Printer Friendly

(Re) writing the history of political Islam in Indonesia.

Kartosuwiryo (1905-62) was a prominent leader in the religious-nationalist wing of the Indonesian anti-colonial movement throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and the founder of the Darul Islam (DI, "Abode of Islam") movement in the late 1940s. Emerging as a structured organization at the apex of the independence struggle, DI opposed the post-war Dutch reoccupation of the archipelago. But, as it fought on a religious-political platform, it soon entered into conflict with the new Indonesian republic. Scholars (Formichi 2012; Solahudin 2011; Temby 2010) (1) and observers (ICG 2005) alike have recently argued for Kartosuwiryo's centrality to political Islam in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Indonesia; it is thus on these foundations that this article takes representations of Kartosuwiryo as symbolic of Indonesian public understandings of political Islam more generally.

Kartosuwiryo's political path was not a straight one. During the 1950s the DI became increasingly confrontational towards the republican army, or Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI, Indonesian National Army), and as the Negara Islam Indonesia (Nil, Islamic State of Indonesia) that it backed represented itself as an alternative to Sukarno's republic with its basis in the Pancasila, illustrations of Kartosuwiryo's past experiences and political activities became confused. The Indonesian government and the army used representations of Kartosuwiryo and the Darul Islam to serve their own propagandistic purposes whilst fighting against them on military fronts on Java, in Aceh, on Sulawesi and in South Kalimantan. And in the following decades, as the Sukarno and Soeharto governments engaged with various manifestations of political Islam, Kartosuwiryo was portrayed according to the contingent needs.

Because of their perception of Kartosuwiryo as antagonistic to the republic, both the Sukarno and Soeharto establishments depicted Kartosuwiryo as an enemy of the state. Yet, in the post-Soeharto era, alternative readings of Kartosuwiryo's role in the Indonesian revolution have gradually surfaced, both in commercially produced books and in the official sphere, presenting a more complex view of the Darul Islam's struggle.

Writing and Rewriting History in Indonesia

With the fall of Soeharto's authoritarian regime in 1998, Indonesia underwent several transformations, ideological as well as institutional, which had deep effects on society. Although much literature has covered the social, economic and political effects of Reformasi, its effect in prompting historical revisionism has, with some notable exceptions, gone largely ignored. This article follows the lead of Gerry van Klinken (2005) in investigating changing understandings of Indonesian history in the post-Soeharto era. Through an analysis of depictions of Sekarmaji Marijan Kartosuwiryo (1905-62), which changed from condemnation to praise between the 1950s and the 2010s, this article also reflects on more general transformations in public attitudes towards political Islam.

The shift in views of Kartosuwiryo offers a case study of the effects--or absence thereof--of political transformations on perceptions, representations and reconstructions of the past. Such dynamics are particularly dramatic in the context of Indonesia, where a national historiography emerged only in the mid-1970s and served as a core aspect of the authoritarian regime's propaganda. As Henk Schulte Nordholt (2004, pp. 68, 76) argues, Indonesia had been "a nation without history" until then. If throughout Sukarno's rule (1949-67) history had been absent, during Soeharto's New Order (1967-98) the creation of a unitary national history became relevant to the legitimation and maintenance of the regime. In this new scenario the army pieced together Indonesia's national history into a narrative that centred on the state, and in which only the state's actions appeared legitimate (McGregor 2007, pp. 141-71). This narrative inevitably presented the 1950s protest movements--especially those of the Permesta (Piagam Perjuangan Semesta, Universal Struggle Charter), the PRRI (Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia, Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia), the RSM (Republik Maluku Selatan, Republic of the Southern Moluccas), and the Darul Islam--as threats to national unity, leaving the root causes of the discontent that had led to these rebellions mostly unexplored (Schulte Nordholt 2004, pp. 73-74).

As van Klinken points out, the overriding interest of Indonesia's national leadership--during the times of both Sukarno's and Soeharto's rule--was to hold the nation together. This priority permeated the writing of history, "turn[ing] the previous three centuries into one continuous struggle for the Indonesian state against an array of enemies--first the colonial Dutch, then internal enemies such as the communists and the separatists" (van Klinken 2005, p. 234). The regime thus created a "hegemonic knowledge of the state in the historical area", resulting from a "process by which [Indonesia's] many histories are reduced to a handful of more or less 'accepted' ones" (van Klinken2005, p. 236).

In contrast, an effort to promote alternative histories has characterized the post-Soeharto era. In 1999 the Indonesian historian Taufiq Abdullah noted, "don't be surprised if now--after the main pillar of the 'all-consuming state' called the New Order has been felled--things that were 'forgotten' start to come forth and the validity of what was 'remembered' is interrogated" (quoted in Zurbuchen 2005, p. 5). Some of the challenges to accepted and state-sponsored historiography have come from ordinary Indonesians whom the state had repressed and silenced for years. Van Klinken's study of "societal or populist historiographies" (van Klinken 2005, p. 244) focused mostly on revisions of the history of events surrounding the alleged communist coup of 30 September 1965, which led to mass killings and eventually to the transfer of power from President Sukarno to General Soeharto. Given this historiographical context, the decades-long process of stripping Kartosuwiryo's Islamic movement of its religious content, in favour of portraying it simply as anti-republican, was reassessed in the post-Reformasi era.

Yet, with relevance to the case pursued here, van Klinken concluded nearly a decade ago that, whilst Indonesians involved in revising understandings of the 1965 alleged coup were motivated by an interest in a more accurate reconstruction of the chain of events, the limited popular Islamist historiography produced since 1998 on the role of Islam in the early independence era had been uniquely ideological in nature (van Klinken 2005, pp. 246-47). The decade following the publication of van Klinken's chapter has proven crucial in changing this reality.

Tracing a trajectory of representations of one politician from his condemnation as the leader of a rebellion to his glorification as a martyr of Islam, the material presented here shows how the immediate post-Reformasi revisionist views of Kartosuwiryo's history were indeed led as much by ideological concerns as had been the Sukarno and Soeharto governments when they condemned the DI. Yet alternative views began to emerge as early as 2006 and, more clearly, since 2008. The sources on which this article draws range from a large body of unpublished archival material collected in Indonesia and the Netherlands to newspapers, military literature, and books published since 1998.

An Islamist's Perspective on Indonesia's Independence

Bom into a traditional Javanese family, to a father employed in the colonial administration, S.M. Kartosuwiryo failed as a medical student in Surabaya in the early 1920s but soon after became an important figure in the Indonesian anti-colonial movement. It is unclear why he first joined the Sarekat Islam Party in 1927. Perhaps it was due to the charismatic leadership of its leader Tjokroaminoto and his Islamo-communist convictions, or perhaps to his right-hand man Agus Salim's commitment to the Islamic ideal. Having emerged in Surabaya as Tjokroaminoto's pupil in the 1920s just a few years after Sukarno and Moesso had lived there, by the end of the decade Kartosuwiryo moved to the Sundanese region of West Java. It was there that he would become the party's rising star (Formichi 2012, pp. 15-32).

Through his journalistic contributions to Fadjar Asia (Dawn of Asia, 1928-31) and Soeara M1AI (Voice of the Islamic Supreme Council of Indonesia, 1943-45), various political pamphlets (1936-45) and directives of the Darul Islam-Negara Islam Indonesia (DI-NII, 1945-62) we can trace the arc of Kartosuwiryo's ideological development. Surrounded by Tjokroaminoto and his intellectual entourage, Kartosuwiryo developed a strong sense of socio-economic justice. Informed, too, by Islamic political ideals, he soon began to frame these concerns with justice in religious terms. And through the years he became determined to translate his desire for social and economic equality into political reality by means of the establishment of an independent Islamic state. Although Kartosuwiryo regularly affirmed the idea of a transregional religious brotherhood in his writings, nationalism became increasingly prominent in his thinking; the intellectual tension between the desire for a pan-Islamic state that would extend beyond the borders of archipelagic Indonesia, and nationalism, remained with Kartosuwiryo throughout his life. (Formichi 2010; Formichi 2012, pp. 38-45).

Although an advocate of non-collaboration with the Dutch in the 1920s and 1930s, Kartosuwiryo proved willing to collaborate with the Japanese between 1941 and 1945 (Asia Raya 1943), (2) as well as with Sukarno's Pancasila republic after the Dutch returned to the archipelago at the end of the Pacific War. In the post-war context Kartosuwiryo regained national prominence: he was secretary to the executive committee of the modernist Muslim political party Masyumi in 1945 (Noer 1960, p. 60), party representative on the Preparatory Committee for Independence in 1946 and 1947 (Noer 2005, pp. 382, 396) and a candidate for the post of junior minister of defence in the nationalist government at Yogyakarta in early July 1947 (Merdeka, 4 July 1947). However, as in those very same years Dutch forces invaded parts of Java and Sumatra, Kartosuwiryo felt the duty to return to Dutch-occupied West Java and focus his activism there (Merdeka, 8 July 1947).

