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Islamising Indonesia

Islamising Indonesia: The Rise of Jemaah Tarbiyah and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)

Yon Machmudi
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: ANU Press
  • Book Info
    Islamising Indonesia
    Book Description:

    The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is the most interesting phenomenon in contemporary Indonesian politics. Not only is it growing rapidly in membership and electoral support, it is also bringing a new and markedly different approach to Islamic politics, one which has no precedent in Indonesian history. Understanding PKS and analysing its political behaviour presents challenges to scholars and observers. This is partly due to the fact that the party represents a new trend within Indonesian Islam which has few parallels with preceding movements. Yon Machmudi has rendered us a valuable service. In this book, he provides a thoughtful and authoritative context for viewing PKS. He critiques the existing categorisations for Indonesian Islam and points to their inadequacy when describing the PKS and the campus-based Tarbiyah movement from which it sprang. He reworks the santri typology, dividing it into convergent, radical and global substreams. This offers new possibilities for explaining the PKS phenomenon and assists in differentiating between various types of Islamic revivalism in contemporary Indonesia. It also allows a more understanding of the accommodatory stance which PKS has towards the state and other political forces. Yon's text provides a good overview of the development of PKS from its Tarbiyah movement origins to its impressive success at the 2004 general elections. It considers the party's attitude towards the issues of sharia implementation and community welfare and closes by examining the future challenges facing PKS. It is a well written and authoritative account from a scholar who has done wideranging research on the party.

    eISBN: 978-1-921536-25-0
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Greg Fealy

    The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is the most interesting phenomenon in contemporary Indonesian politics. Not only is it growing rapidly in membership and electoral support, it is also bringing a new and markedly different approach to Islamic politics, one which has no precedent in Indonesian history.

    There are several interrelated elements to this new approach which deserve mention. First, more than any other Islamic party, PKSʹs primary source of ideological and organisational inspiration is external and draws heavily upon the thinking of Egyptʹs Muslim Brotherhood. Other parties, in particular Masyumi during the 1950s, had a high awareness of developments in...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. Abstract
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Glossary and Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xxviii)
  7. Notes on Transliteration, Spelling and Referencing
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  8. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    The post-Soeharto era of government in Indonesia, beginning in 1998, has witnessed the emergence of various Islamic groups and movements. The emergence of these new groups has not only displayed diversity in terms of their political and religious orientation, but they have also brought new actors and agendas to the fore. Greater space for political expression and political participation has been opened up. Interestingly, the Justice Party (PK) that did not have popular front figures, either from traditionalist or modernist camps, performed well but did not meet the electoral threshold during the 1999 general elections. However, it produced a remarkable...

  9. Chapter 1: The Emergence of the New Santri in Indonesia
    (pp. 21-50)

    To an extent never seen before, following the collapse of the Soeharto regime in 1998 Islamist groups in Indonesia began to express themselves vocally and explicitly. Islamic discourse has developed apace, ranging from demands that the state lift the ban on the role of Islamic ideology in political parties and mass organizations to accommodate Muslim interests up to calls for the implementation of Islamic shariah to replace the laws of the state. As well, the issue of a global Islamic state, the khilafah, once not of great interest, has now been promoted by a section of Indonesian Muslims. There is...

  10. Chapter 2: Jemaah Tarbiyah and Islamisation in Indonesia
    (pp. 51-80)

    The long process of Islamisation¹ that planted its roots in the society of the Indonesian archipelago in the 14th century is by no means yet finished. It continues to bring about change and continuation, from conversion to re-islamisation.² After Islam gained its roots in Indonesia until now, all efforts of Islamisation carried out by its agents mainly have aimed to bring the followers of Islam closer to practices of orthodox Islam (reform).³ Both traditionalists and modernist have been known for their role in carrying out the reform in different degree and approaches. This ongoing process has also manifested interesting and...

  11. Chapter 3: Flourishing in A hostile Political Environment
    (pp. 81-106)

    In retrospect, the era of the 1970s and 1980s is considered by many former activists of Islamic groups as a most difficult and challenging time. Within the university campuses, signs of distrust and grievance towards Soehartoʹs New Order regime were very common. The regimeʹs restrictions on the studentsʹ involvement in political activities and on the use of the campus as a free space to criticise the government caused considerable disillusionment among them. In their eyes, the regime was a tyrant similar to the Pharaoh of Egypt.¹

    In similar way radical activities carried out by some sections of Indonesian Muslim groups...

