zondag 19 april 2015

90 Years Nahdlatul Ulama

During the last months I have read the history of Muhammadiyah in Kotagede as written by Mitsuo Nakamura. That is a detailed survey of development in the large organization in a small town close to Yogyakarta. Much have changed since 1970. Schools and hospitals/clinics are no longer the centre, but NGOs, many small mosques and mushalla (from 2 mosques to more than 50 since 1970!). There is more acceptation of traditional javanese culture and no longer the easy rejection of TBC: Takhayyul, Bid'an and Churafat.Mitsuo wrote this extended version of his doctoral dissertation of the 1970s quite recently and it has now become an entirely new book.The review will appear in BKI.
After reading this book on Muhammadiyah I have turned to NU with the book by Nur Khalid Ridwan on NU _ Bangsa, 1914/2010. Martin van Bruinessen had a double copy and this made it possible to read it with taking notes. It is a book of small but many pages: 628 in total. in 104 short chapters many events and persons are presented. Bangsa stands here for other national organizations and most of all national politics, ministers, parliament. It has more the smell of traffic jams in Jakarta than the dust of quiet pesantren of East Java.
It begins with the many organizations that preceded Nahdlatul Ulama. In 1914 Wahab Hasbullah began with Tashwirul Afkar in Surabaya (also Mitsuo has many other organizations in the 1910s and 1920s, finallymerging with Muhammadiyah).. Wahhabism is decribed as a cruel organization: the victory in Arabia in the 1920s cost the life of about half a million Muslims (43). Chapter 9 is about the japanese period, where some Nu people were active in Masyumi. There was Tan Malaka, Darul Islam: left and right as danger for the Indonesian State. SMK is Kartosuwirjo, Denhaq is The Hague (106: the book is full with writing errors, but still nice and easy reading for its clear style). Page 83 has a nice formula of a Resolusi Jihad. Muslims have to fight the Dutch, as long as they are within a distance of 94 km. The split between Masyumi and NU is described in a quite detached way.
In the 1960s there was LEKRA, the lack of political influence for NU, G30S and the killing of many people suspected of communism. But the involvement of Ansor in this process is neglected: still silence about the period 1965-1977. Pater Beek is mentioned on page 183 as a person close to Ali Moertopo and the intelliogence service BAKIN. CSIS is not mentioned by name, but only as lembaga studi yang terkenal itu.. that well known research institute.
Several individuals are discussed. Idham Chalid is very present, as a surviging politican. Subchan ZE is more or less the scapegoat for the killings, because of his strong anti-communism (195-7: he was in the from line of those who were involved).
In the 1970s there was the merging of political party and the rise of PPP, where the position of NU was weak up to nil. In the 1980s there was the debate about Pancasila as asa tunggal, and Nu very meak. In the 1990s the rise of ICMI and the debate about NU returning to its original format as a religious and social but not political organization. In this period Abdurrahman Wahid more and more dominates NU.
Many events are mentioned shortly. Some neglected: nothing about the riots in Poso, Maluku, and Lasykar Jihad is not mentioned at all. (my note on page 383). On 436 I made a note that I saw nothing about the book Ilusi Negara Islam. But many personalities and incidents are mentioned, although most shortly. For an update of the national and political history of the NU this was nice reading.

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