Towards the end of 1947 Kartosuwiryo and other like-minded regional leaders of Masyumi carried forward a restructuring of the party. By early 1948 they had created the Darul Islam as a party-cum-army aimed at defending West Java from the restoration of colonial rule, within the framework of an Islamic state. They achieved this latter goal in August 1949, when the DI leadership responded to resumed negotiations between Sukarno and the Dutch by proclaiming the establishment of the Negara Islam Indonesia (Islamic State of Indonesia, Nil) (for a detailed reconstruction of the events, see Formichi 2012, pp. 110-25). In the following years, and until the mid-1960s, the DI-NII expanded through West and Central Java, Aceh, South Sulawesi and South Kalimantan (see van Dijk 1981, Formichi 2012, pp. 166-67).

(Not) Finding a Place for Religion (3)

Kartosuwiryo responded to the Dutch offensive on Java and Sumatra in July 1947 with a call for holy war, a perang sabil. Far from causing uproar in the republican structure, the Ministry of Defence responded to express support and encouragement for Kartosuwiryo's struggle. (4) Similarly, in the early months following the Darul Islam's 1949 Proclamation of the Islamic State of Indonesia (Proklamasi Negara Islam Indonesia), the press presented an array of reactions. It is hardly surprising that from the very beginning the Dutch-controlled Aneta News bulletin pointed to the DI's "terrorist" character. But because of the uni-dimensional view of the DI as anti-republican and dangerous that would later emerge, it is worth highlighting that Indonesian public opinion as expressed in newspaper coverage contemporary to the events initially published neutral articles, attempting to explain the DI's position and goals. (5)

Archival sources also show that relations between the DI, the republican government and Islamic parties were fluid for months after the DI-NII proclamation of August 1949. To offer an example, Masyumi, the Partai Sarekat Islam and individual civilians and military officers consistently condemned attacks conducted by the Dutch and republican armies against Darul Islam troops (Formichi 2012, pp. 131-33; 139-42). (6) Having noticed the different approach taken by the Dutch- and Indonesian-language press to depictions of the Darul Islam, Masyumi leader Muhammad Natsir openly accused the Dutch of conducting a "systematic media campaign"--a smear campaign, if you wish--against the movement, as he attempted to defend the Darul Islam's goals and motivations (Formichi 2012, pp. 146-50). (7) By November 1949 the public discourse had conformed to the Dutch perspective, with the Darul Islam defined as a group of bandits attacking Dutch and republican soldiers alike, and occasionally terrorizing the civilian population. (8)

Even though at the beginning of 1950 Vice-President Mohammad Hatta was still able to stress the shared goal of consolidating the now independent nation-state--both de facto and de jure--and to suggest that Kartosuwiryo and the Indonesian republic should collaborate, (9) the middle of the same year saw the elaboration of more pessimistic views. In May or June of that year, an official in the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs published a scholarly article describing the DI as a movement that ignored the need for unity in the anti-colonial struggle in favour of a confrontational stance aimed at the establishment of an independent state of Indonesia solely based on Islam (Nieuwenhuijze 1950, pp. 181-82). Nieuwenhuijze described Kartosuwiryo as a Muslim politician dedicated to the anti-Dutch struggle, the leader of a terrorist movement and possibly a crypto-communist for whom Islam was the common referent for an alternative paradigm to Western domination and intrusion. (10)

In the aftermath to the transfer of sovereignty from the Netherlands to independent Indonesia in December 1949, what had been a somewhat united front against the Dutch started coming apart in the face of ideological differences. Most notably, Sukarno's Pancasila state pitted itself against the aspirations of the socialist, communist and Islamist wings of the erstwhile independence movement. Within a few years Masyumi and Sukarno's Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI, Indonesian National Party) would confront each other over their different visions for the archipelagic nation. Besides the well-established religious-verms'-secular dichotomy, Sukarno added a new dimension to the conflict when he transformed the federal republic, or Republik Serikat Indonesia, into a unitary republic, the Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, in August 1950 (Kahin 1999, pp. 165-69).

It is against this backdrop that the first attempt at creating a region-by-region official history was undertaken in Indonesia with the goal of celebrating the first decade since the declaration of independence. In August 1952 the Ministry of Information mandated that each province would, by the next major anniversary of the republic in 1955, prepare a book "depicting the progress of the nation in each field" from 1945 to 1952 (Kementrian Penerangan 1953, vol. 3, p. xvii). The West Java volume, the first one in the series, directly addressed the challenges posed by Kartosuwiryo's DI rebellion. Its authors described the Darul Islam's activities as "rotating] around the individual aspirations of Kartosuwiryo", a man driven by feelings of political disappointment, fanaticism, religious dogmatism and adventurism. A pseudo-figurant, or "fake leader", who used Islam as a tool to achieve his own political aspirations and who applied his political opportunism to rally popular support, Kartosuwiryo was cast as evil, and as a person who considered it "better to die than to face defeat" (Kementerian Penerangan 1953, vol. 1, pp. 218, 234-35). He thus emerged as a man dedicated to strengthening his personal power, one for whom Islam was an instrumental means to gathering support.

The proclamation of the unitary state represented a turning point in the history of post-colonial Indonesia, as it triggered the explosion of underlying tensions. By September 1953 Aceh had declared its allegiance to Kartosuwiryo, and in the years that followed regional rebellions emerged on Java, Sumatra, Borneo and in the Moluccas. These movements, albeit hosted under the DI-NII umbrella, had resulted from multifarious pulls and pushes, including both civilian and military power struggles, and from issues of both ethnic and religious identity (among the many books available, see Aspinall 2009; Harvey 1977; Kahin 1999; van Dijk 1981).

The transition from the government's treating the Darul Islam as a "political problem" (11) to its labelling it a "rebellion", (12) and the further step towards opening a military front against it in West Java, and other areas, in 1958-59 ought to be seen in the context of narrowing political space at the national level. (13) To be more specific, the involvement of the republican army in regaining control of most territories--with operations lasting well into the mid-1960s--should be understood in connection with Sukarno's implementation of what came to be known as Guided Democracy (demokrasi terpimpiri), a form of controlled decision-making rooted in the "consensus" of leaders (Feith 1962). This transformation, based on a 1957 "conception" (konsepsi) and a 1959 presidential decree that dissolved the constitutional assembly, effectively ended the political stalemate that had gripped Indonesia's parliament for years. This stalemate had left parliament unable to agree on the new constitution or to settle debates on any other policy, including how to deal with the Darul Islam. As also recognized by the history department of the Indonesian military, Guided Democracy eventually allowed for enough "coordination" for a concerted military effort against the Darul Islam in 1959, in spite of Masyumi's disagreement (Dinas Sejarah TNI, Bandung [1974] 1982, pp. 117-21).

As the government pursued repressive military operations against the DI, promotion of the narrative started in the early 1950s--presenting Kartosuwiryo as a man driven by dissent, or at best a politician solely concerned with the affirmation of his own leadership, and dismissing his religious convictions in order to stress his political calculations--continued in the aftermath of Kartosuwiryo's capture and execution in 1962.

In 1963, however, Amak Sjariffudin advanced a first suggestion of Kartosuwiryo's multifaceted piety. He emphasized that his followers saw him as Caliph, bearer of the title of "Representative of God to the entire Islamic community"; as receiver of the wahyu Cakraningrat Sadar, beholder of traditional symbols of authority; and as a man respectful of local beliefs who carried not only amulets but also two sacred daggers, a keris and a cundrik (Sjariffudin 1963, pp. 7, 20-21). Notably, Sjariffudin's was the first description to unveil the underlying complexity, and perhaps even incongruences, of Kartosuwiryo's character as an Islamic leader.

The mixture of mysticism and commitment to Islamic politics remained a recurrent theme in treatments of Kartosuwiryo. Starting in the mid-1960s, the idea that Kartosuwiryo had had markedly mystical tendencies and could therefore not have been committed to the idea of an Islamic state, came to oppose and eventually to supersede the earlier suggestion that he was a fanatic Muslim. In a 1964 army-sponsored biography of Kartosuwiryo, Pinardi used Kartosuwiryo's lack of formal religious education, his ignorance of the Arabic language, and his own and his followers' belief in supernatural forces to play down the importance of Islam in his activities and ideals. Highlighting his syncretic--and hence, in this view, unorthodox--beliefs, Pinardi undermined Kartosuwiryo's commitment to Darul Islam's stated goal of establishing an Islamic state (Pinardi 1964, pp. 45).

The 1960s: Change or Continuity?

The events connected with the alleged communist coup of 30 September 1965 and the transition from Sukarno to Soeharto proved dramatic and scarring for all. They surely marked a watershed in Indonesia's social history and political ideology. Surprisingly, however, approaches to Kartosuwiryo and the Darul Islam barely changed during this time of deep political transformation: Pinardi's scepticism towards Kartosuwiryo's commitment to Islamic orthodoxy had in fact anticipated the trend that characterized treatments of him during the Soeharto era, among Indonesian and foreign scholars alike. (14)

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s this approach was to become calcified in Indonesians' popular imagination, as the military constructed and popularized visual representations of the Darul Islam and its eradication. Memorabilia, pictures and graphic dioramas appeared in museums and publications dedicated to celebrating the military struggle against the Darul Islam and the republic's victory over it. One example is Siliwangi Division's military museum in Bandung, which Colonel Ibrahim Ajie, who captured Kartosuwiryo in 1962 and would later become commander of the division, opened in 1966.

