donderdag 22 juni 2017

Shariatism as another bad ideology, preaching a truncated Islam, now also in Indonesia

The Moroccans and Turks are the largest Muslim groups in the Netherlands. Observers note that they did not bring a 'full and rich Islam' to our country. Among the Moroccans, they have left the rich history of maraboutism, holy men, healers, a history of pilgrimage and holy graves. They only took a number of imams to our country, people who control the mosque, preach the right observations for prayers, for halal food, proper dress. And civil and political support for the King!  If people say that migrant Muslims have become more devout Muslims than in their country of origin, they mean: the formal rules are better tought and kept by many. Why? Because the alternative, especially for women, the marabout as a personal advisor and a key figure in popular religion is not present. It is a truncated Islam that has arrived in the 500 mosques in our country!
The same can be said  about Turkish Islam, with some variations. When the caliphate was abolished in 1923 also the Muslim brotherhoods were banned. Not only the azan should be said in Turkish, but the graves of saints were no longer sacred places. In Konya there is a museum, where you have to buy a ticket to see the grave of Maulana Jamaluddin Rumi, where it is not allowed to kiss the grave or to offer a letter with prayers and vows to this grave. Diyanet is the equivalent of the Ministry of Religion in Indonesia. It is used to look after the proper rituals in the mosques and at marriages, burials, circumcisions.. It is preaching a 'moderate' style of Islam, which is also a 'tamed' Islam with no straight or direct interference in politics, but it has served to bow for politicians who wanted to condem and even ban Shi'a and Ahmadi Islam. Elsewhere I have written about the verdict against Fethullah G├╝len by Diyanet (as if he is no longer a Muslim, because in meetings of interreligiosu dialogue 'he skipped the prophethood of Muhammad').
Leiden University Press has recently (2016) published an angry book: Kees van Dijk, & Nico Kaptein (eds), Islam, Politics and Change. The Indonesian Experience after the fall of Suharto. It has in part the story of PKS as the most popular Muslim party for some time. Even some Leiden scholars (like Henk Schulte Nordholt) considered it as a promising initiative. But it has now proven that it is as vulnerable for corruption as other parties. So, for the sake of a relevant and healthy Islam, it should abstain from politics!
For me the most interesting contributions  in this book were by Moch. Nur Ichwan (MNI) and Reza Idria on the disastrous introduction of some aspects of sharia in the province of Aceh. MNI studies a non-Sharia oriented sufi group around Syeikh Amran Waly. In 17th century there was a period when Sufism was 'state Islam' when sharia Islam was marginalised. Now we see the opposite, but he pleads for a good balance at least. P. 229 quotes Teungku Zamhuri as saying that 'implementation of sharia as it is today will not bring people closer to God. For him, God should be approached by dhikr and good deed to others.' .. 'The sharia euphoria has neglected the inner dimension of Islam and marginalised sufi groups' (234)  in these circles 'There was a feeling of being oppressed by the sharia ulama and the government with its 'simplistic' policies, as they saw it, of Islamisation taking the form of formal Shariatization. The implementation of sharia in Aceh was dismissed as trivial and artifical, because the qanuns and official sharia discourse neglected the richness of the esoteric dimensions of Islam.' (243)
Quite funny is the debate about dress for women: Alyasa Abubakar (one of the first architects of sharia implementation in Aceh, now at a distance quite critical) considered the regulation unnecssary, pointing out that trousers are the traditional attire of Acehnese women.  (244) And it may be added: it also can be modernised in a nice way!

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