions rem ind us, its failure is m ainly due to dom estic reasons that in turn heavily influenced the way Indonesian Islam later c onsidered these issues. Banned by President Sukarno and m arg inalised by the em erg ing New Order, the proponents of m ilitant Islam had no choice but to withdraw from c onventional politics. Here the org anisational m odel of the Muslim Brotherhood (also repressed in several Arab countries) as well as the financial resources and literature m ade available to them by Wahhabi Islam networks contributed to the radicalisation of their discourse. The two term sDakwah (preaching ) andTarbiyahovem ent (education) were therefore used to describe a m based on the conviction that the re-Islam isation of Indonesian society was the essential precondition for its return to the political scene. Paradoxically, after the initial phase of repressio n, it was the New Order that favoured this ag enda. From the early 1990s, som e of the networks born from the Islam ic revival were instrum ented by a power lacking support and looking for scapeg oats (Sino-Indonesian Christians...) on whom to deflect public ang er. However, m ost student associations from the Tarbiyahdid not let them  m ovem ent g ed selves be drag is trend and, true to theirinto th m oral position, joined the opposition ag ainst the d eclining Soeharto reg im e. From this m ovem ent the Justice Party (PK) was born in 1998 (l ater transform ed into the Prosperous Justice Party, or the PKS).
AHMAD-NORMA PERMATA
PhD Political Science, University of Muenster Munster Germ any; Lecturer at the State Islam ic University Yog yakarta
NAJIB KAILANI
Researcher at the Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS) Gadjah Mada University Yog yakarta-Indonesia
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction Rémy Madinier
The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Decline of Political Islam in the 2009 Election in Indonesia Ahmad-Norma Permata 1. Introduction 2. The PKS and Political Islam in Indonesia 3. Ideolog y and Org anisation 4. The PKS in National and Local Politics 5. The PKS in the 2009 Election and the Prospect of Political Islam 6. Conclusion
Muslimising Indonesian Youths: The Tarbiyah Moral and Cultural Movement in Contemporary Indonesia Najib Kailani 1. Introduction 2. The Development of theTarbiyah Da’waMovement in Indonesia 3. The Foundation ofTarbiyah Da’waMovement among Youths 4. The Rise of Western Pop Culture 5. Making Alternative Media for Indonesian Muslim Youths 6. Kerohanian Islam orRohis(Islamic Studies Group) 7. Islamic Dormitory 8. Conclusion
I
troduction
Rémy Madinier
The history of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) i s part of the long standing tradition of political Islam in Indonesia. Born in 1912 with the foundation of the Union of Muslim Traders (Sarekat Dag ang Islam ) this trend dom inated the em erg ing nationalism in the Dutch East Indies for nearly twenty years. This initial m om entum lies at the the orig in of the two-dim ensional Islam ist1project: to islam icise society by cleansing Islam of all practi ces considered to be im pure; to m obilise the electorate by invoking Islam ic values and their necessary im plem entation. Indeed, the birth and developm ent of political Islam was closel y linked to the reform ist Muslim m ovem ent which in relig ious, cultural and social m a tters attem pted to face the colonial challeng e throug h a relig ious surg e. In Indonesia, the Muham m adiyah, founded in 1912, and the Persatuan Islam , founded in 1923, provided m ost of the early g enerations of activists. During the decade after independence, m i litant Islam played a leading role in Indonesian politics. Between 1945 and 1960, the Masjum i party, which broug ht tog ether m ost Muslim org anisations, was one of the m ain g ove rnm ent com ponents and thereby constituted the m atrix of political Islam in Indone sia to which the current g eneration of activists still refer. The discussions conducted wi thin this party, especially the delicate com prom ises m ade between divine law and people’s dem ocracy, preconfig ured the present debates conducted by Islam ic parties. Like the curr ent leaders of the PKS, this first g eneration of “g overnm ent Islam ists” was also confr onted with econom ic and social m odernity issues such as those related to the role of the West in this process. As the two following contributions rem ind us, its failure is m ainly due to dom estic reasons that in turn heavily influenced the way Indonesian Islam later c onsidered these issues. Banned by President Sukarno and m arg inalised by the em erg ing New Order, the proponents of m ilitant Islam had no choice but to withdraw from c onventional politics. Here the org anisational m odel of the Muslim Brotherhood (also repressed in several Arab countries) as well as the financial resources and literature m ade available to them by Wahhabi Islam networks contributed to the radicalisation of their discourse. The two term sDakwah (preaching ) andTarbiyahbased on(education) were therefore used to describe a m ovem ent the conviction that the re-Islam isation of Indonesian society was the essential precondition for its return to the political scene. Paradoxically, after the initial phase of repressio n, it was the New Order that favoured this ag enda. From the early 1990s, som e of the networks born from the Islam ic revival were instrum ented by a power lacking support and looking for scapeg oats (Sino-Indonesian Christians...) on whom to deflect public ang er. However, m ost student associations from the Tarbiyahinto th is trend and, true to theirselves be drag g ed did not let them  m ovem ent m oral position, joined the opposition ag ainst the d eclining Soeharto reg im e. From this
mter transform ed into the Prosperousovem ent the Justice Party (PK) was born in 1998 (la Justice Party, or the PKS). As explained by Ahm at Norm a Perm ata’s contribution to this volum e, the PKS contributed to the renewal of Indonesian political life in several ways. Firstly, unlike m ost other parties, Tarbiyahof staunch andm itm ent it possible for it to benefit from the com m ade  networks well-trained activists. Secondly, and this also dis ting uishes it from other political org anisations, the PKS leaders were new personaliti es and were not involved in the New Order. Throug h several sym bolic acts (such as refusing "envelopes"), they showed that the party’s m oral discourse as well as its ideals of ju stice were not m erely slog ans. In an Indonesia that, with the Reform asi, experienced a s m ooth transition characterised by a lim ited break with the previous political reg im e, this novelty ensured the sensational debut of the PKS on the political scene. All the m ore sin ce, between the 1999 and 2004 elections, the party skillfully sm oothed the roug h edg es off its prog ram m es. The PKS’ success fuelled the anxieties and suspicions of its com petitors as well as those of m any observers: Many questioned whether its participation in parliam entary dem ocracy was sincere or whether it disg uised a hidden ag enda to seize power. This study will no doubt contribute to dem ystify th e recent history of political Islam in Indonesia, and that of the PKS in particular. By tr acing the history of different trends and by analysing the debates that were conducted within the party, it shows how the relig ious factor oug ht to be exam ined along side other elem ent s. The invocation of a divine norm and the prospect of a State based on Islam ic princi ples are not sufficient to define a clear and substantial policy. This is partly because Islam ic laws are subject to interpretation, and partly because dem ocratic life im plies an am ount of attention directed towards voters, whose choices bear on these very sam e debates. It b ecom es apparent that linking the im portance of these political issues to the cultural aspects of Islam ic revival m entioned by Najib Kailani allows for a m ore distanced analysis of the last Indonesian elections. This also offers explanations on the ostensible paradox of th e decline of Muslim parties despite a m ore visible presence of Islam in Indonesian political culture.
NOTES
1. The nated a current which advocated participation ininally desig ism orig word Islam public life in the nam e of Islam ic values, without the radical and pejorative dim ensions it acquired thereafter.
AUTHOR
RÉMY MADINIER
CNRS-IRASEC