Posted by: Muhammad Wildan | 5 June 2010


Muhammad Wildan

Sejak awal kemerdekaan sampai pada akhir masa Orde Lama, umat Islam Indonesia mengalami banyak tantangan. Sebagai umat beragama mayoritas di Indonesia, umat Islam merasa berhak bahwa Islam menjiwai kehidupan berbangsa dan bernegara. Untuk itulah banyak pemimpin umat Islam yang keberatan terhadap dihapusnya tujuh kata dalam Pancasila dalam Piagam Jakarta (yaitu, dengan kewajiban menjalankan Syariat Islam bagi pemeluk-pemeluknya) dan juga pemakaian Pancasila sebagai dasar negara. Mereka beranggapan bahwa tujuh kata dalam Pancasila itu harus tetap ada karena itu merupakan kompromi final ketika Pancasila itu dirumuskan. Ketika Pancasila sudah tidak lagi mengandung tujuh kata tersebut di atas, mereka juga beranggapan bahwa Pancasila tidak lagi sesuai sebagai dasar negara Republik Indonesia. Sebagian di antara mereka berjuang lewat politik dan sebagian lain memperjuangkan lewat jalur keras atau radikal. Dalam bidang politik, lewat organisasi politik Masyumi umat Islam terus memperjuangkan aspirasi mereka. Namun akhirnya mereka harus sadar bahwa kesadaran umat Islam secara umum tidak seperti yang mereka harapkan.

A. Introduction
Since the very beginning of its history, Islam has been a religion which always considered politics to be an inseparable part of religious matters. This has also been one of the characteristics of Indonesian Islam since its coming to the archipelago. Islam inspired Indonesian Muslims’ spirit of Jihad against the colonizers and supported their consciousness of the idea of nationalism. Apart from Muslims’ commitment to the development of the Indonesian state, a number of Islamic organizations appeared in the form of political parties. These organizations, with their own ways, tried to accomplish their goals by involving themselves in some political affairs. Nevertheless, they could not always achieve their desire to include some Islamic values on governmental level. Whatever they achieved during the Old Order political system, history records them as important thing to study and remember by whoever perceiving Indonesian politics.
The most significant affair during the Old Order period was the endeavour of Muslims to gain a place on the political level. Some Muslim groups objected to changes in Piagam Jakarta (the Jakarta Charter) and the basis and philosophy of the state, the Pancasila. The objection resulted in long dispute over the Jakarta Charter and the Pancasila. The endless dispute was ended by an order of the President to dissolve the Constituent Assembly and the Masyumi, the strongest organization to oppose the Constitution and the basis of the state. The endeavour of the Masyumi, however, did not stop at the dissolution of the organization. Rather, there were a number of youth Muslims organizations such as HMI, GPII, and PII inherited the spirit of the Masyumi and continued its struggle in the political life in Indonesia.