The museum's collection focuses on the DI rebellion in West Java, highlighting the destruction carried out by the militias and the social involvement of the army in the post-conflict period. The most interesting pieces on display are the personal belongings of Kartosuwiryo and his wife at the time of their capture. He was reportedly holding two sacred daggers, a keris and a golok, whilst she was wearing a Javanese baju-sarung (shirt-sarong) outfit and apparently no head-covering. Together with the large drum placed right at the entrance to the gallery, with a caption stating that it was used for calling Darul Islam soldiers to prayers, these images permit the inference that the curators sought to depict the couple and their followers as traditional Javanese and Sundanese characters, rather than as "orthodox" or "fanatical" Muslims. The ambiguities of the 1950s had by the early 1960s--before, that is, the 1965-68 political transition--given way to an oppositional dichotomy between an "orthodox" commitment to political Islam and one to "mysticism" or traditional Islam, with Kartosuwiryo and his followers regularly portrayed as representative of the latter.

Soeharto and Islam

The campaign that condemned Kartosuwiryo and his movement as anti-republican and anti-national, in both the Sukarno and Soeharto eras, was to come to a halt in the early 1980s, resulting in a vacuum. This section expounds on the multiple shifts in attitude that took place between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s as the regime's policies towards Islam continued to change.


In its first decade, the New Order regime pursued a two-pronged policy towards Islam. On the one hand it dedicated much attention to separating the social dimension of Islam from its political--and possibly insurgent--counterpart. On the other hand its military apparatus saw the potential advantage in resurrecting and sponsoring DI networks for informal support. As the Soeharto government advocated individual religious piety as an anti-communist policy, at the same time it also proceeded to fragment Islamic groups to avoid their becoming a united and autonomous force, possibly taking the place that communism had previously occupied. (15) However, this did not mean a complete rejection of all things Islamic in the public sphere.

Showing the regime's awareness of the potential risk of popular alienation, fragmentation of the Islamic front went hand-in-hand with the co-optation of those Muslim leaders ready to operate within the New Order framework (Vatikiotis 1998, pp. 119-37). And the support lent to the creation of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) in 1975 is testament to the regime's interest in co-opting, rather than erasing, public Islam (Porter 2002, pp. 78-83).

This approach eventually showed success in the results of the Indonesian elections of 1977. Although in numerical terms there was no significant difference between electoral outcomes in 1971 and 1977, in this interval the approach of Soeharto's party, Golkar, towards Islam had changed dramatically. As R. William Liddle has pointed out,

In 1971 Golkar had had a strongly anti-Islamic image and had actively cultivated the support of the abangan, who fear a theistic state should political Islam come to power. By 1977 Golkar had many local Islamic teachers in its camp ... and used them to counter PPP [Partai Persatuan Pembangunan, the Unity Development Party] (16) arguments that Muslims were obliged to choose the Ka'abah' [meaning voting for the PPP], (Liddle 1978, p. 181)

The strategy also succeeded in ensuring the emergence of a new generation of political leaders and intellectuals who called for the "renovation" of Islam (pembaharuan, see Kersten 2011) and labelled the Islamic state "a mirage". As politics became increasingly devoid of Islamic concerns, Masyumi's senior leadership, which still advocated some kind of combination of state and religion, was fully sidelined (Hefner 2000, pp. 100, 126) and independent manifestations of political Islam in the public sphere were treated as the bete noire of the regime.

In this context military publications on DI continued to marginalize its religious motivations and emphasize the movement's violent overtones instead. Between 1968 and 1978 several publications commemorated the struggle of Siliwangi Division troops in West Java, and without exception they ignored Darul Islam's political and religious dimensions. Their focus shifted to the negative impact of the rebellion on the civilian population and national unity, and to the army's and the nation's own victory. Books of this sort showed readers how dangerous the Darul Islam had been, how violent and immoral its actions were and how dedicated the TNI had been in reconstructing the affected areas. This line of argument also led to the display of images of bloody DI militias next to healthy republican soldiers, insinuating the idea of a weak movement. These books pictured the rebels' headquarters as shacks in the jungle, and their leaders as dead, defeated or captured (Dinas Sedjarah Kodam VI Siliwangi 1968; Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982; Madewa 1977).

Kartosuwiryo's name and face remained omnipresent, symbolizing his leadership role--either in isolation or in connection with other rebels. Most notably, the cover of Album Peristiwa Pemberontakan DI-TII di Indonesia (Album of the events related to the Darul Islam-Tentara Islam Indonesia [Army of the Islamic State] Rebellion in Indonesia) summarized the numerous tales of the Darul Islam's terror that for years had been fed to the public. Kartosuwiryo's face towers over images of derailed trains, ransacked and burnt-down villages, peasants running away with their newborns, while the TNI bravely fights the rebels (Dinas Sejarah TNI Jakarta 1978). Kartosuwiryo never appeared as a politician and a nationalist in these military publications, and, whenever included, he was portrayed as either bedridden or sitting next to Colonel Ibrahim Ajie, looking sick and emaciated from fighting, starvation and illness (Dinas Sedjarah Kodam VI Siliwangi 1968; Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982; Madewa 1977).

The New Order's effort to construct a national historiography grounded in the dangers of separatism and ideological particularism marked the late 1960s and 1970s. This effort, we have seen, led to a reinforcement of early readings of the DI as anti-republican. These images of the DI and Kartosuwiryo as both disconnected from religious motivations and as weak and defeated by the state were meant to speak more broadly to the population. They served to indicate that in Indonesia there would be no space for rebellion, especially one masked by a pretence of religion.


As noted earlier, the regime's approach to Islam had another side. The Darul Islam had been militarily suppressed and officially eliminated in 1962, with the capture and execution of Kartosuwiryo. The movement's top leaders agreed to sign a Joint Proclamation [Ikrar Bersama) acknowledging that they had been "wrong and misguided", and affirming their allegiance to the republic (ICG 2005, p. 2). But the crushing of the rebellion and the capping of the dream of an Islamic state did not mean the total disappearance of the movement. While on the one hand rebellions inspired by the Darul Islam continued independently in Aceh and Sulawesi, on the other the disbanded Islamic army represented an appealing pool of unofficial support as Soeharto sought to consolidate his newly acquired power. The state proceeded to create the illusion that Islam might become the new ideological ally of the New Order state, substituting for the communism of the so-called Old Order. Pursuing this line of thought outside public view, an underground rapprochement between the regime and some DI elements started as early as the 1960s.

It was then that the army made occasional use of the DI's militias. In 1965, for example, it gave weapons to former Darul Islam members in West Java and North Sumatra in order to attack suspected communists (Temby 2010, p. 6; ICG 2005, p. 3). And as maintenance of the autocratic regime required a careful balance of forces, the secret services orchestrated occasional releases of pressure in Islamic circles. The 1970s saw the development of a mutually beneficial relationship between BAKIN (Badan Koordinasi Intelijen, State Intelligence Coordination Body) and the Darul Islam, which experienced a post-Kartosuwriyo life under the sponsorship and protection of the New Order.

This great scheme of co-optation was doomed to fail, however, as former members of the Darul Islam were not ready to be played like puppets. In the words of a DI veteran, "between 1962 and 1968 the Islamic state of Indonesia was buried by the worldly facilities that the enemy provided" (ICG 2005, pp. 2-3). Rather, the DI veterans sought to take advantage of the movement's regime-guided reorganization to reconnect with one another and to regain strength for their own purposes. By the mid-1970s the ties had been severed as the regime cracked-down on Muslim "extremists", and Darul Islam leaders grew increasingly uncomfortable with their reliance on the government they aspired to topple (Temby 2010, pp. 12-15).

Retaining the distinction between piety and politics as envisaged by the regime in the 1960s proved more difficult in the context of socio-political discontent and the global Islamic revival. The mushrooming of mosques and the encouragement to attend sermons that characterized the 1970s paralleled a tightening of repressive rule. Places of worship became the only available spaces for the gatherings of the young and disenchanted, and as this phenomenon met the international Islamic revival (Kepel 2002), the ingredients for the radicalization of Islam--both political and spiritual--came together (Aspinall 2005). It was in this context that the tarbiyah (Islamic education) movement took shape on Indonesian university campuses in the 1980s, and that some study groups would merge into Darul Islam groups creating a new embodiment of Kartosuwiryo's legacy. Concerned by these developments, and still intending to limit the role of Islam in the public sphere, Soeharto proclaimed the asas tunggal policy in 1983. Declaring the Pancasila as "sole basis", it mandated that all organizations and parties identify their ideological foundations as the Pancasila.

