Attention Has Been Focused On The Emergence Of Radical Groups Associated With Islam In Indonesia. Discuss If This Is A New Phenomenon In Indonesia.

2384 words - 10 pages

IntroductionIn recent years, there has been a lot of attention focussed on the emergence and activities of radical or extremists groups associated with Islam in Indonesia. But such radicalism is not a new phenomenon in Indonesia. Indonesia has gone through many changes beginning with the occupation of the Dutch, then the Japanese during World War 2 and later when Indonesia became an independent nation. These changes were attributed to the politics and identity struggle. In the years after 1908, liberalism, nationalism, socialism and communism combined with Islamic influence gave rise to many political organisations and anti-colonial movements (Aspinall and Berger 2001: 1005). The place of Islam played an important role in Indonesia’s politics and identity struggle, bringing about independence, reformation and extremism. However, the name of Islam has too often been used to promote an agenda as in the case of Indonesian politics bringing with it death, destruction and deception in order to establish an Islamic state with Sharia as the state law. It is uncertain if these agendas were sincerely to establish an Islamic state, or it is a propaganda tool used by governments to influence its people to respond in a certain way, or it is a bit of both. The Bali and Jakarta bombings are examples of death, destruction and deception where only time will reveal the truth.Pre-independenceThe Bali and Jakarta bombings may have been the largest, but it is by no means the first. Indonesia has seen many terrorist attacks post independence, many of which used the Islamic agenda to promote their cause, but have shown to have Indonesian military involvement (Bruinessen 2002). Indonesia has a history of struggle with radical groups pushing forward their goals and changing the face of Indonesia’s politics and identity. Since the occupation of the Dutch, such groups whether it has an Islamic or communist agenda have worked to drive out occupation from their lands. For this reason, Nationalist political organisations were repressed by the Dutch. But when Japan occupied Indonesia, it changed the political landscape of the area. It set up armies in Sumatra, Java and Bali and trained local officers (Aspinall and Berger 2001: 1005). Indonesian Muslims became politicised with its Ulama given military and political training by the Japanese. Muslim organisations were grouped together under a Japanese created umbrella known as Majelis Syura Muslimin Indonesia (Masyumi) which was later to become a powerful political party in the war for independence and most possibly the first wave of radical Islam in Indonesia (Bruinessen 2002).When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, young radical Muslims pressured Sukarno to declare Indonesia’s Independence, uniting Indonesian against the Dutch attempts of re-establishing a colony in Indonesia. The Ulama declared Jihad against the Dutch. Muslim militias under the command of the Ulama with the Dutch-Japanese trained Indonesian...

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