B. The Disappointment of Muslims
After Indonesia got its independence and resolved Pancasila as the dasar negara (the basis of the state), there were Muslim groups which were not satisfied with the omission of seven words in the first sila (principle) in the Pancasila. Initially, the Jakarta Charter mentioned Ketuhanan dengan kewajiban menjalankan Syariat Islam bagi pemeluk-pemeluknya (belief in God with the obligation to apply the Islamic Sharica for its Muslim adherents). Afterwards, the words “with obligation to apply the Islamic Sharica for its Muslim adherents” were taken out. The deletion was considered necessary to unite the nation of Indonesia which consists of adherents of various religions. Hatta regarded these changes important and necessary in order not to offend Christians in Indonesia and to maintain the unity of the nation. There were fears that, if the changes were not made, this issue would result in the disintegration of the newly established Indonesia, especially in the eastern parts. In order to avoid this, sacrifices had to be made by the Islamic and nationalist factions through modus vivendi or ‘gentlemen’s agreement’.
The idea of some Muslim leaders’ to maintain the seven words in the Jakarta Charter was not to establish an Islamic State. On the contrary, their desire to employ Islam as the basis of the state was to have the freedom to live according to Islamic teachings. In addition, for them, Islam was not only merely a religion, but it is a way of life. Ramage asserts that in order to understand some Islamic perceptions of betrayal over the deletion in the Jakarta Charter, “the importance of Islamic contributions to the Indonesian independence struggle should not be overlooked.” In general, Muslims accepted the Pancasila as long as it did not question Islamic values. Some Muslim leaders asserted that Islam did not only contain the principles of the Pancasila, but it encompassed even broader and more complete aspects of life. In a celebration of Nuzulul Qur’ân in May 1954, Natsir asserted that the Pancasila did not contradict the Qur’ân. Further he said that the Pancasila was formulated by Indonesian leaders including some Muslims. He also had ever said earlier in 1952 when he gave a speech in Karachi stating that the Pancasila was in line with Islam.
Ward concluded, however, that some Muslim leaders at that time would have preferred to establish an Islamic State. He asserted that there were two principal arguments presented since 1945 to justify the conversion of the Pancasila-based Indonesia to one founded on Islam. The first reason stressed the fact that Islam was the religion of the majority of Indonesians. Natsir reasoned that the constitution of Indonesia should be deeply rooted in the heart, the feeling, the beliefs, and the philosophy of the people, i.e., Islam. The second argument for an Islamic State was based on the conviction of Islam’s supremacy as the foundation for a democratic state. He asserted “Islam provided for a system of democracy and a rule of law in national life, freedom of the judiciary and the sovereignty of law in the courts. Islam has regulations on all problems concerning with art and science, even on the status of non-Muslims.” The present writer tends to say that there were Muslim leaders who wanted to establish an Islamic State, but most of them preferred to do so in a democratic way.
Regardless the dispute of whether some Muslim leaders would establish an Islamic State or merely keep the seven words in the Jakarta Charter, afterwards, Muslim groups accepted the changes in the Jakarta Charter. There were many reasons why Muslim groups approved of the changes. First, the changes were considered a solution to keep Indonesian unity, as the political situation at that time was precarious. Second, the Muslim groups were sure that they would obtain the majority in the representative bodies as suggested by Soekarno simply because the majority of the Indonesian people were Muslims. Finally, Soekarno’s statement, i.e., “later… in a better situation, we would formulate a more complete and perfect constitution” convinced Muslim groups that they would have a chance to include Islam in the constitution in an improved circumstance later.
To compensate Muslims’ disappointment about the Pancasila as the state principle, the government established a Ministry of Religion on 3 January 1946. The creation of the Ministry of Religion, in part, was because of the merit of Islam gained during the Japanese occupation. Originally, on 19 August 1945, the government rejected the effort to create such a ministry. It was due to the increase of Muslims’ dissatisfaction with the basis the state, the Pancasila, that the establishment of the Ministry of Religion succeeded. In 1953, R.M. Kafrawi, as a General Secretary of the Ministry of Religion, asserted:
… In this connection it has to be pointed out, firstly, that the establishment of a Ministry of Religion in Indonesia has resulted from a compromise between the secular state and the Christian theory on the separation of church and state, and the Muslim theory of the alliance of both. Secondly, the Ministry of Religion in no respect interferes with the activities of other ministries, as the competence of each ministry has been clearly delimited by law. Thus the ministry of Religion has emanated from an originally Indonesian formula which contains a compromise between two contradictory concepts: the Islamic and the secular systems.
Conclusively, in part, the Ministry of Religion can be considered as the result of a long-standing dispute between Muslim nationalists and ‘secular’ nationalists.