Political Embrace

Secularists' increasing interest in democratic reforms and the military's mild opposition to the regime added to the threat of the religious revival. In the 1980s Islam appeared to the regime as a lesser evil. So it was that Soeharto began to act upon the idea that conservative Muslims could be suitable new allies in the open political sphere. The subtle policies initiated in the late 1970s--such as the already mentioned establishment of the Indonesian Council of Ulama--now saw further elaboration, in a process that left an indelible mark on public attitudes toward Islam. As an unexpected outcome of the asas tunggal, Islam was no more confined to the PPP: religiously inspired politicians had scattered across the electoral spectrum, now able to influence the wider political stage. Several Nahdlatul Ulama leaders lent their support to Golkar during the electoral campaign of 1987, and the PPP lost its symbolic hold on politics. Its share of the vote fell from 27.8 per cent in 1982 to 16 per cent in 1987 (Hefner 2000, pp. 167-68).

By the early 1990s Soeharto had relaxed limitations on public displays of religion while strengthening his own Islamic credentials. The regime allowed headscarves, increased the teaching of religious subjects in state schools, widened the powers of Islamic courts and recognized the state of Palestine. The presidential family went on the pilgrimage to Mecca and Soeharto supported the opening of Indonesia's first Islamic bank. In the military, "Green Generals" replaced Catholic officers, and the conservative Association of Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI, Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim Indonesia) was established under government sponsorship and direction (Schwarz 1999, p. 175). This transformation was anticipated by a halt in Indonesian publications directly addressing the "Darul Islam rebellion". It is my suggestion that these two facts reflected the same transformation.

The Museum of Eternal Vigilance

In answer to increased religious sensitivities and yet in the continued presence of fears about the reactionary potential of Islamism, the 1990s witnessed a new approach to the Darul Islam and its history, favouring the isolation of the ideological aspects of the DI from its violence. The vicissitudes of the armed forces' Museum Waspada Purbawisesa, the Museum of Eternal Vigilance, illustrate the transition from the suspicions of the early 1980s to the acknowledgement of popular interest in the private dimension of the Islamic resurgence at the end of the decade, and the related imperative that Soeharto capitalize on the Muslim vote. (17)

The very inauguration of the museum in 1987 was indicative of these changes. As highlighted by Katharine McGregor, the museum was due to open in 1984 to strengthen emphasis on the asas tunggal policy and the rejection of the Jakarta Charter in the lead-up to the elections of 1987. However, as the opening was delayed and took place only after Islamic groups had "proven" their support to the Pancasila government in those elections, the originally suggested name, "Museum of Pancasila Victory", was seen as obsolete (McGregor 2007, p. 191). In this new context, too, the museum's approach to the Darul Islam had likewise become inappropriate and in need of correction.

McGregor contends that "a visitor to the Museum of Eternal Vigilance is provided with only one motive for the Darul Islam rebellions: the establishment of an Islamic state" (McGregor 2007, p. 188). I would like to offer an alternative view. As a visitor--and arguably one who was looking for any possible trace of Islam's visibility--I did not have this impression. The group's religious motivations did not appear as evident to me as its anti-republican stand and violent means. It is only with the publication of the museum's guidebook in 1995 that visitors were offered a reading indicating the Darul Islam's dedication to the Islamist cause.

The booklet describes Kartosuwiryo as having been committed to the creation of an Islamic state since 1938 and contextualizes the Darul Islam's actions within the framework of the Islamic political cause and the anti-colonial struggle (Museum [1995] 1997, p. 2). Yet there is very little to support such a narrative in the museum's displays. In fact, the museum exhibits charts, maps, pictures, archival documents, miniatures and memorabilia laid out exclusively as to establish an intelligible framework for the TNI's operations against Darul Islam's "terrorism" across the archipelago. This 1995 guidebook was the only publication dedicating substantial space to Kartosuwiryo's Darul Islam since the 1982 reprint of the 1974 Penumpasan Pemberontakan (Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982), and it would be the last such publication of the Soeharto era.

The New Order made Kartosuwiryo an "absent" historical figure through most of the 1980s and the 1990s. This layering of official approaches to Kartosuwiryo and the Darul Islam in West Java--swinging between misrepresentations of the movement's relationship to religion in the 1950s and 1960s, outright condemnation of its methods and confrontation with the republic between the 1960s and 1982, and ultimately the silence that surrounded Kartosuwiryo and the Darul Islam from the early 1980s onwards, when the regime attempted to shape some form of Pancasila-friendly public Islam --lay the foundations for the elaboration of alternative visions of the movement in the post-Soeharto era.

The Effects of Reformasi

In the 1970s and 1980s Darul Islam members were fragmented along ideological and strategic lines (Temby 2010, pp. 14, 28-35), but the idea of DI as "one house" (ICG 2005, p. 31) under Kartosuwiryo's intellectual roof had nonetheless remained alive throughout the New Order. In late November 1997, seventeen activists were arrested in Solo on the heels of a number of other arrests in West and Central Java. During the raid, the police reportedly found only one book, and one about Kartosuwiryo and his struggle. Interviewed on the arrests, a commentator declared, "this NII that we have now cannot be separated from the first NII" (Panji Masyarakat, 24 November 1997), suggesting that what had kept the various factions of the DI-NII together was the original project of a Negara Islam Indonesia. (18) And, indeed, in the immediate post-Reformasi period the deep desire to revive Kartosuwiryo's memory and goals led some segments of the public to reinterpret his figure as a hero and model.

The transformation of the portrayal of the Darul Islam and Kartosuwiryo from enemy of the nation, to absentee, to dedicated Muslim mirrored the Indonesian state's changing attitude towards political Islam. But the government's "sterilization" of Kartosuwiryo's character and rebellion, achieved through the obliteration of the religious dimension since the 1960s and through the movement's gradual removal from public discourse in the 1980s, is what eventually created an interpretively empty space.

With the weakening and then the elimination of the New Order state, this space became available to be filled with new perceptions. Kartosuwiryo's name had disappeared from government-sponsored materials; he is barely mentioned in Indonesian school books, for example. Nevertheless, positive--although scattered--Islamist depictions contributed to the formation of an aura of respect and admiration, and thus to his emergence as a martyr for Islam.

The earlier literature had reflected the perceived need for national unity. Similarly, the trend that emerged after 1998 was a tangible manifestation of the more general process of Islamization of the public sphere, deeply embedded in the political agenda of those groups interested in a politicized revival of Islam, such as the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Prosperous Justice Party) and the Majelis Mujahidin Islam (Council of Islamic Fighters). Publications that appeared in the early years of the Reformasi era (1998-2000) directly and uniquely presented Kartosuwiryo as a syahid, a martyr for Islam. But the authors involved in this "rehabilitation" of the memory of Kartosuwiryo were often also active in the effort to implement sharia Islamic law and to resurrect visions of an Islamic state. This overlap in their activities may seem to confirm van Klinken's conclusions about ideologically driven revisionism, but a deeper analysis that takes a longer-term perspective reveals that since 2006 the literature on Kartosuwiryo has begun to address the complexities of his ideology, leadership, and relationship to the republic beyond the mere rise of Islamist ideology.


The first author to look at Kartosuwiryo in the Reformasi era is Al-Chaidar. A supporter of the Islamic state project, Chaidar has pursued his ideal both on the ground, as a member of the new Darul Islam movement in Aceh, and intellectually, as the author of a 1996 Universitas Indonesia thesis on the Islamic state ideology in Southeast Asia (Al-Chaidar 1996). He has also published several titles on the theory of the Islamic state and on Kartosuwiryo's Islamic state experiment (Al-Chaidar 1998, 1999a, 1999b, 1999c, 2008). The only other author to produce a book-length study of Kartosuwiryo before the turn of the century is Irfan Awwas. His profile is similar to Al-Chaidar's. Besides being the secretary of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (Hasan 2006, pp. 18-19), Awwas was the editor in chief of Arrisalah (The Message). Found guilty of "criticizing the government for adopting the 'Pancasila' ideology as the sole ideology of the nation" (The Age, 21 May 1984, p. 8), in 1984 the magazine was banned, and Awwas was sentenced to nine years in prison for activities associated with the NII movement (Hasan 2006, pp. 18-19). Among Awwas's books are two focused on the figure of Kartosuwiryo (Awwas 1999, 2007) and another comparing Kartosuwiryo, Daud Beureueh and Kahar Mudzakkar as NII leaders (Awwas 2008). Notably, both Awwas and Al-Chaidar were editors of, and contributors to, two Islamist publications, Sabili (Path) and "Darul Islam Magazine". Established in 2000, the latter is specifically dedicated to propagating the idea of an Islamic state in Indonesia as well as to the spread of Kartosuwiryo's own writings and ideology.