  12. Chapter 4: Patterns of controlling Institutions: from campus to state
    (pp. 107-132)

    The important status of university students in Indonesian society has encouraged political and religious groups to establish their influence upon them. For students, being involved in political activities has provided them with political careers in return. Realising this, the focus of Jemaah Tarbiyah, since the beginning, has been to attract students in prestigious secular campuses since they offer the greatest opportunities in terms of vertical and horizontal mobilization.² For activists of Jemaah Tarbiyah, students are their greatest assets in the duty of the Islamisation of Indonesia and for the victory of Islam.

    Most activists of Jemaah Tarbiyah who were elected...

  13. Chapter 5: Indonesian and Egyptian Brothers
    (pp. 133-164)

    In the early morning before dawn, a congregation of prayer gathered in the Mosque of Arif Rahman Hakim, on the campus of the University Indonesia in Central Jakarta. After the obligatory dawn prayers were done, the congregation started to recite dhikr, another collection of prayers - something that would never happen in a mosque associated with modernist Muslim groups. It was like the prayers regularly recited together by members of Nahdatul Ulama but it differed in its content. This particular collection is called al-maʹthurat, compiled by Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Society of Muslim Brothers in Egypt.¹

    Dhikr, or...

  14. Chapter 6: The sufi influences: in Pursuit of an Islamised Indonesia
    (pp. 165-190)

    Before the formation of their political party, few observers would have predicted that the Jemaah Tarbiyah activists would turn to a pragmatic role in the politics of Indonesia. For PKS that grew out of a religious movement influenced by the Muslim Brothers of Egypt (which has had the reputation as a fundamentalist movement) such pragmatism in politics is quite surprising. Hamid Basyaib, at the website of the Liberal Islam Network (Jaringan Islam Liberal-JIL) praises the success of PKS in the 2004 general elections but emphasises a possible dilemma facing a party based on religious ideology. According to Basyaib, PKS should...

  15. Chapter 7: A Vision of Shariah–Led Prosperity: PKS Attitudes to the Implementation of Islamic Law
    (pp. 191-216)

    Political openings and opportunities, particularly after the end of Soehartoʹs New Order regime, have allowed activists of Jemaah Tarbiyah to promote their agenda of Islamisation with a broader target in view. Under the New Order they had remained outside the formal system and kept their distance from political activities, but after the resignation of Soeharto in 1998 they found a way to participate in the democratic system, transforming Jemaah Tarbiyah from an underground religious movement into a legal political party. The issue of the implementation of Islamic law in Indonesia has become an integral part of PKSʹs agenda to make...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 217-222)

    This study has shown the emergence of Jemaah Tarbiyah as a covert religious movement in the mid 1980s that was transformed in 1998 into a political party, the Justice Party (PK), further to evolve into the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in 2003. This study also shows how the influence of a trans-national Islamic movement, the Muslim Brothers of Egypt, has played a role in shaping the dynamics of Islam and politics in Indonesia. Jemaah Tarbiyah and PKS have entered an ideological experiment and have made a unique contribution to current Indonesian politics by testing the nature of the relationship between...

  17. Appendix 1: Piagam Deklarasi Partai Keadilan
    (pp. 223-226)
  18. Appendix 2: Deklarasi Partai Keadilan Sejahtera
    (pp. 227-230)
  19. Appendix 3: Anggaran Dasar Partai Keadilan Sejahtera
    (pp. 231-240)
  20. Appendix 4: Anggaran Rumah Tangga Partai Keadilan Sejahtera
    (pp. 241-254)
  21. Appendix 5: Susunan Pengurus Pusat PKS 205-2010
    (pp. 255-258)
  22. Appendix 6: Susunan Penempatan Anggota F-Pks Di Alat-Alat Kelengkapan Dpr/Mpr Ri Dan Kabinet Periode Tahun 2004/2005
    (pp. 259-262)
  23. Bibliography
    (pp. 263-280)