Turning to the political role of Islam, the writer would like to concentrate his attention on the Masyumi, the most active party to struggle for Islam as the state ideology. Initially, there were five organizations united in the Masyumi, i.e., the Muhammadiyah, the Nahdatul cUlamâ (NU), the Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia (PSII), the Perikatan Umat Islam (PUI) and the Persatuan Umat Islam (PUI). Throughout the years of struggle for freedom, the Masyumi sometimes co-operated with ‘secular’ parties in a coalition cabinet. Naturally, a certain amount of dualism could not be avoided. On the one hand, the Masyumi had to agree to general, multi-interpretable formulas such as those of the Pancasila, and the party wanted to fight for the realization of Islamic principles in state and society, on the other. The Masyumi leaders always declared that they wanted to do it in a democratic way, different from the Darul Islam, which rebelled the government. Nevertheless, there was a strife within the Masyumi. In 1952, the NU separated from the Masyumi and established its own political party. The differences between the Masyumi and the NU developed into conflict which dominated to a large extent the struggle within the Islamic community in Indonesia. The Masyumi tended to oppose the government, whereas the NU was inclined to co-operate. For eighteen years (1953-71), perhaps as a reward for its accommodating tendency in its dealings with the Soekarno regime, representatives from the NU had been becoming Ministers of Religious Affairs.
In the first general election in 1955, one of the most liberal general election in Indonesian political history, all Islamic parties obtained 42,2 per cent of the votes. The most outspoken organization to maintain the Jakarta Charter, the Masyumi, got 20.9 per cent. Actually, Muslim leaders expected to get more, given the fact that the majority of Indonesians are Muslims. This occurrence awakened the awareness of politician Muslims’ that Muslims in Indonesia had varied opinions in politics. Their being Muslims did not automatically lead them to vote for Islamic parties in their political endeavour. Conversely, there were Muslims who considered that a non-Islamic party could democratically struggle for their aspiration in politics rather than Islamic parties which were strictly based on Islamic teachings.
The dispute over the Jakarta Charter and the Pancasila, which dominated the preparation for independence in 1945, resurfaced in the 1950s. In fact, the controversy had begun several years prior to the establishment of the Constituent Assembly. On 27 January 1953, Soekarno stated in his speech in Amuntai, Kalimantan:
If we had established an Islam-based state, the regions in which the people did not embrace Islam such as Maluku, Bali, Flores, Timur, and Kai would detach themselves from Indonesia, and also West Irian, which had not yet been incorporated in the Indonesian unity, would not join the Republic.”
The speech shocked some Muslim leaders from various Islamic organizations such as the Masyumi, NU, PSII, Perti, Persis, and GPII. Consequently, they regretted President Soekarno’s statement and expressed their objections in various Islamic magazines. For them, Soekarno’s speech caused dispute to raise among Indonesian believers who had been living together in harmony. Moreover, they said that this statement tended to underestimate Islam as if Islam does not support peace and democracy. The most surprised were the Acehnese whom president Soekarno had promised to give full authority to govern themselves with Islamic Sharica. It was not surprising then that on 21 September 1953, M. Daud Beureueh opposed the government of Indonesia and proclaimed Aceh as an Islamic State and as a part of the Darul Islam, which was established by Kartosuwirjo.
As an extension of the above controversy, the dispute over the basis of the state arose in the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly, which was elected in 1955, was given the task of devising a new constitution for Indonesia. In this occurrence, the question of the dasar negara became to be the most decisive part of the debates. Some Muslim political parties and leaders in the Constituent Assembly sought to re-open the matter of the Jakarta Charter. The dispute between Muslim nationalists and ‘secular’ nationalists was intensified by the introduction of the ideological debate in the Constituent Assembly as to whether Indonesia should be an Islam-based state or a state based upon the Pancasila. However, Muslim groups in the Constituent Assembly did not have the precise and same opinion about it. Noer asserts that the NU, PSII and Perti were not as strict as the others. Prior to the Constituent Assembly, they had already included the Pancasila in their statutes. Nevertheless, it was due to the endless dispute that Soekarno issued presidential decree on 5 July 1959 which dissolved the Constituent Assembly and secured the use of the 1945 constitution. The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly reflected the dictator in Soekarno and the end of Indonesia’s democracy. Legge asserts, “He [Soekarno] had recovered his central position in the nation’s affairs.” Certainly, this event disappointed various Muslim political leaders. Ward asserts that it “…symbolized the last stand of Islam as an organized political force in independence Indonesia against the triumphant forces of nationalist secularism.”
The authoritarian attitude of Soekarno worsened the position of Muslims in politics. In January 1960, Soekarno introduced a resolution on party life which gave him authority to ban and dissolve parties whose principles conflicted with those of the state. A party violating the conditions of the Presidential Decision No. 7 would have to be dissolved by the party leadership within thirty days of issuance of a dissolution decree. On 17 August 1960, Soekarno banned the Masyumi and PSI of which some of their members were supposed to be involved in the anti-government PRRI (Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia) and Permesta (Perjuangan Semesta) revolts of 1958-9 and its persistent opposition to President Soekarno’s concept of Demokrasi Terpimpin (the Guided Democracy). However, the government thought that it was not enough to de-politicise Islam by banning the Masyumi, but it also jailed some the Masyumi leaders without any court trial. Among them were Prawoto Mangkusasmito, M. Yunan Nasution, Mohammad Roem, Hamka, E.Z. Muttaqin, etc. The Masyumi leaders wanted to bring the case to court on September 1960, but the State Court of Jakarta refused it and reasoned that the State Court had not the authority to trial the case. Later, in the New Order, Soeharto rejected the Masyumi when it officially wanted to rehabilitate the party. In an attempt to ideologically balance the contending forces of Islam, nationalism, and communism, Soekarno advocated not just the Pancasila, but also a concept known as the Nasakom which referred to a concept unity of nationalism, religion, and communism.