Considering these authors' backgrounds, one is not surprised to find in their work portrayals of Kartosuwiryo and other NII leaders as wronged politicians, commanders betrayed by the republic and, ultimately, martyrs. Neither Al-Chaidar nor Awwas has ever offered a critical assessment of Kartosuwiryo's ideology and actions, as each instead limits himself to narrating all historical events in a supportive and apologetic tone. Both Chaidar and Awwas, despite enjoying the benefit of privileged information and networks, have failed to provide a well-rounded assessment of Kartosuwiryo's leadership and character. Instead, their work has fed into the propaganda for an Islamic state. Blinded by their personal convictions, they have avoided acknowledging the violent aspect of Darul Islam's operations, blaming all actions of terror on army infiltrators and communist militias. In these men's writings, Kartosuwiryo emerges as the patron of the Islamic state, a man who gave his life for this ideal and for its implementation, and one who fell victim to secular forces. In advancing this line of interpretation, and as pointed out by van Klinken, his advocates fall into the same mistake as New Order propaganda in writing history from an ideological standpoint.

In the immediate post-Reformasi context, at a time when the Indonesian army was subject to heavy criticism and in the context of surging Islamic consciousness, authors shunned condemnatory portrayals of Kartosuwiryo. In an effort to present him as a model of Islamic leadership for contemporary Indonesia, these new portrayals adjusted representations of his religiosity to renewed standards of orthodoxy, often denying or ignoring the mysticism that characterized his pattern of leadership on Java in the 1940s and 1950s. The trend towards glorification was most characteristic of the 1998-2000 window, as it began as a natural reflection of the newly acquired freedom of expression. Its conclusion was not, however, so directly related to any major political transition. In the early 2000s, we find Kartosuwiryo in the background of DI publications, but as the Negara Islam Indonesia "Pandora's Box" had been opened, a number of publications appeared investigating the actions and ideology of Kahar Mudzakkar (for example Gonggong 2004; Nasyaruddin 2005; Santosa 2006; Tangke 2002; Tangke and Nasyaruddin 2007; Thompson 2002), of Daud Beureueh (Adan 2007; Awwas 2008; Gunawan 2000) and of other NII leaders. (19) The silencing of Al-Chaidar and Awwas, likely to be the result of political squabbles, has not marked the end of the debate on Kartosuwiryo's motives.

A Decade In: Seeking Balance

Starting from 2006 and more substantially since 2008, a second wave of post-Reformasi publications on Kartosuwiryo has begun to flourish. Such proliferation and the new approach in these publications show how ideas about Kartosuwiryo and the DI have matured, breaking the strict dichotomy between rebel and martyr. An early example of this trend is Kearifan guru bangsa: pilar kemerdekaan (The wisdom of the nation's teachers: Pillars of independence) (Sudrajat 2006). Sudrajat is an editor and journalist for a number of magazines, including the widely read Tempo and Panji Masjarakat. In this illustrated volume he sets out to complement Sukarno's religious contribution to the nation by offering windows on other leaders who engaged--each in his own way--with Islam. Along with Kartosuwiryo, the book presents Hadji Misbach, "the red haji"; Hadji Samanhoedi, founder of Sarekat Islam; and Prawoto Mangkusasmito, a leading member of Masyumi (Sudrajat 2006, p. xx). Besides these religious figures, the book also discusses the secular leaders Amir Sjarifudin, Mohammad Husni Thamrin, Mohammad Hatta and Tan Malaka, comparing their ideologies and activities to Sukarno's. To my knowledge, this is Kartosuwiryo's first appearance in a wider hall of fame alongside, rather than opposed to, established leaders of the Indonesian Revolution.

Kartosuwiryo is the subject of two chapters of Kearifan guru bangsa, each entitled "Before Darul Islam" and "A Sad Sequence" (Sudrajat 2006, pp. 23-37). Sudrajat singles out in these chapters the pivotal turns in Kartosuwiryo's career, from his being Tjokroaminoto's disciple, to the initial move to West Java, his rising concerns for peasants' grievances and anti-colonial feelings, and the establishment of his headquarters in Malangbong. The author compares Kartosuwiryo's decision to withdraw from formal politics to the Prophet Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina, as Kartosuwiryo had himself argued. (20) But his overall analysis is not devoid of misconceptions. For example, Sudrajat depicts the Suffah --the educational centre that Kartosuwiryo led in Malangbong--as a work camp whose strict regime cost Kartosuwiryo political success, liberty and eventually his life. Nevertheless, the intrinsic importance of this work lies in its placing Kartosuwiryo amongst officially recognized nationalist leaders and offering a more balanced, although still misconstrued, view of his character.

In the second decade of Reformasi the book market's offerings on Kartosuwiryo have become much more diverse. Two new biographies published in 2009 refer to Kartosuwiryo with the deferential title Sang Imam, a title which indicates deep respect and honour, usually used for kings and saints (Firmansyah 2009, p. 91; Ruhimat 2009, p. 113). Yet one blames the ending of the DI on a "political conspiracy" (Ruhimat 2009, p. 105), whilst the other appears to be neutral, noting the need for the government to end the DI rebellion for the sake of national unity (Firmansyah 2009, pp. 77-85). A comparative study released in 2013 displays further ambiguity: if the narrative of Kartosuwiryo's struggle appears indeed balanced, the authors cannot help referring to him as a pemberontak, a rebel (Hadiwijoyo et al. 2013).

Among this proliferation of biographies, the ever productive writer--and painter, and movie director--Damien Dematra also participates in the debate with his Kartosoewirjo: Pahlawan Atau Teroris? (Kartosuwiryo: Hero or rebel?) (Dematra 2011). One of Dematra's many historical novels, this book is "inspired" by Kartosuwiryo's life, but the story is "adapted to the interests of the novel" (Dematra 2011). Articulating a rather balanced account of Kartosuwiryo's growing commitment to Islam under the influence of Tjokroaminoto, and in the Sarekat Islam and Masyumi parties, as well as the negative implications of the Darul Islam for national unity in the 1950s and 1960s, Dematra questions the religious soundness of Kartosuwiryo's violence. In the last pages, a kiyai complains,

"Friends, you know how many times I have been attacked by this DI/TII? My pesantren! Apesentren! ... more than thirty times!"

"But Bapak, you didn't want to help Pak Karto", adds a young man next to him.

They all stare at the youngster, and an older man with a wise face adds, "Maybe that is jihad ala Pak Karto."

The young man, whose emotions had already risen and fallen, still defended his leader, "You all did not do what Pak Karto ordered. He grounded his decisions on the Qur'an."

"But what is the meaning of verse 256 in the chapter of the Cow [al-Baqarah] la ikhraha fi al-dinl [It means,] There is no compulsion in religion." (Dematra 2011, p. 436) (21)

In a parallel scene Sukarno recalls the early days of his acquaintance with Kartosuwiryo.

... the time when they had debated, when he [Sukarno] had just established the nationalist party.... Kartosuwiryo had already started to fight and had taken his own road. Soekamo takes a long deep breath. He had defended the interests of all the Indonesian umma and Kartosuwiryo had defended the interests of secessionist militants. Regardless, he recalled their friendship and set it aside as a memento. Soekamo takes his black peci hat off, and cups his face in his hands. (Dematra 2011, pp. 438-39)

One might question the extent of these publications' distribution, and thus the relevance of the whole discussion pursued so far. But it is harder to raise such doubts with reference to the 18 August 2010 special "Independence Day" issue of Tempo, the country's leading news magazine. Dedicated completely to Kartosuwiryo, the issue covered his political career and examined his following in contemporary Indonesia. The publisher Gramedia later re-published the contributions to the issue, which ranged from veterans' testimonies to experts' opinions, in book form. This biography, released under the title Kartosoewirjo: Mimpi Negara Islam (Kartosuwiryo: Dreaming the Islamic State) forms part of a multi-volume series, "Islamic Leaders of Early Independence" (Tokoh Islam Awal Kemerdekaan), which also features Wahid Hasyim, Daud Beureueh and Natsir (KPG 2011). The special issue of the magazine and the subsequent book offered the first discussion of Kartosuwiryo's actions and legacy that sought to address the complexities of his life and ideas while at the same time reaching a wide readership.

But what has become of the official nationalistic line on Kartosuwiryo as enemy of the unitary state? In the commercial sphere, Dematra subtly hints at that argument, but the Sukarnoist author Roso Daras is alone in openly condemning Awwas and others who "defend" Kartosuwiryo (Daras 2011, p. 11) and his ideology, now used by terrorists (Daras 2011, p. 8). More intriguingly, after years of silence, in 2012 the military's history centre, or Pusat Sejarah TNI, published two new volumes illustrating the "History of the DI/TII Rebellion" in West and Central Java respectively. These books will remind many readers of the 1974 volumes and the 1982 reprinted editions, Penumpasan Pemberontakan DI/TII (The eradication of the DI/TII rebellion). But the content of the new volumes is far more interesting.

We have seen that the 1974 volumes minimized the importance of Islam as a motivating factor for the Darul Islam rebellion and instead stressed Kartosuwiryo's political disappointment (Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982, p. 10). If they acknowledged religion at all, it was characterized either as fanatik or as a tool to gamer support. The narrative's accounts of Kartosuwiryo's movement in West Java and Amir Fatah's in Central Java consistently represented the latter as the mere result of Kartosuwiryo's eastward expansion (Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982, p. 18). What we find in the 2012 volumes is rather different.

