maandag 7 november 2016

Muhammadiyah from TBC and 'Wahhabi' to attacks on Salafism

I am now busy with a close and detailed reading of the Masterpiece (according to Ayumardi Azra) of Syafii Maarif, his book Islam dalam Bingkai Keindonesiaan dan Kemanusiaan. It was published in 2009. The professor of history gives here a view on Islam from the perspective of Indonesian culture (history of Islamisation, fragments of Islamic history in Indonesia) and Human Rights (also related to the Indonesian statemphilosophy of Pancasila).
Syafii Maarif does not give a historical expose, rather an essay on various aspects of history. I wonder whether someone not familiar with the history of Indonesia will understand his arguments. But for insiders it is a wise, strong and fundamental book. My last great book on Muhammadiyah was the local study by Nakamura, The Crescent arises over the Banyan Tree (second edition of 2012). Mitsuo here mentions that the good old time of TBC, when Muhammadiyah could condemn in strong words the Takhayyul, Bid'ah, Churafat (superstitions, heresy, idolatry) is over and even in Kota Gede the Muhammadiyah Muslims are more open for present Indonesian culture. They do accept wayang stories, ketoprak theatre and modern movies. In the same way, Maarif here accepts a very broad definition of Indonesian Islam and does not repeat that we have to return to (only) Qur'an and Hadith.
Pp. 60-1 has a nice juxtaposition of Geertz (who understands true Islam as the hardcore santri variant, as separate from abangan or local Muslims), while Hodgson in his Venture of Islam has a broader vision on the changes in the world religion of Islam, also in Indonesia.
For the last century Maarif sees a growth of conversions to Christianity, but this has not weakened Islam. Just the opposite: there is an overall revival and growth of the major religions and besides a turn to Christianity there was over the last 100 years even a stronger growth of Islam.
On p. 329 Maarif quotes Wertheim writing about a 'pound of rice [to be given to] any child actually attending a Christian school'.  This is seen as the beginning of Rice Christians, already by order of Jan Pieterszoon Coen. (Indonesian Society in Transition, p. 201). Maarif blames me that I did write some four pages about Coen (in my Dutch Colonialism and Indonesian Islam) but did not mention this reward for a conversion. Instead, I have stressed the idea of Coen that it was impossible to convert Muslim to Christianity, especially in the Moluccas, and therefore he hoped that the VOC would send many native Dutch people to the Indies (what did not happen). I looked in the sources of Wertheim, but could not find the pound of rice. I will look further! And more will come out of reading this precious book.

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