C. The Emergence of Muslim Youth Organization
Since Soekarno dissolved the Masyumi and PSI, they were effectively removed from politics. The remaining Islamic parties no longer rested in the centre of the Indonesian political spectrum, but rather constituted opposition parties and thus were forced to play vigilant roles in a nation that seemed to have dangled to the left. The Muslim parties persisting in the introduction of the Guided Democracy were the NU, PSII and Perti. They strived for Islamic affairs calmly in order not to offend the government and to get more opportunities in politics although the Masyumi considered that they contravened Islamic teachings. However, these parties were successful in advising the government to give provide teachings in higher educational institutions. In 1960, due to their efforts, the government established Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN, the State Institute for Islamic Studies). Yet, the position of Islam in politics was not improving but remained increasingly precarious.
The former activists of the Masyumi, however, did not unite in the existing political parties, but separated through a variety of organizations and held social networks informally. In fact, the principal role played by Islam was increasingly dominated by youth and student movements, i.e., the GPII, PII, HMI, and GP Ansor, which were involved in the systematic massacre of communist and their alleged sympathizers throughout most of Central and East Java in the aftermath of the 1965 coup. The GPII, which was founded Jakarta on 2 October 1945, was one of the most famous youth organizations involved in political and military movements. In 1963, the GPII was banned because of its opposition to Manipol USDEK and its suspected involvement in the 1957 attempt on Soekarno’s life in Cikini, Jakarta. Some of its activists involved in the murderous attempt were sentenced to death. However, some other Muslim youth organizations such as the PII and HMI survived and carried on supporting the Masyumi.
The PII and HMI gained their first major political experiences in the hard years of Guided Democracy when they were subjected to attacks by the PKI. Consequently, these organizations were close to the principle attitude of the Masyumi leaders. The PII, for example, has become well known for its outspoken defence of Muslim interests and its idealist posture on the Masyumi’s rehabilitation. The former chairman of the Masyumi Prawoto Mangkusasmito stated that the involvement of the GPII, PII and HMI in the Masyumi affairs was due to the spiritual ties linking those organizations. That is the reason why they still had good relationships although the Masyumi did not exist anymore. Another reason for the closeness of the GPII, PII, and HMI was that they were the great supporters of the Masyumi. Some of the Masyumi activists’ involvement in the GPII, PII and HMI training was another indication that they were linked each other. Their relationship was as close as those between a “father” and a “son” or a “teacher” and a “student”.

D. Conclusion
The above political reality convinces Muslims that Islam could not be separated from politics. On the other words, politics has been become Muslims’ breath. Their commitment to politics could not be detached from their commitment to Islam. Their different interpretation of Islam, however, has distinguished their interest in politics. Many different Islamic parties in the political constellation in Indonesia from the liberal party to the most conservative one would convince Muslims that they could not be as “one”. As a Muslim, the writer just could hope by this article that nowadays Muslims could comprehend the endeavour of the former Islamic political parties to achieve their objectives without disregarding Islamic values. The writer believes that the more political parties in this political euphoria would not improve Muslims’ achievement in the nation-state level. Indonesian Muslims are in need of a religious renewal and new political interpretation (ijtihad politik) to achieve their purposes in this new millenium. Wallahu ‘alamu bissawab

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