As luck would have it, during the course of my research I had access to the TNI volume on Central Java (Yusuf et al. 2012) first, before being able to consult the one on West Java. (22) Used to seeing great consistency in Indonesia's official publications, I was not expecting this to be a problem. As I proceeded to read the volume on Central Java, I became intrigued by the authors' attention to establishing the DI's Islamic credentials, and Kartosuwiryo and Amir Fatah's religious intentions, thus depicting the NII experiment as "the most appropriate tool of struggle" to achieve full independence for these leaders (Yusuf et al. 2012, p. 15). Still acknowledging that proclaiming an Islamic state in Central Java "was a rebellion against a valid government" (Yusuf et al. 2012, p. 13), the text asserts that villagers across the region felt compelled to support the struggle out of religious conviction (Yusuf et al. 2012, p. 19), rather than out of fear of reprisals from DI militias. The volume thus concludes by affirming the DI's desire to see "Islam as the foundation of the state" and the TNI's involvement as the only possible outcome, as the government necessarily saw the DI as a "disturbance to stability and security, and [as a movement] undermining the government's authority" (Yusuf et al. 2012, p. 110).

Persuaded by this volume on Central Java that the problematization of Kartosuwiryo's identity that I was seeing in the "popular press" had permeated into the Pusat Sejarah TNI, I expected to see a treatment of Kartosuwiryo's religious motivations in West Java similar to that in the volume on Central Java. My expectations were to be disappointed.

While both volumes refer to the Darul Islam as a persoalan, a term we can translate as "problem" or "issue", its characterization in Central and West Java differs. Yusuf et al. (ibid.) describe the DI in the island's central province as "truly a political and military issue [persoalan politik dan militer] caused by a group that desired for Islam to be the foundation of the state" (ibid.). In contrast, the volume on West Java states, "The Darul Islam (DI) problem was truly an issue of military politics [persoalan politik militer] caused by an Islamic extremist [ekstrim Islam] group" (Setiawati et al. 2012, p. 120). Setiawati et al. (2012, p. 123) not only frame Kartosuwiryo's motivations once again in terms of military-political ambitions, as did the 1953 publication, but they also refer to the DI/TII as a rebellion (pemberontakan) and explain support for the DI as based on villagers' ignorance (Setiawati et al. 2012, p. 124). Another divergence between the two volumes is worthy of being mentioned: whereas Yusuf et al. (2012, pp. iii-iv) intend their work for generally defined educational and nation-building purposes, Setiawati et al. set their goal as preparing future generations in defending the unitary state from separatist groups (Setiawati et al. 2012, pp. iii-iv).

Although supervised by the same officer, the teams in charge of these volumes comprised different individuals, evidently with differing views on the subject matter and their own role as army historians. Too few details about the authors and team members are available to permit substantial conclusions. Yet, the very fact that their authorship is so clearly identifiable and that they offer differing interpretations which coexist in concurrently published official publications, reinforces the point that multiple and dissonant voices on Kartosuwiryo and the DI are emerging not only in the commercial book market, but also from within the machinery of official history.


Currently available publications on Kartosuwiryo illustrate the existence of a healthy intellectual debate on the issue of political Islam and the Islamic state in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Indonesia. By the end of Reformasi's first decade the field of "Darul Islam studies" is achieving balance, with the categorical views of the immediate post-New Order period being revised to reflect Kartosuwiryo's own complexities. Even more importantly, both the commercial and official publishing markets now demonstrate a plurality of voices. In response to van Klinken's 2005 observation that ideology alone was driving "populist" historical revisionism on the Islamic rebellions in the post-Reformasi era (van Klinken 2005), I have suggested that in investigating the interaction of history-writing with political shifts and regime transitions it is necessary not to focus merely on clearly defined watersheds (e.g., 1949, 1965, 1998). The analysis of portrayals of Kartosuwiryo and the Darul Islam during the past sixty years has shown that changes in political priorities might be even more powerful than formal moments of transition in affecting public representations of charged events and figures.

DOI: 10.1355/sj30-1d


This article has had a long gestation. The author wishes to thank Lee Wilson and Laurens Bakker, convenors at AseasUK, held in Swansea in 2009; Loh Kah Seng and Syed Mhd Khairuddin, convenors of the workshop on "History as Controversy", held in Singapore in December 2011; the anonymous reviewers for SOJOURN and its editor Michael Montesano, who tirelessly edited this piece.


Adan, Hasanuddin Yusuf. Teungku Muhammad Dawud Beureueh dan perjuangan pemberontakan di Aceh [Tengku Muhammad Dawud Beureueh and the rebellious struggle in Aceh]. Banda Aceh: Adnin Foundation Aceh and Ar-Raniry Press, 2007.

The Age. "Magazine's Rich List Brings Ban", 21 May 1984.

Al-Chaidar. "Ideologi Negara Islam di Asia Tenggara: telaah perbandingan atas terbentuknya diskursus politik Islam dalam gerakan-gerakan pembentukan negara di Indonesia dan Filipina Pasca Kolonialisme" [Islamic state ideology in Southeast Asia: A comparison on the shape of Islamic political discourse in state-forming movements in post-colonial Philippines and Indonesia]. Master's Thesis, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, 1996.

--. Wacana ideologi negara Islam [Discourse on the Islamic state ideology]. Jakarta: Darul Falah, 1998.

--. Pemikiran Politik Proklamator Negara Islam Indonesia S.M. Kartosoewirjo: Fakta Dan Data Sejarah Darul Islam [Political thought of S.M. Kartosuwiryo, proclaimer of the Islamic State of Indonesia: Facts and evidence on the history of Darul Islam]. Jakarta: Darul Falah, 1999a.

--. S.M. Kartosoewirjo: pemberontak atau mujahid [S.M. Kartosuwiryo: rebel or mujahedin]. Jakarta: Suara Hidayatullah, 19996.

--. Pengantar Pemikiran Politik Proklamator Negara Islam Indonesia S.M. Kartosoewirjo: Mengungkap Manipulasi Sejarah Darul Islam/DI-TII Semasa Orde Lama Dan Orde Baru. [Introduction to the political thought of S.M. Kartosoewirjo, the proclaimer of the Islamic State of Indonesia: Exposing the manipulation of Darul Islam/DI-TII's history during the Old Order and New Order]. Jakarta: Darul Falah, 1999c.

Chiara Formichi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, 435 Rockefeller Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA; email: --. Negara Islam Indonesia: Antara Fitnah & Realita [Islamic State of Indonesia: Between slander and reality]. Jakarta: Madani Press, 2008.

Asia Raya. "Ketoea Dewan MIAI mengoetjapkan terima kasih" [Chairman of MIAI board says thanks], 18 May 1943.

Aspinall, Edward. Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance, and Regime Change in Indonesia. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.

--. Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.

Awwas, Irfan S. Menelusuri Perjalanan Jihad S.M. Kartosuwiryo: Proklamator Negara Islam Indonesia [Tracing the road to jihad of S.M. Kartosuwiryo: Proclaimer of the Negara Islam Indonesia]. Yogyakarta: Wihdah, 1999.

--. Jejak Jihad S.M. Kartosuwiryo: Mengungkap Fakta Yang Didustakan. [S.M. Kartosuwiryo's trail of jihad: Recovering the facts that have been denied]. Yogyakarta: Uswah, 2007.

--. Trilogi Kepemimpinan Negara Islam Indonesia: Menguak Perjuangan Umat Islam Dan Pengkhianatan Kaum Nasionalis-Sekuler. [Trilogy of the Negara Islam Indonesia leadership: Revealing the struggle of the ummah and the betrayal of the national-secularists]. Yogyakarta: Uswah, 2008.

Bush, Robin. Nahdlatul Ulama and the Struggle for Power within Islam and Politics in Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009.

Daras, Roso. Bung Kamo vs Kartosuwiryo: Membongkar Sumber Dana DI/ TII [Brother Sukarno vs. Kartosuwiryo: Exposing DI/TII funds sources]. Depok: Imania, 2011.

Dematra, Damien. Kartosoewirjo: Pahlawan Atau Teroris? [Kartosuwiryo: Hero or terrorist?]. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2011.

Dinas Sedjarah Kodam VI Siliwangi. Siliwangi dari masa ke masa [Siliwangi through the ages]. Jakarta: Fakta Mahjuma, 1968.

Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung. Penumpasan pemberontakan DI/TII, S.M. Kartosuwiryo di Jawa Barat [Eradication of the DI-TII rebellion, S.M. Kartosuwiryo in West Java]. Bandung: Dinas Sejarah Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, [1974] 1982.

Dinas Sejarah TNI Jakarta. Album peristiwa pemberontakan DI-TII di Indonesia [Album of the incidents of the DI-TII rebellion in Indonesia]. Jakarta: Dinas Sejarah Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat, 1978.

Feith, Herbert. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. Ithaca: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University Press, 1962.

Firmansyah, Adhe. S.M. Kartosoewirjo: Biografi Singkat, 1907-1962 [S.M. Kartosuwiryo: A brief biography, 1907-1962]. Jogjakarta: Garasi, 2009.

Formichi, Chiara. "Pan-Islam and Religious Nationalism: The Case of Kartosuwiryo and Negara Islam Indonesia". Indonesia 90 (2010): 125-46.

--. Islam and the Making of the Nation: Kartosuwiryo and Political Islam in 20th Century Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2012.

Gonggong, Anhar. Abdul Qohhar Mudzakkar, Dari Patriot Hingga Pemberontak [Abdul Qohhar Mudzakkar, from patriot to rebel]. Tegalrejo, Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2004.

Gunawan, Hendra. M. Natsir dan Darul Islam: Studi Kasus Aceh dan Sulawesi Selatan Tahun 1953-1958 [M. Natsir and Darul Islam: A study of the Aceh and South Sulawesi cases, 1953-1958]. Jakarta: Media Da'wah, 2000.

Hadiwijoyo, Suwelo, and Putri E. Nareswati. Kahar Muzakkar and Kartosoewirjo. Banguntapan, Jogjakarta: Palapa, 2013.

Harvey, Barbara Sillars. Permesta: Half a Rebellion. Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1977.

Hasan, Noorhaidi. Laskar Jihad: Islam, Militancy, and the Quest for Identity in Post-New Order Indonesia. Ithaca, New York: Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 2006.

Hefner, Robert. Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000.

International Crisis Group (ICG). "Recycling Militants in Indonesia: Darul Islam and the Australian Embassy Bombing". Asia Report 92 (22 February 2005).

Jackson, Karl D. Traditional Authority and National Integration: Darul Islam in West Java. Berkley: University of California, [1971] 1980.

Kahin, Audrey. Rebellion to Integration: West Sumatra and the Indonesian Polity, 1926-1998. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1999.

Kartosuwiryo. "Bekal bathin dalam perdjoeangan" [Mental provision during times of struggle] Soeara MIAI, 1 March 1943.

--. "Menoedjoe ke arah dar-oel-Islam dan dar-oes-Salam" [Towards daroel-Islam dan dar-oes-Salam]. Soeara MIAI, 15 March 1943.

--. "Fardl-oel-'ain dan fardl-oel-kifajah dalam Islam" [Fardl-oel-'ain and fardl-oel-kifajah in Islam]. Soeara MIAI, 1 May 1943.

--. "Kewadjiban oemmat Islam menghadapi 'doenia baroe'" [The responsibility of Muslims in facing a "new world"]. Soeara MIAI, 15 May 1943.

--. "Baitoel-mal pada zaman pantjaroba dan tarich bait-al-mal zaman Rasoeloellah elm dan choelafaoer-rasidin r.a.a" [Baitoel-mal during transition times and the history of bait-al-mal during the time of the Prophet and the rightly guided caliphs]. Soeara MIAI, 28 June 1943.

--. "I'tibar madjazy dan ma'any" [I'tibar madjazy and ma'any']. Soeara MIAI, 15 July 1943.

--. "Benteng Islam" [Islamic front]. Soeara MIAI, 1 September 1943. Kementerian Penerangan. Republik Indonesia: propinsi Djawa Barat [Indonesian Republic: Province of West Java], vol. 1. Jakarta: Kementerian Penerangan, 1953.

--. Republik Indonesia: propinsi Djawa Timur [Indonesian Republic: Province of East Java]. Vol. 3. Jakarta: Kementerian Penerangan, 1953.

Kepel, Gilies. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.

Kersten, Carool. Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.

KPG. Kartosoewirjo: Mimpi Negara Islam [Kartosuwiryo: Dreaming the Islamic State]. Jakarta: Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia with Majalah Tempo, 2011.

Liddle, R. William. "Indonesia 1977: The New Order's Second Parliamentary Election". Asian Survey 18, no. 2 (1978): 175-85.

Madewa, Lukman. Esa hilang dua terbilang; Album kenangan KODAM 6/Siliwangi, 1946-1977 [Victory album of KODAM 6/Siliwangi, 1946-1977]. Bandung: Komando Daerah Militer (KODAM) 6/Siliwangi, 1977.

McGregor, Katharine E. History in Uniform: Military Ideology and the Construction of Indonesia's Past. Singapore: NUS Press, 2007.

McVey, Ruth Thomas. "Reviewed Work: Traditional Authority, Islam, and Rebellion: A Study of Indonesian Political Behavior by Karl D. Jackson". Pacific Affairs 54, no. 2 (1981): 260-87.

Merdeka. "Soesoenan kabinet baroe" [Formation of the new cabinet]. 4 July 1947.

--. "Kartosuwiryo keberatan" [Kartosuwiryo's objection]. 8 July 1947.

Museum Waspada Purbawisesa. Museum Waspada Purbawisesa: Buku panduan. [Museum of Eternal Vigilance: Guide book]. Jakarta: Markas Besar Angkatan Bersenjata RI, Pusat Sejarah dan Tradisi ABRI, [1995] 1997.

Nasyaruddin, Anwar. Jejak-jejak Radikal Kahar Muzakkar: Saya Tetap Membangkang [Traces of Kahar Muzakkar's radicalism: I remain defiant]. Makassar: Pustaka Refleksi, 2005.

Nieuwenhuijze, Christoffel Anthonie Olivier. "The Darul Islam Movement in Western Java". Pacific Affairs 23, no. 2 (1950): 181-82.

Noer, Deliar. "Masjumi: Its Organization, Ideology and Political Role in Indonesia". Master's thesis, Cornell University, 1960.

--. The Modernist Muslim Movement in Indonesia, 1900-1942. Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1973.

Noer, Deliar, and Akbarsyah. K.N.I.P: Komite Nasional Indonesia Pusat. Parlemen Indonesia 1945-1959 [KNIP: Central Indonesian National Committee, Indonesia's Parliament, 1945-1959]. Jakarta: Yayasan Risalah, 2005.

Panji Masyarakat. "Impian Para Pendukung Kartosuwirjo" [Dreams of Kartosuwiryo's supporters], 24 November 1997, pp. 16-18.

Pinardi. Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwirjo. Djakarta: Aryaguna, 1964.

Porter, Donald. Managing Politics and Islam in Indonesia. London: Routledge, 2002.

Ruhimat, Asep. Biografi S.M. Kartosoewirjo [Biography of S.M. Kartosuwiryo]. Yogyakarta: Narasi, 2009.

Saniosa, Kholid O. Jejak-jejak Sang Pejuang Pemberontak: Pemikiran, Gerakan & Ekspresi Politik S.M. Kartosuwirjo dan Baud Beureueh [Traces of the rebel fighters: The thought, movement and political expression of S.M. Kartosuwiryo and Daud Beureueh]. Bandung: Segaarsy, 2006.

Schulte Nordholt, Henk. "De-Colonising Indonesian Historiography". In Politik Kebudayaan dan Identitas Etnik [Politics of culture and ethnic identities], edited by I Wayan Ardika and Darma Putra. Denpasar: Fakultas Sastra, Universitas Udayana dan Balimangsi Press, 2004.

Schwarz, Adam. A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia's Search for Stability. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin, 1999.

Setiawati, Artinur, M. Nasir, Sus Ede Aullah, Daru Waskito, and Dedi Asri. Sejarah Pemberontakan DI/TII di Jawa Barat dan Penumpasannya [History of the DI/TII rebellion in West Java and its eradication]. Jakarta: Pusat Sejarah TNI, 2012.

Sjariffudin, Amak. Kisah Kartosuwirjo dan menjerahnja [Story of Kartosuwiryo and his surrender]. Surabaja: Grip, 1963.

Solahudin. Nil sampai JI: Salafy jihadisme di Indonesia [From Nil to Jl: Jihadi-Salafism in Indonesia]. Depok: Komunitas Bambu, 2011.

Sudrajat, Suryana. Kearifan guru bangsa: pilar kemerdekaan [Wisdom of the nation's teachers: Pillars of independence]. Jakarta: Erlangga, 2006.

Tangke, Wanua. Kahar Muzakkar Masih Hidup: Sebuah Misteri [Kahar Muzakkar still alive: A mystery]. Makassar: Pustaka Refleksi, 2002.

Tangke, Wanua, and Anwar Nasyaruddin. Biografi Perjuangan Kahar Muzakar [Biography of Kahar Muzakkar's struggle]. Makassar: Pustaka Refleksi, 2007.

Temby, Quinton. "Imagining an Islamic State in Indonesia". Indonesia 89 (April 2010): 1-36.

Thompson, Tommy. Menyingkap Misteri Abdul Qahhar Mudzakkar: Mengenal Pribadi, Sejarah, Dan Cita Perjuangannya [Unveiling the mystery of Abdul Kahar Mudzakkar: Understanding the person, the history, and the principle of his struggle]. Surabaya: Lutfansah, 2002.

Van Dijk, Cornelius. Rebellion under the Banner of Islam: The Darul Islam in Indonesia. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1981.

Van Klinken, Gerry. "The Battle for History after Suharto". In Beginning to Remember: the Past in Indonesian Present, edited by Mary S. Zurbuchen. Singapore; Seattle: NUS Press, 2005.

Vatikiotis, Michael R.J. Indonesian Politics under Suharto: The Rise and Fall of the New Order. London: Routledge, 1998.

Yusuf, Adunad, R. Jeni Kumaeni, Sukami Masro, Mimik Putranekantari, and Purwanto. Sejarah Pemberontakan DI/TII di Jawa Tengah dan Penumpasannya [History of the DI/TII rebellion in Central Java and its eradication]. Jakarta: Pusat Sejarah TNI, 2012.

Zurbuchen, Mary S. "Historical Memory in Contemporary Indonesia". In Beginning to Remember: the Past in Indonesian Present, edited by Mary S. Zurbuchen. Singapore; Seattle: NUS Press, 2005.


(1.) The work of both Solahudin and Temby is crucial to establishing the legacy of Kartosuwiryo in twenty-first-century politics, but because of these authors' focus on contemporary jihadism and limited concern with the period between the 1920s and the 1960s their writing falls outside the purview of this article.

(2.) See also, Kartosuwiryo 1 March 1943, 15 March 1943, 1 May 1943, 15 May 1943, 28 June 1943, 15 July 1943, 1 September 1943.

(3.) Some of the material presented in the remainder of this article has also appeared in Formichi (2012, pp. 171-201). This article, however, features additional sources, including new materials published since 2010 and those held in the John M. Echols Collection of Cornell University's Kroch Library. Although I cannot claim that I am herein covering all publications on Kartosuwiryo, I can state that all relevant publications held at Jakarta's Perpustakaan Nasional (PNRI), Leiden's KITLV and Leiden University libraries, and Cornell and its Interlibrary Loan network have been scrutinized for the purpose of this article.

(4.) "Keterangan ringkas tentang Perang Sabil S.M. Kartosuwiryo". Arsip Jogja Documenten 1946-48 no. 243, Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia (National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia; hereafter ANRI).

(5.) Newspaper runs for 1949 are hardly ever complete, but the trend is evident. For example, the Indonesian-language newspaper Warta Indonesia (based in Jakarta) only featured the DI three times in August 1949, each time to identify its anti-Dutch stand, its goal of an Islamic state, and the concerns of the Pasundan federal state of West Java, respectively. During the month of September, articles in Warta Indonesia (two pieces spanning three and four columns each) are still focused on understanding the nature and deeper political goals of the DI, but in parallel it also reported at least six short pieces of news directly quoting from Aneta/Antara, which solely pointed to the military clashes. This would become the predominant trend from November 1949 onwards.

(6.) See for example: "Letter from Prawoto Mangkusasmito, Pengurus Besar Masyumi, to Panglima Komando Jawa on 'Darul Islam'". 9 April 1949, Kabinet Perdana Menteri RI, Yogyakarta, 1949-50 (hereafter KabPerd) no. 150, ANRI; "Letter from Muhamad Saleh, Pengurus Besar Masyumi, to Panglima Komando Jawa on 'Darul Islam'". 7 May 1949, KabPerd no. 150, ANRI; "Letter from Panglima Komando Jawa, Lieutenant Colonel Sudirman". 9 May 1949, Arsip Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia, Darul Islam (Archives of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia, Darul Islam collection; hereafter AABRI DI) no. 4; "Letter from Major Ardiwinata, Commander of III D. West Priangan, to Darul Islam 'brothers' in Lamburawi". 26 September 1949, AABRI DI no. 3.

(7.) "Moh. Natsir tentang Daroel Islam" [Moh. Natsir on Darul Islam], Pewarta Surabaja, 7 September 1949; "Moh. Natsir: Er is een Darul Islam, doch er is ook een valse Darul Islam" [Moh. Natsir: There is a Darul Islam, but there is also a false Darul Islam], Indonesisch pers en radio overzicht, Java, 6 September 1949.

(8.) See for example "Soai TNI dan DI" [The TNI-DI issue]. Berita Indonesia, 29 November 1949; "DI menjerbu" [DI attacks]. Berita Indonesia, 17 November 1949.

(9.) "Ichtisar gerakan DI/Kartosuwiryo". Kementerian Dalam Negeri Yogyakarta, 24 July 1950, KabPerd no. 150, ANRI.

(10.) For an elaboration of Kartosuwiryo's relationship with communism, see Formichi (2012, pp. 18,61, 182). For information on perceived communist influences on the DI, see Formichi (2012, pp. 173-76).

(11.) Besides the many early mentions, we see the term still being in use in the early 1950s: "Sikap PSII terhadap penjelesaian soal Darul Islam". 4 May 1950, Kabinet Presiden Republik Indonesia Serikat, 1949-50 (hereafter RIS) no. 107, ANRI. "Kutipan pertanjaan-pertanjaan anggauta-anggauta badan pekerdja Komite Nasional Pusat kepada Pemerintah untuk didjawab pada harti-pertanjaan sidang ke-V tahun 1950; mengenai Kementerian Dalam Negeri, dari anggauta W. Wondoamiseno (PSII)". KabPerd no. 150, ANRI. "Soal DI: Suatu bagian dari masalah gerilla". Berita Masjumi, 16 May 1951.

(12.) Its first documented occurrence being in "Pendjelasan singkat mengenai 1. Program Kabinet RIK tentang keamanan, 2. Pidato Presiden RIK, menjambut peringatan Proklamasi 17 Agoestus 1945". Colonel S. Mughny TII, 1953, AABRI DI no. 10.

(13.) The order to begin the Gerakan Operasi Penumpasan [Operation "Annihilate"] against the DI-TII/ SMK--as it was commonly referred to--was issued in 1958 (with Peraturan Pemerintah no. 59), but the first few months of the operation were dedicated to studying the movement and elaborating an anti-guerrilla strategy (Dinas Sejarah TNI Bandung [1974] 1982, pp. 124-25); details on the pagar betis operation can be found in van Dijk (1981, pp. 124-25).

(14.) In the 1970s the Western-trained Deliar Noer characterized Kartosuwiryo as "inclined to mysticism" (Noer 1973, p. 148). It ought to be noted that this interpretation of Kartosuwiryo's piety was not limited to Indonesian authors, as it also became most prominent among foreign scholars researching the Darul Islam in that period. In a work of behaviouralist political science for which research was conducted in the late 1960s, Karl Jackson (1980) dismisses the active role of Kartosuwiryo as a religiously inspired political leader. In fact, he hardly mentions him at all, arguing instead that villagers in West Java decided on whether or not to join the Darul Islam according to patterns of traditional authority, following the decision of their village leaders. Islam was integral to the Darul Islam only as "it supplies groups that are heterogeneous in their religious beliefs with a panoply of symbols that can be used to legitimize the leadership and ignite political action" (Jackson [1971] 1980, p. 126). For a systematic criticism of Jackson's methodology and arguments, see McVey (1981). These matters were further addressed by Kees van Dijk, who in his 1981 dissertation argued that Kartosuwiryo was "a dedicated sufist" (van Dijk 1981, p. 8) and wrote that, as "Sufism is almost the direct opposite of modernism", Kartosuwiryo "definitely [did] not seem to fit into [Sarekat Islam's modernist] atmosphere" (van Dijk 1981, pp. 27-28). Van Dijk in fact interpreted the Darul Islam in a framework of class conflict, as a manifestation of socio-economic discontent on the part of the rural population and guerrilla leaders' frustration (van Dijk 1981, pp. 391-96).

(15.) This was exemplified by the merger of all Islamic parties into the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan in 1973 (PPP, United Development Party); for the repercussions of this merger on the Nahdlatul Ulama, see Bush (2009).

(16.) This was the mainstream Islamic party established in 1973 by Soeharto through the merger of all of the country's Islamic parties.

(17.) The object of this "vigilance" was intentionally left vague. Initially intended uniquely and explicitly to refer to the Pancasila ideology, the current layout of the museum seems more apt for vigilance against separatism.

(18.) The most notable distinction among the various factions was the one between those advocating a jihad fillah ("struggle in God", meaning education and da'wa) and those calling for jihad fisabilillah ("struggle on the path of God", referring to an armed struggle).

(19.) This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

(20.) Kartosuwiryo's Brosoer Sikap Hidjrah PSII (Pamphlet on PSII's Non-Cooperation Policy) is included in "De PSII Brochures 'Hidjrah'" [1937] AMK GMr no.lOlx, NA. See also, Formichi 2012, pp. 60-64.

(21.) This and all other quoted translations of Indonesian-language material are the author's.

(22.) I am most grateful to Marieke Bloembergen (KITLV) for ferrying the West Java volume from Leiden to Ithaca during a short visit to the United States.
COPYRIGHT 2015 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Formichi, Chiara
Publication:SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Mar 1, 2015
Previous Article:The Yangon court buildings: between thick and thin heritage.
Next Article:Third-party intervention in terminating oil palm plantation conflicts in Indonesia: a structural analysis.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters