Radical Islamism is becoming a challenging new phenomenon in the modern world. In the Indonesian context, Solo is interesting because some radical Islamic groups have emerged in the region—Pondok Ngruki, Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (FPIS), and others. One basic assumption is that Solo is prolific for radical Islamic groups. This paper will explore and map the nature of Islam, especially radical, in Solo. Obviously, political conduciveness at the national level is not the only factor supporting the peculiarity of the city. Some historical and sociological accounts of the city are also necessary to study to thoroughly understand this phenomenon. The heavily abangan (nominal Muslims) majority of the city has been deprived by ethnic, economic and political factors. On the other hand, the intense dakwah (proselytizing) conducted by some Islamic groups has given rise to ‘instant’ Muslims who see Islam as the ultimate solution to their problems. The call of jihād, sharī‘ah, and contentious politics are among the ways some radical Islamists’ endeavour for the victory of Islam.
Solo is a unique city. Although previously known as the centre of the great Islamic modern Mataram kingdom, Solo is also well known as the heartland of Javanese culture, culture into which Islam has been mixed. In addition, the people of Solo are famous for their distinctive behaviour, graciousness, and refined-manners besides their gorgeous batiks. These characteristics can also be seen in their language, Javanese, which is the most highly evolved Javanese in Java. On the other hand, since the late 20th and early 21st century, Solo has become a place where various radical Islamism have flourished. Since the middle of the New Order period, Pondok Pesantren Al-Mukmin Ngruki was radical in the sense that some of its leaders opposed the government and even wanted to establish an Islamic state. The case of Usrah in the 1980s forced Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir to flee to Malaysia. The involvement of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir in the establishment of Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) in 2000 signified the phenomenon of the re-emergence of Darul Islam’s (DI/NII) power in Indonesia in general and in Yogyakarta and Solo in particular. Most recently, Pondok Ngruki resurfaced from its alleged connections to some radical Islamic violence such as the Bali bombings. It was the International Crisis Group (ICG) which first introduced the term “the Ngruki Network” as the “group” most responsible to various radical violence since the beginning of the 21st century. In its further development, the network has become well known as Jama’ah Islamiyah (JI), one of the factions of the Darul Islam of S.M. Kartosuwiryo which allegedly acts as the link to Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia.
Solo gained renown for the “sweeping” of hotels and bars by vigilante groups targeting Americans and other Western aliens. Although the Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (FPIS) is the most active vigilante group conducting such activities, it is not the only vigilante group in Solo. The decline of the Suharto regime in 1998 was marked by the emergence of vigilante groups who tried to participate in social and political issues either locally or nationally. All of the above leads me to believe that Solo is rife with radical Islamic groups.
Despite the proliferation of radical Islamism groups in the city, there have been no significant efforts to insert shari‘ah-based regulations into local regulations (peraturan daerah shari‘ah). Although some Islamism groups are concerned with shari‘ah, their demand for shari‘ah-based regulations has not been largely supported by the Solonese. In other words, only small parts of the society support the existence of radical Islamism groups in the city. As far as Solo is concerned, the reason for this is simple: Solo and its surrounding regions are overwhelmingly abangan in character. Santri, or pious Islam, is is a definite minority ideal in the region; radical Islam is even further removed from public acceptance. Thus, the minimal support radical Islamism receives at the grass-root level makes it impossible to get shari‘ah legislation accepted in the city. The minority position of devout Muslims may explain why they tend towards radical activities. Their recent ‘conversion’ to santri Islam is another reason why they are disposed towards radical Islamism. To understand the full implications of the Solonese and Islam in the city, I have to start at the beginning.
Social and historical background of Solo
For a full discussion of Islam in Solo, I have to start at the beginning of its development in the city. The roles of some kings were significant to the later development of Islam in Solo. The existence of Pondok Jamsaren and the Madrasah Mamba’ al-‘Ulūm during the colonial period was due to the above kings’ interest in developing Islam in the region. In addition, several villages that played a significant role in the early development of Islam in the city deserve mention, such as Kauman, Pasar Kliwon, and Laweyan. Along with discussing these villages, I would add the existence of other ethnic groups, i.e., Arabs and Chinese. All of the above would explain the early development of Islam in Solo as well as the phenomenon of the abangan majority in the region. Finally, I will briefly sketch the phenomenon of the communist party in Solo after the coup on 1 October 1965.
Well known today as a cultural city (kota budaya), Solo is 261 years old. The history of Solo can be traced back to the history of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom in Kartasura, which was established in 1680 by Susuhunan Amangkurat II (1677-1703). Due to a rebellion which destroyed the kingdom, the Mataram kingdom finally moved to the eastern part known as Sala (Solo) in 1746. After being divided into two parts, Kasunanan in Surakarta and Kasultanan in Yogyakarta, under the treaty of Giyanti, the Kasunanan kingdom was also divided into two parts: Kasunanan and Mangkunegaran in 1757 under the Salatiga treaty. Initially, Solo was just a small village at the edge of the Bengawan Solo river in the territory of the Kartasura Kingdom. Bengawan Solo, the longest river in Java, played a significant role in supporting the life of the Solonese and in connecting Solo with other districts in Central and East Java as well as to the ocean. The geographical position of Solo in the middle of four other districts—Yogyakarta (West), Semarang (North), Madiun (East) and Wonogiri (South)—gave a significant push to the later socio-economical development of Kasunanan Surakarta. In the 1800s, to control both kingdoms in Surakarta, the Dutch government established an upper level governmental institution, namely the residency of Surakarta, which was hosted by a European resident. Since then, the territory of Surakarta is well known as the Residency of Surakarta. The ex-residency of Surakarta is as wide as 6,217 km2 square. At the end of revolutionary era, the Indonesian government took over the authority of both kingdoms to rule Surakarta and united it as part of the province of Central Java. Nowadays, however, the division of both kingdoms is not entirely significant since the modern Solo municipality unites them.
Since the mid 18th century, Islam has been a significant phenomenon in the Surakarta kingdom. Historical accounts trace that Islam in Solo had become well developed by the reign of Susuhunan Pakubuwono II (1726-1749). Although he came to the throne at the age of 16, under the big guidance of his grandmother Ratu Pakubuwono, he was concerned with religious issues. Another obvious phenomenon was the interaction of Pakubuwono II with Kyai Kasan Besari, the leader of the pesantren Gebangtinatar at Tegalsari Ponorogo East Java, on his flight due to the rebellion. Since then some royal families of Kasunanan Surakarta sent their sons to pesantren Tegalsari, Ponorogo. Several other royal families also studied Islam from Kyai Hanggamaya at the pesantren in Kedu Bagelen. Therefore, some prominent Javanese royal poets graduated from these pesantrens—Bagus Banjar (Yasadipura I, 1729-1803), Bagus Wasista (Yasadipura II, 1760-1845), and also Bagus Burham (Raden Ngabehi Ranggawarsita, 1802-1873). Raden Ngabehi Ranggawarsita, however, is more famous as a forecaster than a royal poet since his predictions on Serat Kalatidha have come to pass in the current era. The Islamic contents some of the above works has proven that the development of Islam in Solo in particular could not be separated from the authority of the Kasunanan kingdom; Islam in Solo was mostly developed by the kingdom and was mostly mixed with Javanese values—syncretism. This is among the reasons why the abangan Muslim majority in Surakarta exists in the modern era. For this reason, Ricklefs asserts that the strength of Javanism (Kejawen, Jw) is not a hindrance for Javanese to be radical or fundamentalist Muslims.
The development of Islam in Solo was continued by Susuhunan Pakubuwana IV (1788-1820). Initially, he invited ‘ulamas from many different places to stay and develop Islam in the city. One of the most famous and fruitful ‘ulamas was Kyai Jamsari from the Banyumas region. He lived and built a mosque on the southwestern side of Surakarta kingdom which later became known as Jamsaren village and also Pondok Jamsaren. Kyai Jamsari not only taught Islam to the people surrounding the village but also taught Islam to the aristocrats and bureaucrats of the kingdom. The pesantren, however, was destroyed by the Dutch colonial troops when the santris were involved in the Diponegoro war in 1825-1830. In 1878, Kyai Muhammad Idris from Klaten rebuilt and revived the pesantren which finally reached its peak at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. This development was marked by hundreds of students coming from many parts of Java and its outer islands. Although the pesantren was established by the kingdom, it was not fully under the control of the kingdom. The involvement of its santris during the Diponegoro war reflected the resistance of the pesantren to the kingdom as well as the Dutch East Indies government.
The success of Pondok Jamsaren inspired R. Hadipati Sosrodiningrat and Penghulu Tafsir Anom to establish a formal educational institution in order to get more ‘ulamas to be penghulu. In 1905, therefore, with the support of Susuhunan Pakubuwana X they established a modern Islamic school called Madrasah Mamba’ al-‘Ulūm (the source of knowledge) and assigned Kyai Muhammad Idris as its leader. Unlike other indigenous educational institutions in the form of traditional pesantren, the madrasah was the first indigenous educational institution to employ a modern system of education. At that time, the madrasah had 11 levels of classes, 1-4 for elementary, 4-8 for secondary, and 9-11 for the high level. In its later development the last level was developed to be a higher education of Mamba’ al-Ulūm. Although the madrasah was initially for royal and aristocratic families, after the decline of the Kasunanan kingdom by the declining Dutch East Indies government, the madrasah was opened for the common people.
To discuss the development of Islam in Solo, it is worthwhile to describe some pious Muslim majority villages such as Kauman, Pasar Kliwon and Laweyan. We can categorize these villages as enclaves within the society. In describing these villages, I would also describe some of the mainstreams in these regions such as Muhammadiyah, Al-Irshād, and Nahdlah al- ‘Ulama (NU). These communities or enclaves were deliberately made by the Dutch government and the Kasunanan kingdom to help them control the communities. The division of the communities into enclaves was also intentionally designed to accommodate the roles they’d have to play—Kauman for the religious employees of the kingdom (priyayis), Pasar Kliwon for Arabs, Laweyan for Javanese-Muslim businessmen (santris), Jebres for Chinese businesspeople, and the rest of the regions for Javanese abangan. The arrangement of such enclaves was also to mark their social status since all the above enclaves were high on the social ladder compared to the common people.
Kauman is an exclusive community for the religious employees of the kingdom. These people lived on the north side of Kasunanan Surakarta adjacent to Masjid Agung (the great mosque). According to Geertz’s social categories, they could be regarded as priyayi (higher level) while still being devout Muslims. This is one of the reasons why Muhammadiyah was accepted in this community since the people here were educated and from upper class society. The closeness of the Kauman community to the kingdom helped them take part in business. As a middle class community, some were engaged in batik trading as well as printing books on Islam as a way to spread their views on moderate Islam. Their relationship to the community was not based only on business but also on religious matters. The development of Muhammadiyah, however, was unable to reach the broader community since the earlier and Solo origin organization, Sarekat Islam, had been widely accepted in society. The reform actions of Muhammadiyah toward traditional communities collided with strong traditional values which were maintained by the kingdom and Sarekat Islam (SI). In some cases, however, Muhammadiyah cooperated with Sarekat Islam (SI) to confront the Christianization agendas of some Dutch missionaries. When K.H. Misbach joined SI, he confronted the modern views of Muhammadiyah and even accused it of being capitalist since most Muhammadiyahs were engaged in prosperous businesses. On the latter development, Muhammadiyah cooperated with Budi Utomo (BU) to confront the brand of communism eagerly taught by KH. Misbach. In the modern era, however, Kauman of Solo is no longer viewed as the foundation of Muhammadiyah, nor are the other regions in Solo. This is due to the decrease of the kingdom’s authority in society
Initially, Laweyan village was—just as other villages in Solo—comprised of abangan Javanese Muslim majority. Because of the influence of Tegalsari, a nearby village, Islam was able to revive in the village (Sudarmono 1987). History records that in 1928 the mosque of Tegalsari was the first established by the Muslim community in Solo, compared to other mosques which were established and run by the kingdom. It was Kyai Safawi who ran the mosque of Tegalsari and turned it into the centre of Islamic studies. In this account, Kuntowijoyo asserts that in the early 19th century, the religiosity of the Laweyan people was not as good as in Kauman (Kuntowijoyo 2004). In fact, the village of Tegalsari was not only the centre of Islam but also batik. The success of the Tegalsari people in manufacturing batik had influenced the Laweyan people in batik making as well as Islam. In its later development, Laweyan became more famous for its batik. The triumph of the Laweyan people in batik played a significant role in elevating the social and economic status of the community. This gave rise to middle class santri. It was from this class that the most famous radical organization at the time, Sarekat Islam, emerged. Although initially the SI was followed only by middle class santri, in its latter development it was followed by the abangan masses. These days, Laweyan is no longer the basis of Muslim business, although the remains of the old houses clearly signal their former wealth. The village of Tegalsari, however, is still famous as one of the centres of Islam in Solo.
Like Laweyan, initially Pasar Kliwon was only a village for the enclave of Arabs on the Eastern side of the Kasunanan kingdom. Although there were many Arabs living in other sub-districts of Solo, Pasar Kliwon has been the major Arab community in the region. Business has been the province of Arabs since their coming to the archipelago. In the Solo context, the privilege accorded Arabs from the royal kingdom gave them many chances in business especially batik trading, clothing manufacture, and Islamic book making. The success of Arabs in business was supported by the fact that this community had good networks across the country. It was Achmad Soorkati of the Sudan who came to Solo in the end of 1920s to establish Al-Irshād, after quitting from Jami’ah al-Khair due its exclusive organization for habā’ib, the descendants of the prophet Muhammad. Similar to Muhammadiyah and NU, however, al-Irshād could not become a dominant organization for Arabs, let alone Javanese Solo. Nevertheless, Al-Irshād played a central role in facilitating an ulamas congress in 1927 due to the tension between Muhammadiyah and NU in Solo. One significant phenomenon of the Arab descendants in this region is that they did not greatly impact Islam for Javanese abangan except to the limited families in which they were married. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the villages in the sub-district of Pasar Kliwon were and are among the heavily abangan communities in Solo. In the end, given the above social and historical accounts, abangan comprise a majority in Solonese. Not only were there abangan in all suburban areas, but also in urban areas of Solo. However, it is necessary to assert here that among the existing sub-districts, Pasar Kliwon, Banjarsari, and Jebres are among the most heavily abangan majority in the region.
To add another social phenomenon, however, we should explore the existence of ethnic Chinese in this city. The existence of Chinese in Indonesia and in Solo in particular is not a new phenomenon. According to Cribb, it was not until the 19th century that the Chinese became a “problem” for Indonesians when the Dutch government introduced and maintained a system of racial classification: Westerners, other Eastern foreigners, and native people (inlanders). Chinese descendants, although initially classified as inlanders, were separated from them and thus later separated from the category of “Indonesians”. Regardless of discrimination against this ethnic group, the Dutch government and local kingdoms offered them privileges during the colonial period, in larger part because of their talent in business. To this day, the Chinese are more successful in term of business not only in Solo, but in Indonesia as a whole. Undeniably, as in other parts of Indonesia, the Chinese play a significant role in major and key business in Solo. Although the majority of Arabs in Solo are from trader descendants, the victory of the Chinese in business could not be surpassed. Since the early development of middle-class Javanese, most Javanese traders took benefit of Chinese or Arab businesses. Ever since the early period of Dutch East Indies government , the victory of Chinese in business has elevated them to a higher social status compared to Arabs, let alone the Javanese.
The phenomenon of the abangan majority in Solo can also be proven by the mass followers of communism during the Old Order era. Several months before the communist Revolt in Madiun in 1948, Solo was one of the centres of the Front Demokrasi Rakyat (FDR), the power of Amir Syarifuddin’s socialist party to oppose the presidential cabinet of Mohammad Hatta. About 17,000 followers of Syarifuddin were on strike during the revolution of Indonesia. The coup of the communist party on 1 October 1965 spread rapidly to Central Java. On the same day, a Dewan Revolusi (Revolutionary Council) was formed in Central Java. A number of government officials in Central Java had been involved in the communist party activities including the mayor of Surakarta, Utomo Ramelan, the bupatis of Boyolali, Sragen, Wonogiri, and Karanganyar. In fact, the above districts including Klaten, were the regions most heavily influenced by communism. The special force of Resimen Para Komando Angkatan Darat (Army Para-Commando Regiment, RPKAD), led by Sarwo Edi, finally seized and secured the city. On November 1965, about 3,000 communist followers in Surakarta surrendered, and, reportedly, D.N. Aidit was captured and shot dead in the region. The followers of the communist party in Surakarta, at large at the time, signed that their being abangan helped remove any ideology to influence them.
Dakwah in Solo during the New Order
The New Order period was highly conducive to the emergence of radical Islamism. The pressure of the government on Muslims during the first phase of this era provoked the rise of resistance movements among Muslims. Some local social conditions also accelerated the emergence of local radical Islamism groups. The Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (Indonesian Council for Islamic Propagation, DDII) was established as a substitution for the abandoned Islamic party, the Majelis Syuro Muslimin Indonesia (Masyumi). Some years later, Pondok Ngruki was co-founded by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir in Solo. The harsh attitude of the government towards Muslims was answered by Sungkar and Ba’asyir’s involvement in the Negara Islam Indonesia (NII) of S.M. Kartosuwiryo. In the years to follow, several incidents occurred related with Pondok Ngruki such as the detention of Sungkar and Ba’asyir, the case of Komando Jihad, the case of usrah, and finally their exile to Malaysia in 1985. Regardless of some radical activities in Solo, some other significant dakwah activities also deserve mention in the development of Islam in the region.
The efforts of some ex-Masyumi leaders in politics sparked the establishment of the DDII in 1967. The organization closed ties with Rābitah ‘Alam Islamī in order to support the government’s program to wipe out all latent enemy power, namely communism. Finally, the DDII became the representative of Rābitah in Indonesia. On shifting the ex-Masyumi dakwah paradigm, M. Natsir (1908-1993), the founder and leader of the DDII, asserted that “previously we carried out dakwah through politics but now we run politics through dakwah”. In its earliest stages, M. Natsir eagerly summoned his ex-Masyumi colleagues to establish branches of the DDII in many parts of Indonesia, including Solo, Central Java. During his speech in Solo in the late 1960s, he asked his ex-Masyumi counterparts to establish more pesantrens and Islamic hospitals to counter Christianization efforts which were quite significant in the region at the time. According to Ahmad Chusnan, ex-leader of the DDII branch of Solo, Pondok Ngruki, Yayasan Rumah Sakit Islam (Yarsi) hospital, and Kustati hospital were responses to Natsir’s suggestion. Along with its general efforts to help (for example) Islamic institutions have financial assistance from Middle Eastern donors, the DDII of Solo also helped Pondok Ngruki in different ways. As far as the DDII Solo is concerned, about 90 mosques were built across Central Java including 3 within Pondok Ngruki. After the death of Natsir in 1993, the DDII in Solo decreased significantly and is no longer an active organization.
Pondok Ngruki was established as an attempt of ‘ulamas to develop Islam in Solo. Initially, some ulamas in Solo conducted Islamic teaching (taklim) after praying dluhur at Masjid Agung. In 1969, they expanded their activity into more intensive Islamic teachings, i.e., in the form of madrasah diniyah (Islamic school) which was located in the Southern part of Kasunanan palace, Gading Kidul. Society’s need for such educational institutions encouraged the founders to develop their method of dakwah. In order to widely spread their scope of dakwah, they established in 1967 a broadcast radio station called Radio Dakwah Islam Surakarta (RADIS). This was later banned in 1975 following the strained relationships between Muslims and the government. To intensify the effectiveness of education and to generate better results, they developed the Islamic school into a boarding school in 1972. Several years later, the boarding school moved to the village of Ngruki. Finally, the boarding school joined the foundation of Yayasan Pendidikan Islam Al-Mukmin (Islamic Education Foundation of Al-Mukmin, YPIA) which was established earlier as its umbrella.
Although the Pondok Ngruki was founded by several people, Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir were becoming icons of the boarding school. Although in its development Pondok Ngruki was assisted by many teachers from many different educational backgrounds, Sungkar and Ba’asyir occupied key positions in shaping and colouring the boarding school. However, we should not neglect the roles played by Persis Bangil’s and such Middle Eastern graduates as Suwardi Effendi, Ahmad Chusnan, Muhammad Ilyas, M. Ya’kub Basya, and Jazri Mu‘alim who had helped Pondok Ngruki in term of links and financial support from the DDII and some Middle Eastern Islamic foundations. In its later development, most of the Pondok Ngruki ustadzs (religious teachers) were its own graduates, holding to the spirit of Sungkar and Ba’asyir. Therefore, it would be interesting to explore further these two figures.
Abdullah (Ahmad) Sungkar was born as a Yemeni-descent at Pasar Kliwon sub-district of Solo in 1937. Although he only attended formal religious schools until he was in junior high school (not boarding schools) he learned Islam fast. Further knowledge on Islam he acquired by studying Islam himself. Being active in Gerakan Pemuda Islam Indonesia (Indonesian Muslim Youth Movement, GPII), led him to also be active in its senior organization, the Masyumi, during the Old Order era (Salim 2001). From this, we can see that his involvement in Masyumi brought about his closeness to M. Natsir, even more so when Natsir established the DDII during the New Order period. Undeniably, therefore, the spirit of Masyumi greatly shaped his Islamic thoughts. His spirit of Islam guided him as a good and tough da‘i (Islamic preacher) in Solo and his concern with politics directed his opposition to the government of the New Order. The character of Sungkar was more obvious when he co-founded RADIS broadcasting and Pondok Ngruki.
Abu Bakar Ba’asyir was born as of Yemeni descent in Jombang East Java in 1938. He passed his youth in Jombang until the second grade of senior high school when he continued his study in Pondok Gontor. Finishing his study there, he continued in Al-Irshād University in Solo and the State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta where he was active in the Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (Muslim Student Association, HMI) in 1964. Severe socio-political conditions at that time forced Ba’asyir to discontinue his studies and vigorously involve himself in the Gerakan Pemuda Islam Indonesia (GPII) and Al-Irshād until the late 1960s. For further study in Islam he taught himself by employing the basis of Islamic knowledge he already had. His being active in the GPII and also Al-Irshād influenced his school of thought greatly. Through these organizations he met Abdullah Sungkar, which later shaped his attitude in politics. Compared to his counterpart Sungkar, initially Ba’asyir was less concerned in politics. However, due to his involvement in Sungkar activities he was tried in the courts, detained, and jailed together with his colleague.
Since then, both Sungkar and Ba’asyir continuously criticized and opposed government regulations towards Muslims. One of the most crucial issues they criticized was the Pancasila and Pedoman Penghayatan dan Pengamalan Pancasila (P-4). They were detained in the late 1978 for involvement in the NII by vowing an oath to H. Ismail Panoto (Hispran). Finally, on trial in 1982 after they were unlawfully detained for 3 years and 10 months, they were sentenced for the same time of the detention for distributing the book Jihad and Hijrah of Abdul Qadir Baraja, refusing Pancasila, and refusing to fly the Indonesian flag. Objecting to the light sentence, the prosecutors appealed the case to the Supreme Court (Ba’asyir 2006). In 1985, they were summoned by the district court to hear the verdict of the Supreme Court on their case. To avoid any unlawful detention, they fled to Malaysia followed by some of their devout disciples in the following years. In their view, it was not an escape from justice, but a kind of hijrah (emigration) to escape from the enemies of Islam, similar to the prophet Muhammad’s hijrah from Mecca to Medina. Although they fled to exile, they left behind them some big issues related the NII, i.e., the possible involvement in Komando Jihad, the case of Usrah, and the Islamic activism (haraki) within Pondok Ngruki.
In the late 1970s, the case of Komando Jihad (Komji) intensified in Sumatera and West Java as an effort of the ex-NII activists to survive. The raids to collect funds and weapons—led by Asep Warman—was known as the terror of Warman. Regardless of the involvement of the authorities, especially Badan Koordinasi Inteligen Negara (State Intelligence Coordinating Agency, BAKIN), in these actions, Komando Jihad also took place in Solo and Yogyakarta. The vice rector of the Universitas Negeri Sebelas Maret (UNS), Parmanto, M.A. was assassinated by Warman fighters on January 1979 since he was suspected of giving information to the police on the oath of Sungkar and Ba’asyir to H. Ismail Pranoto. In the same month, a student of Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Sunan Kalijga Yogyakarta, Hassan Bauw, was murdered by Warman’s fighters because he was suspected of giving information to the police on the escape of the assassins of Purwanto. Another action of Komando Jihad was raiding the salaries of lecturers and employees of IAIN Yogyakarta. Since then Warman disappeared for a long time and was finally shot dead in Bandung on July 1981.
Although the case of usrah was not as significant as Komando Jihad, its existence was significant especially in the regions of Central Java, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta. Initially, usrah was a kind of tarbiyah (intensive Islamic education) method used by university students adopted from the Ikhwān al-Muslimīn (Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt to educate its members. Developed well at Salman mosque of Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) by Imaduddin Abdurahim, usrah later spread widely in some big universities in Java such as at the Universitas Indonesia (UI) in Jakarta and the Universitas Gadjahmada (UGM) in Yogyakarta. Almost at the same time, Sungkar adopted this cell system to broaden his networks. For the sake of this new tarbiyah method, Ba’asyir composed an usrah manual (Santosa 1996). The usrah system of Sungkar developed rapidly in Central Java, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta due largely to the networks of the NII branch of Abdullah Sungkar. This mechanism was very effective in creating new members in society, especially the youth. Among the networks of the usrah were the activists of Sudirman mosque in Yogyakarta which published the tabloid al-Risālah. This tabloid was circulated in many regions in the networks of usrah. Nevertheless, only about two years after its establishment, in 1985, the usrah’s activities were recognized by the government which caused the arrest and imprisonment of about 29 of its activists, including Irfan Suryahardi and Shobarin Syakur. Irfan, the editor of al-Risālah was sentenced to 13 years in jail, a very heavy sentence even during the Suharto regime. The above confrontation with the government led some usrah members to exile and establish a Muslim community in Lampung which finally turned into an incident with authorities known as the case of bloody Lampung in 1989.
After the departure of Sungkar and Ba’asyir for Malaysia, the network of the NII within Pondok Ngruki was running well. Although some of their devout disciples were with them in Malaysia, other top leaders were still at Pondok Ngruki. The changing political attitude of the New Order in the late 1980s encouraged the underground Islamic activists at Pondok Ngruki to expand their networks. Unlike before, during this period they tried to acquire more followers by setting more limited circles of learning Islamic studies in the pesantren. The more they held limited circles, the more followers they received especially from the schools of Kulliyah al-Mu‘allimīn (KMI) and Kulliyah al-Mu‘allimāt (KMT), the male and female schools for those studying religious matters and non-secular matters. Although the ‘virus’ of haraki (clandestine Islamic movement) could reach to more secular schools, i.e., Madrasah Aliyah of Al-Mukmin (MAAM) and almost all its pre-graduates vowed a loyal oath to the haraki leaders, most of them did not really understand or care about it. The underground network within Pondok Ngruki increased rapidly in the early 1990s. Some graduates of these periods admitted that almost all pre-graduates should vow an oath to the leader of the clandestine group. It was obvious, therefore, that although Sungkar and Ba’asyir were not there, they still controlled the underground elements of the pesantren.
The progress of Islamic activism within the Pondok Ngruki was halted by an incident known as the case of 1995. For a long time, Pondok Ngruki, especially at the schools of the KMI and KMA, was a good breeding ground for members of Islamic activism. In 1995, the YPIA established a new unit of junior high school for high quality new students, namely Madrasah Mutawassithah (MMT). The decision was taken to generate high quality graduates since this school would have special dispensations from well qualified ustadzs. The idea was opposed by some senior ustadzs from KMI who considered MMT as a sign of excretion of the Pondok from its khiththah (guideline) since the MMT would adopt more secular courses rather than Islamic ones. Their argument was reasonable since it was stated in the khiththah that the purpose of the establishment of the pesantren is “to generate a Muslim generation who fully understands Islam so that they become ‘ulamā ‘amilīn fī sabīl Allah and ready to accept and apply Islam as kāffah (perfect)”. In their view, the establishment of MMT would only generate better graduates in secular studies. In fact, the foundation’s idea was a great breakthrough in providing better outcomes of Pondok Ngruki to address Indonesian Muslims’ challenges in the modern era especially following the good relationship between Muslims and the state. Nonetheless, the idea was fiercely opposed by some senior ‘ustadzs—Abdul Manaf, Abdurrahim, Djamaluddin. Finally, the foundation which considered this refusal as disloyal or undisciplined fired them.
Another analysis of this incident is not that simple; the case of the MMT was only a surface phenomenon overlying the real problems. Almost all the fired-‘ustadz were devout followers of Abdullah Sungkar, i.e., the top leaders of the clandestine Islamic activism in Pondok Ngruki. The fierce refusal of the MMT idea was because the new unit of school would significantly reduce the quality of the raw input students for the KMI and KMA, which later on would reduce the quality of the santris whom they would recruit into the Islamic haraki later. This situation was obviously not conducive for some ‘ustadzs to develop Islamic activism. Following the dismissal of the three senior ‘ustadzs there were about 50 junior ustadzs and 400 santris resigned, who, based on the ‘fatwa’ of their senior ustadzs, believed that Pondok Ngruki had lost its Islamic spirit. This enormous dismissal was a great unpredictable ‘thunder’ for the foundation and also the pesantren. Given this crisis, a couple senior ustadzs addressed their current problem to Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir in their exile in Malaysia to ask their suggestions. The three fired-‘ustadz followed by their devout followers finally established a new higher educational level boarding school at Gading, namely Ma‘had ‘Aly An-Nūr. Some other junior ‘ustadzs and santris joined another pesantren in outer Surakarta, Boyolali, i.e., the pesantren of Dār al-Shahadah.The new boarding schools proved quite similar to Pondok Ngruki in many respects, especially ideologically.
The case of 1995 in Pondok Ngruki was the result of some other problems faced by the Islamic clandestine organization. About two years before the escalating problem, Abdullah Sungkar, as the leader of the NII for the region of Central Java and Yogyakarta, ran into a problem with the top leader of the NII, Ajengan Masduki concerning his request to have an autonomous branch of the NII abroad, in Malaysia. His rejection of the request brought about his dismissal from the NII of Ajengan Masduki and the establishment of a new faction of the NII known later as Jama’ah Islamiyah (JI). The establishment of the new faction brought about enormous changes within the NII, especially in terms of its members. Another explanation from one of the previously devout followers of Sungkar stating that the separation of Sungkar from Masduki was due partly to the tendency of Masduki to tarekat (sufi order). The possibility of the shifting of Sungkar to salafy is the most reasonable explanation for this phenomenon. Since Sungkar and Ba’asyir were in touch with some ‘ulamas in Afghanistan, they got a lot of enlightenment especially the tendency toward salafy movement. Finally, many members of the clandestine organization had to choose to be under the leadership of Sungkar or Masduki.
Meanwhile, Sungkar and Ba’asyir used their being in Malaysia to broaden their network. During their 14 years in Malaysia, besides having been involved in many religious activities, they had the good fortune to build their network internationally. Although they were in exile, their network in Indonesia was working well, including their spiritual roles in Pondok Ngruki. Their relationship with Ajengan Masduki was also ongoing until their relationship was heightened in 1992, and Sungkar established his own NII faction in 1993. In Malaysia, besides preaching in some districts, he also co-founded an Islamic school called Madrasah Luqmān al-Hakīm in the sub-distric of Kuala Pilah, Johor Malaysia. Through the Luqmān al-Hakīm Sungkar and his disciples taught Islam as they did in Pondok Ngruki. Therefore, Luqmān al-Hakīm graduates were very similar to graduates of Pondok Ngruki in terms of their militancy and their opposition to the government. It is not surprising that later the authorities in Malaysia suspected the relationship between the networks of Sungkar and Kelompok Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM). The capture of Fathurrahman Al-Ghozi (carrying an abundance of explosives), a Ngruki graduate, in the Philippines in 2002 was further evidence of the international networks of Sungkar. In late 1999, when the political situation in Indonesia changed dramatically, Sungkar and Ba’asyir went home. Unfortunately, before having the chance to stay and organize Pondok Ngruki, Sungkar passed away in Bogor in November 1999 due to heart attack. His death left many questions concerning the existence of Jama’ah Islamiyah (JI), the suspected organizer of some violenct and devastating bombings in Indonesia.
Other Dakwah Activities in Solo
As abangan are still the majority in Solo, there are many efforts of dakwah conducted by Islamic organizations. Although it is hard to say that Muhammadiyah and Nahdatul ‘Ulama (NU) have failed to conduct dakwah in Solo, they are not quite successful—in the mainstream—in Solo. Some other ‘local’ made Islamic organizations such as Majelis Tafsir al-Qur’an (MTA) and jama’ah Gumuk seem to be widely accepted among the Solonese. But in the end, none of the above Islamic organizations is mainstream in this abangan majority region. The existence of the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) figure, Mudrick M. Sangidu, is significant especially when he coined a slogan of Mega-Bintang to unite the constituents of the PDI-P and the PPP.
Unlike some other regions in Indonesia where either Muhammadiyah or NU is in the mainstream, neither of the above organizations is mainstream in Solo. Although the former have exceeded the latter in terms of educational institutions, they have failed to re-Islamize and modernize the Solonese. Abangan is still the majority and there are some radical groups in the city. Therefore, it is difficult for some board members of both Muhammadiyah and NU in the region to answer clearly when asked where the main base of each of organization is. Kauman people, even as the most ‘modern’ Muslims, could hardly accept Muhammadiyah. As far as Muhammadiyah in Solo is concerned, there are only small number Muslim figures of the organization from Kauman. History records that Haji Misbach, a son of a wealthy businessman in Kauman, condemned Muhammadiyah and actively called for a socialist breed of Islam. In many respects, Laweyan in the modern era is more at the centre of Islam than Kauman. Amin Rais, the previous leader of Muhammadiyah and the People’s Consultative Council, MPR, is from the sub-district of Laweyan, although it is also hard to say that Laweyan is the major base of Muhammadiyah. It is not surprising, however, that Muhammadiyah and NU was not accepted well in Solo since the beginning of their emergence because Sarekat Islam (SI) had become the breath of the Solonese. In the following eras, therefore, there are only some local Islamic organizations which obtain a lot of support from society. In other words, the peculiarities of the Solonese are not fully understood by some ‘foreign’ Islamic organizations.
Majelis Tafsir Alqur’an (the Council of Qur’anic Exegesis, MTA) is the most successful Islamic organization in Solo in terms of its members. Abdullah Thufail Saputra’s (d. 1992) concern to purify the Islamic belief of Muslims in Surakarta drove him to be involved in some Islamic activities. Initially, together with other ulamas in Solo, he established a RADIS radio broadcast in the late 1960s. Several years later, in 1972, by the time Sungkar and Ba’asyir had established a boarding school in Ngruki, he established a forum for Islamic teachings later called Majelis Tafsir Alqur’an (MTA) in Pasar Kliwon sub-district. At the same time he worked with Abdullah Marzuki to develop a boarding school—Pondok Pesantren Modern Islam (PPMI) Assalaam. Finally he was inspired to develop his own activities.
At a glance, there are no significant differences between MTA and Muhammadiyah. Initially, Thufail actively participated in Muhammadiyah. However, due to his disappointment with Muhammadiyah, he established the MTA. Similar to Muhammadiyah, MTA’s purpose is to purify the Islamic belief of Muslims. Therefore, Thufail always invited Muslims to study, comprehend, and apply Al-Quran purely and consistently as done by the first generation of Muslims or companions. The ultimate aim is to dissuade Muslims from any mistaken practices of shari‘ah, either bid‘ah, khurafāt or takhayul. At this point, MTA and Muhammadiyah had the same purpose. However, Ahmad Sukino, the successor of Abdullah Thufail, asserted that Muhammadiyah is too weak to enforce Islamic teachings in its members, especially to avoid takhayul, bid‘ah and khurafāt. Furthermore, he added that there are no significant differences between MTA and Muhammadiyah except that MTA compels its members to practice Islam that has been learnt. The most interesting point of the difference between Muhammadiyah and MTA is that Muhammadiyah is a formal organization with a full-fledged bureaucracy while MTA is just a foundation with an immature concept. Therefore, there is no such regulation within the MTA to change its leader every certain period. Obviously, Ahmad Sukino would run the organization for the entirety of his life as did Abdullah Thufail.
Currently, MTA has emerged as a big Islamic organization not only locally in Surakarta, but wide spread and nationally. In 2007 MTA claimed that it has about 25 provincial braches, more than 128 district branches, and not less than 100,000 members all over Indonesia. One interesting phenomenon of this organization is that most of its members are Javanese from the periphery and rural areas, which consist of mostly less educated abangan. Therefore, although the MTA is situated in the centre of the Arab community in Pasar Kliwon sub-district, none of the Arabs has joined the organization. Obviously, the simple concept of Islam of the MTA does not attract much attention of educated people, let alone university students, although there are a few lecturers of several universities who have joined this organization.
Another influential Islamic organization in Solo is a Muslim community well known as jama’ah Gumuk. Founded by H. Mudzakir in 1976, this community is located at a mosque at the village of Gumuk, Mangkubumen, in the city of Solo. Initially, it offered only informal religious teachings for its surroundings. But over time Mudzakir’s activities have attracted more and more people to study Islam with him. Although the Islamic teachings of this group are not much different from those of modern Islamic organizations, it tends to be quite an exclusive organization. However, Chalid Hasan, one of the leaders of the community, asserts that his solid community has a broad network covering the Surakarta regions. The cell system of this community enables it to be widely spread not only in Solo but also in some other regions in the ex-residency of Surakarta.
The Gumuk mosque community is an exclusive group. The distinctiveness of the community is based on the fact that the Gumuk mosque is quite different from any other common mosques. The mosque building is more like a four-storey house than a mosque. In addition, the jama’ah refuses to name its community by any religious names as other Islamic organizations. It was not surprising, therefore, that once in the 1980s the Gumuk mosque community was suspected by other groups as being Shi’ite. In fact, there are many reasons for other groups to come to this assumption. First, the leader of the community, Mudzakir, once studied Islam at Yayasan Pendidikan Islam (YAPI) Bangil, considered as one of the Shi’ite branches in Indonesia. Second, Mudzakir once went to Iran to study Islam. However, based on their Islamic teachings and their daily activities, they should not be considered as Shi’ite. As far as I am concerned, the way this community prays is just like other Muslim groupsl. Unlike other radical groups, this community rejects the Qur’anic exegesis of Hasan Al-Banna which tends more toward a political interpretation rather than Islamic teachings. Instead, this community uses the Qur’anic exegesis of Ahmad Mustafa al-Maraghi and Imām Ibn Katsīr. In general, people could say that they are not moderates but salafy. Some of the characteristics of their salafy are that they grow their beards and believe that isbāl, wearing garments that hang below the ankles, is prohibited (haram), although the women of this group do not wear head-to-toe coverage, but only regular hijāb.
In fact, there are some other interesting things about this community. Similar to the MTA, jama’ah Gumuk is originally a local (Solo) Islamic organization. For this reason, it is easier for the Solonese to accept it. In terms of its followers, most of the members of the community are lower class Javanese from the periphery or suburbs Solo, i.e., abangan people. Another interesting thing is that during the New Order era, this community tended to concentrate on holding Islamic teachings (taklim) and was not interested in any social and political issues. Nevertheless, in the Reformation era, this community engaged in social and political issues and even had a vigilante force called Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (FPIS) and the Hawariyyūn (the disciples), although it does not attach to any Islamic political party.
Another interesting aspect of Islam in Solo during the Old Order era is the phenomenon of Mega-Bintang. Prior to the general election in 1997 many people strongly demanded that Suharto resign from his presidency even before the monetary crisis at the end of 1997. As was common during New Order elections the party of Golongan Karya (Funtional Group, Golkar) was a single majority party. Since the Old Order period, on the other hand, Solo was a mass base of Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (PDI) even after it became Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-P). The demand for Suharto’s resignation gave rise to alienated people, especially abangan in Solo, to mobilize. Mudrick M. Sangidoe, a leading Moslem figure and leader of the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) branch of Solo, saw this opportunity to defeat the unbeatable party, Golkar, and formed a kind of mass alliance between the Islamic opposition party, PPP, and PDI-P famously known as Mega-Bintang. It was an unprecedented phenomenon at the time, an alliance between an Islamic party and a secular nationalist party. The idea was embraced by both party bases as a mobilization against Suharto and Golkar not only in Solo but in other major cities in Indonesia. The elite leaders of both parties, however, did not see this great opportunity as their chance to defeat Golkar, and therefore, they refused formal coalition of both parties. Although both parties were defeated in the 1997 election, the phenomenon of Mega-Bintang can be regarded as a genuine grass-roots voice. Nevertheless, the struggle of Mega-Bintang to grasp abangan people continued in the form of Mega-Bintang Foundation in Solo. The foundation is not only concerned with low-level labour in Solo, but also building public facilities for some abangan communities at the periphery of Solo city.
The case of Mega-Bintang’s successful movement represented the social situation of the Solonese in general. In other words, I would say that the case of Mega-Bintang was not a balanced coalition between the mass of PPP and the PDI-P, since the PPP’s mass was not quite significant in Solo. The lower-class abangan people are a moveable group that could be manipulated by any other groups. During the movement era in the early 20th century, the lower-class abangan people had been attracted by the Sarekat Islam with the brilliant framing ideas of K.H. Misbach. In general, I would say that it was not Islamic ideas which attracted people to Sarekat Islam and Mega-Bintang, but the idea to encounter the hegemonic power which had been deprived them. In the future, these lower-class people could be drawn in other directions which would elevate them from their current social status. Although the process of re-Islamisation (santrinisasi) is running well conducted by such Islamic organizations as the MTA, Gumuk, and Muhammadiyah, the vast abangan is still the majority in Solo. On the other hand, the Islamization process would not automatically lead the people to be moderate Muslims. Eventually, it always depends on which organization successfully attracts and leads them in certain directions.
Radical Islamism in Solo in the Post-Suharto Era
The dramatic political changes in Indonesia were partially signalled by the emergence and re-emergence of radical Islamic groups. These groups emerged in many various forms, either formally as the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), clandestinely as the Jama’ah Islamiyah (JI), or in the form of vigilante forces (laskar) such as the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front, FPI). This new era is also marked by the increasing demand for sharī‘ah in many parts of Indonesia. Along with the demand for sharī‘ah, many vigilante forces have emerged throughout Indonesia. In the context of Solo, although the demand for sharī‘ah is not quite significant, some vigilante forces have emerged significantly during the early years of post-Soeharto era. The Pondok Ngruki phenomenon re-emerged after it was revealed that some bombers of the Bali blast in 2002 were from Ngruki networks. This sub-chapter will explore several vigilante forces in Solo; Pondok Ngruki networks will appear in a separate sub-chapter.
Unlike other cities in Indonesia, vigilante forces in Solo are significant in terms of their numbers and activities. There are at least seven vigilante forces originally in Solo, hatched from other branch-level vigilante forces. There are Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (the Islamic Youth Front of Surakarta, FPIS), Laskar Jundullah (the Soldier of Allah), Laskar Hizbullah Sunan Bonang, Hawariyyun (the Disciples), Brigade Hizbullah (the Party of Allah Brigade), Barisan Bismillah (the Path of Bismillah), and Al-Ishlāh (the Reform). Some branch-level vigilante forces are the Gerakan Pemuda Ka’bah (the Ka’bah Youth Movement, GPK) and Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender’s Front, FPI). One obvious phenomenon of these movements is that each of these forces represents the diverse Muslim community in Solo. In many cases, these organizations act together to respond to issues they are concerned with. However, since most of them emerged from political circumstances, only few are still active as vigilante forces. For this reason, I will only explore the FPIS as representative of the other vigilante forces in Solo.
The Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (FPIS) was established out of inter-religious conflict in Ambon in the early 1999, along with other vigilante forces in Indonesia such as Laskar Jihād. Although the organization was not as involved in the Ambon battlefield as Laskar Jihād, its existence in Solo and Indonesia in general is quite significant. As a local Islamic group, however, the FPIS is not only concerned with local issues in Solo but also nationa andl even international issues related to Muslims. Flocks of people taking to the streets to protest government policies or US policies in the Muslim world were among the activities of this organization. Warsito Adnan, the most prominent leader of the FPIS, acknowledges that the emergence of some radical Islamic groups in Indonesia, including Solo, is due mostly to the hegemony of US in some Muslim countries, especially the invasion of Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Although the FPIS initially was an inclusive organization intended as an umbrella of Islamic organizations, in its later development the organization is becoming an exclusive organization for a certain Muslim group, the jama’ah Gumuk. The ‘acquisition’ of the FPIS by the jama‘ah Gumuk is among the more interesting points of the FPIS.
Similar to other vigilante forces in Indonesia, the FPIS is concerned mostly with anti-ma‘siyah (anti-immorality) actions. Although the FPIS knows that Indonesia is not an Islamic state, it nevertheless demands to reinforce the existing regulations concerning moral issues. Therefore, the FPIS periodically sweeps such immoral places as brothels, gambling centres, cafes, and hotels which it regards as violating God’s law. During Ramadan (fasting month), the FPIS intensified its activities not only at the above places, but also at regular restaurants. To respect Muslims during fast time, the FPIS demands that restaurants be closed during the daylight or at least not expose their activities. As a formal organization, the FPIS also presses the authorities in Solo to impose existing regulations. The most interesting tactic is its “sweeping” of foreigners especially Americans living in hotels in Solo. This action was conducted as a concern and sympathy with some Middle Eastern Muslim counties, especially Iraq which was invaded by the US.
Although the jama’ah Gumuk has many members, it is not considered mainstream in Solo. As a seemingly salafy movement, however, it is different from other such movements in Indonesia. While salafis don’t generally regard the Indonesian government as part of their problems in Islamic dakwah as long as the president is Muslim, the jama’ah Gumuk tends to regard the Indonesian government not only as an illegitimate government, but as a wrong system of state. For them, to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Indonesian government is haram, even to be involved in the system to endeavour for Islam. Although the organization does not clearly order or command its members not to be involved in any political parties, it is obvious that its members would consider Islamic political parties as useless. In the same way, the jama’ah does not eagerly respond to the issue of implementing Islamic sharī‘ah launched by other Islamic organizations although, in many cases, the FPIS does not refuse to cooperate with any Islamic organizations. For the jama’ah Gumuk, the regional regulation of sharī‘ah which has been passed in some regions is not good for Islam ideologically, although politically it has some significance. Therefore, the jama’ah does not enthusiastically propose Peraturan Daerah (regional regulation, Perda) sharī‘ah for the local government of Solo. In many respects, this jama’ah does not agree with the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) as this organization is too vulgar to disseminate its ideas on sharī‘ah, although Mudzakir acknowledges the success of the MMI in bringing the notion of sharī‘ah into common discourse in society. As far as I am concerned, the Gumuk community has its own agenda in dealing with this central issue. However, the existence of the FPIS as their means to respond to government’ policies in many respects contradicts their own beliefs. In the same way, their demand for law enforcement is another sign that this group is different from general salafis.
Another significant radical organization in Solo was Kompak, Komite Aksi Penanggulangan Akibat Krisis (Action Committee for Crisis Response). Although it is still vague about when and where the first Kompak was established, the Kompak branch of Solo was established in the August 1998 by figures of the Dewan Dakwah Islam Indonesia (DDII) of Solo. Since historically the DDII of Solo has had a relationship with the former leader of Pondok Ngruki, Abdullah Sungkar, the Kompak was supported by some associates of Pondok Ngruki, especially Aris Munandar, a Ngruki graduate. Reportedly, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir served as advisor of the Kompak of DDII, besides some other prominent figures in Solo. The outbreak of religious conflict in Ambon, on the other hand, inspired some JI members to use the Kompak as their means to act in Ambon and also in Poso. Finally, the Kompak also has branches in Ambon and Makassar. In many cases, therefore, the Kompak and JI have intertwined, making it difficult to distinguish them. The Kompak, however, has also been involved in many social actions such as helping Muslims victims of flood or earthquake. Thus, the Kompak is now well known as a prominent agent in providing emergency help to victims. The cooperation of Kompak with MER-C (Medical Emergency Rescue-Centre), an Indonesian Muslim humanitarian organization, in helping Muslims in Afghanistan after the US bombing campaign in late 2001, was one of the reasons why some Muslim world organizations sent financial help to Kompak.
Finally, I will sketch dakwah activities on campuses in Solo. Similar to the other cities, dakwah activities on campuses in Solo underwent significant changes during the post-Suharto era. However, since there are only several relatively big universities in Solo, the phenomenon is not as pronounced as it is in Yogyakarta, Jakarta, or Bandung. The three significant universities in Solo are: Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS), Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS), and Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri (STAIN) Surakarta. Of all the Islamic youth organizations, Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Muslim Indonesia (KAMMI) is the most active student organization in Solo especially at UNS. Conversely, Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah (IMM) is the most prominent student organization at UMS, while Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia (PMII) is the most significant student organization at the STAIN. Nevertheless, KAMMI is the most substantial Islamic organization in Solo since it is the most easily accepted among university students compared to other Islamic organizations. In addition, KAMMI is not only active on campuses but also in the society. In the Solo context, KAMMI is among other Islamic youth organizations which eagerly take part in responding to or protesting government policies. It was also KAMMI which mobilized people in Solo to support the political reformation of Indonesia in 1998. In the UMS context, the development of Islamic youth organizations is supported by the existence of Ma’had Abu Bakar Ash-Shiddiq within the university. The Middle Eastern-funded university students’ boarding school for those who want to study Arabic and Islamic teachings besides their course of study at the university is supporting the piety of students. The significant existence of the KAMMI in Solo is in line with the growth of the supporters of the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Justice and Prosperous Party, PKS) which has grown well during the last five years. Meanwhile, other Islamic youth organizations on campuses—Hizb al-Tahrīr Indonesia (Indonesian Liberation Party, HTI), for example—are not significant in Solo.
The Ngruki network in the Post-Suharto period
After engaging itself with normal educational matters since the mid 1980s, Pondok Ngruki resurfaced at both the national and international level during the post-Suharto era. The return of Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Ba’asyir from Malaysia in late 1999, the establishment of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) in 2000, the involvement of some Ngruki graduates in the Bali bombings, and the revealed Jama’ah Islamiyah (JI) point out that Ngruki has a broad network rather than just a simple boarding school. The establishment of similar boarding schools by its graduates—Al-Islam in Lamongan, Al-Nūr in Sukoharjo, and Dār al-Shahadah in Boyolalj—is among the radical phenomenon of the Pondok Ngruki network. On the other hand, the return of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir to Pondok Ngruki has returned to light the uneasy relationship between him and the Yayasan Pendidikan Islam Al-Mukmin (YPIA) on the type of pesantren Ngruki would be. Although the case of JI has given such a stigma to Pondok Ngruki, the desire of many in society to send their children to Pondok Ngruki is still quite high, especially from the existing Ngruki networks. The inconclusive trial of Ba’asyir concerning his involvement in JI has made Pondok Ngruki more popular than ever.
Returning from Malaysia in 1999, Ba’asyir went back to his previous activities as teacher at Pondok Ngruki. Although it was easy for him to go back to the pesantren, as he is one of the co-founders, a ‘conflict’ with the foundation of YPIA was unavoidable. The absence of Ba’asyir for about 14 years made the pesantren ‘independent’ without benefit of the icon of fundamentalism it used to have during the first phase of the New Order period. Some board members of the YPIA acknowledged that it was not easy for the foundation to struggle against the hardliners within the pesantren and to survive without the icon of Sungkar and Ba’asyir. Therefore, the re-presence of Ba’asyir at the pesantren, to some extent, was a dilemma for the foundation. To limit the role of Ba’asyir within the pesantren, the foundation did not give him any strategic position within the boarding school. Rather, it gave him a non-structural position as spiritual leader (sesepuh), which lacked any real power within the pesantren. Therefore, when Ba’asyir was accused of having to do with the JI and the Bali blast, it was easier for the foundation to argue that there was no relationship between the Pondok Ngruki and JI networks.
The presence of Ba’asyir in Indonesia was a blessing for his previous networks of the Negara Islam Indonesia (NII), let alone the Usrah network. The establishment of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) can absolutely be attributed as the re-emergence of power of Komando Jihad and Usrah. In August 2000 Ba’asyir supported the effort of Irfan S. Awwas and Sobarin Syakur, his previous disciples on Usrah, to establish the MMI in which he was chosen as the amīr, the top leader, of the ahlu al-halli wa al-‘aqd (AHWA). Some prominent Indonesian Muslims such as Deliar Noer, A.M. Saefuddin, Abdurrahman Basalamah, Sahirul Alim, Fuad Amsyari, Mawardi Noer, Abdul Qadir Baraja, Bardan Kindarto also attended the congress in which they were chosen as members of the AHWA. Some previous members of Komando Jihad such as Abdul Qadir Baraja and Timsar Zubil also attended the congress. Unlike other NII split movements, the MMI tend to be a more formal and opened organization which could accommodate other Islamic organizations’ aspirations as long as they were in line with the MMI’s main mission to reinforce Islamic shari‘ah at the governmental level.
Some violent radicalism during the post-Suharto era was attributed to Ba’asyir. The existence of Kelompok Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) in Malaysia, the detention of some members of Al-Qaeda branch in Southeast Asia in Singapore, the publication of ICG on the Ngruki networks, the involvement of some Ngruki graduates in the Bali bombings, and the revealed JI’s responsibility for some devastating bombings convinced the authorities that Ba’asyir was the spiritual leader of the JI, the Al-Qaeda branch in Southeast Asia. After an exhaustive search, the authorities arrested him in October 2002 and began to bring him to trial. The accusation worsened when it was found that there were two Ngruki graduates involved in the Bali bombing in 2002, six in the J.W. Marriot bombing in 2003, five in the Kuningan bombing in 2004, and finally, two Ngruki graduates involved in the Bali bombing II in 2005. Undeniably, based on all the above, many people assumed that Pondok Ngruki was the centre for violent Islamic radicalism in Indonesia. Although some people have objected to this accusation, the facts have proved the other way around. However, not all of the above facts were enough to prove that Ba’asyir was the spiritual leader of the JI. The authorities released him in June 2006 after being incarcerated for about four years.
Eventually, the stigma of terrorism situated Pondok Ngruki in a difficult position. Although only some Ngruki graduates have been involved in violent actions in the name of Islam in Indonesia, the belief that it is a nest of terrorism could not be expunged. In other words, even though violent Islamic radicalism is not mainstream at Pondok Ngruki, the fact that it was the centre of a clandestine Islamic movement is undisputable. Indeed, there are many Ngruki graduates who know nothing about the clandestine Islamic organization and could not answer clearly why their counterparts were involved in such violent actions. Whatever the reasons, the facts can not deny the involvement of its graduates or its inner circle in some Islamic radicalism in Indonesia. At least, Pondok Ngruki has planted a seed of radical ideology in its pupils which has finally grown and developed. On the other hand, the fact that Solo was a very significant branch within the administrative structure of JI attest to the role of the pesantren.
Nowadays, the legacy of Abdullah Sungkar, Islamic radicalism, is not quite a significant phenomenon in Pondok Ngruki. Not only was Sungkar much more charismatic than Ba’asyir in many respects, but he was also a great ideologue. The death of Sungkar several months after returning to Indonesia brought about Ba’asyir’s seniority both in Pondok Ngruki and among its devout followers. Even though Ba’asyir’s presence in the pesantren is meaningful for some ‘ustadzs, the power of the foundation makes him powerless in the boarding school. Nowadays, however, Pondok Ngruki is at the crossroads as there are many interests and different groups within the pesantren. Although Ba’asyir serves as the leader of the MMI, the organization’s ideology is not mainstream in the pesantren. While some senior teachers want to drive Ngruki more to salafy, the foundation in which Pondok Ngruki is attached wants to lead it as moderate educational institution. I believe that the “divergent” direction and orientation of the pesantren would marginalize radical groups (underground organizations) in Pondok Ngruki.
In line with the above phenomena, I argue that the spirit of Islamic radicalism is no longer a significant phenomenon in the Pondok Ngruki, but it may be so in some of its networks. Some pesantrens such as Dār al-Shahadah in Boyolali, Ma’had Aly Al-Nūr in Sukoharjo, Al-Islam in Lamongan and Muttaqien in Rembang have inherited the spirit of Islamic radicalism of Pondok Ngruki. Several of these pesantrens were established after the resignation of some senior ‘ustadzs and santris in 1995. Some graduates of these pesantrens were involved in violent activities in Indonesia. Although some of these pesantrens are small educational institutions, they have gravitated to the salafy movement in the Middle East. Finally, I assert that these pesantrens are more radical than Ngruki. Below I will explore two of them: the pesantren of Dār al-Shahadah in Boyolali and Ma’had Aly Al-Nūr.
One of the links to Pondok Ngruki in Surakarta region is Dār al-Shahadah. This pesantren in Kedung Lengkong, Simo, Boyolali was founded by the Yasmin foundation in 1994. It is led by Mustaqim, a Ngruki graduate (1989) who continued his study at the Ma‘had ‘Aly of Pondok Ngruki while at the same time serving as teacher in the pesantren. Not only did he fully imitate Pondok Ngruki’s educational system, but he also considered Abu Bakar Ba’asyir his spiritual leader especially in managing the pesantren. This pesantren located in the western part of Surakarta has about 30 ustadzs and 400 santris. To build it, Mustaqim obtained financial assistance from many institutions in the Middle East as well as from Indonesia. He acknowledges that he is familiar with some local authorities in Boyolali. Local police officers, however, admit that they know little about this pesantren although meeting Mustaqim quite often. Furthermore, they added that the pesantren tends to be closed. Mustaqim asserts that it was his salafy school which linked him with funding from the Middle East. Compared to Pondok Ngruki, this pesantren is more salafy in many respects. The involvement of some of its graduates—Gempur Budi Angkoro (a.k.a.Jabir), Lufti Haidaroh (a.k.a.Ubeid), and Salik Firdaus—in several violent activities in Indonesia shows its connection to the clandestine Islamic movement, the JI.
Ma‘had Aly Al-Nūr offers another Pondok Ngruki link. It was founded in 1997 by devout followers of Abdullah Sungkar following the internal conflict within the pesantren in 1995 and the split of Sungkar from the NII in 1993. Initially, it was in 1996 when Abdurrahiem and Manaf were supported by their devout followers to begin at Gading village, near Ngruki. The good progress of the Foundation of Al-Nūr encouraged its activists to find another place in Waru, in the district of Sukoharjo. Unlike Pondok Ngruki and Dār al-Shahadah, this institution offers only a higher educational institutional level as reflected in its name, Ma‘had Aly (higher education). Therefore, all the students of this institution are graduates of pesantrens within the networks of Ma‘had Aly. In terms of its radicalism, we cannot ignore the fact that some graduates of the Ma‘had Aly were involved in violent activities in Indonesia. Among them were Sardona Siliwangi, Suramto (a.k.a. Deni), Bagus Budi Prawoto (a.k.a.Urwah), Lutfi Haedaroh (a.k.a.Ubeid), and Heri (a.k.a.Umar). It is significant here that some of the above men also graduated from or attended either Pondok Ngruki or Dār al-Shahadah. The case of 1995 in Pondok Ngruki forced some santris to quit their studies before finishing. Therefore, it can be concluded that these people are devout followers of Abdullah Sungkar and members JI. Bahruddin, the leader of the Ma‘had Aly Al-Nūr, is a Ngruki graduate who continued his studies at Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Islam dan Bahasa Arab (Institute of the Study of Islam and Arabic, LIPIA) in Jakarta. Unlike Pondok Ngruki which has no clear Islamic school of thought (madzhab), Bahruddin asserts that Ma‘had Aly has a clear link to a salafy school in Saudi Arabia. With this university, Bahruddin seems to want to produce high quality scholars in pure Islamic studies to challenge Indonesian Muslim scholars who have been influenced by Western values.
However, it should be noted here that not all pesantrens established by Ngruki graduates are radical in ways similar to the above two. Many could be categorized as moderate. Among them are Pondok Abidin and Mujahidin in Solo, Pondok Syuhodo and Ulil Albāb in Sukoharjo, Pondok Ibnu al-Qayyim in Yogyakarta, and Pondok Tarbiyah al-Mukmin in Magelang. And there are other such pesantrens outside Java in Sumatera and Nusa Tenggara Timur. These pesantrens may radical in terms of their ideology, but not in terms of their attitude. The most radical ones tend to be devout followers of Sungkar and Ba’asyir, and they even graduated prior the emergence of the JI in 1993. Since that time, the ideological orientation of some Ngrukis, especially those previously involved in the JI, including the Dār al-Shahadah and Ma’had an-Nūr, have shifted not to the NII of Adjengan Masduki (now led by Dadang Hafidz) but to salafy. However, since the salafy of the JI uses the network of the NII, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the salafy of JI and other factions within the NII. However, it remains unclear to which salafy the networks of Sungkar belong.
As we can see, there are some salafy groups in the region of Solo. These groups, however, share many things in common especially their purpose to purify the Islamic faith of society. However, they differ in the respect to which they rebel against the Muslim government and interpret the notion of jihād. Related to the split of salafy in Indonesia, the ICG (2004) offers two categories: (purist) salafy and salafy jihadis. More specifically, the ICG asserts that salafy jihadis are those who support Ja’far Umar Thalib’s endeavour to form Forum Komunikasi Ahlu al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah (FKAWJ) and Laskar Jihād in the early 2000s. The other salafis, or non-FKAWJ, are categorized as (purist) salafy. In the Solo context (in Sukoharjo) two salafy organizations belong to the first group—Dār al-Salaf and Ittiba’ al-Sunnah—and two to the second—Pondok Pesantren Imām Bukhori and Al-Ukhuwwah (in Solo and Sukoharjo, respectively). Since other Ngruki salafy networks such as Pondok Ngruki, Dār al-Shahadah and Ma’had Al-Nūr, and the jama’ah Gumuk salafy exist in Solo, we can be sure there are other categories. For Ngruki salafys, it seems there is a direct link to salafy mentors in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, although there is little evidence that the JI and the salafy jihadis of the FKAWJ worked together on jihadis ’projects’. The experience of the JI in Afghanistan and the acknowledgment of the leader of Ma’had al-Nūr has convinced me that it has an exclusive direct link to salafy leaders in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, the jama’ah Gumuk has also blurred the organizational link of salafy. However, the educational background of its leader, Mudzakir, in some ‘ulamas in East Java might support the assumption that jama’ah Gumuk tends to be salafy. However, from the attitude of the social movement toward politics in Indonesia, it is more akin to the salafy jihadis, although there is no record of its involvement in fighting in Poso or Ambon or anywhere else. Concerning Islam in Solo, we can conclude that while Ikhwani activism is flourishing among highly educated people (such as university students), salafy piety is also flourishing among less educated people such as the abundant members of Ngruki networks as well as the jama’ah Gumuk.
Islam radicalism: a resistance movement
The phenomenon of Islamic radicalism in Solo could best be described as a resistance movement. In other words, the emergence of some radical Islamic groups could be seen as social movements against social changes that do not accommodate their needs. In some cases, social movements make the process of social change gradual. In the case of Solo, however, radical Islamic groups want to fit the changes to support their necessities. The majority of low-level abangan in Solo have been economically, socially, and politically deprived. For this reason, they see Islam as an alternative to solve their problems. Islamic teachings that are religious and social offer the ultimate solution to their problems. Therefore, we could be claim that it is an instant process of Islamization since they just ‘jump’ from abangan to Islamist without undergoing the necessary processes. Similar to what happened during the “age of motion,” they may not really undergo a process of Islamization; they may simply take certain aspects of Islam (i.e., Sarekat Islam) to elevate them from their hopeless situation. Therefore, the involvement of such prominent Islamic organizations as Muhammadiyah and NU is very important to the Islamization process of the abangan society. Otherwise, such radical Islamic groups would consistently emerge from this society.
Since the early days of Solonese history, the abangan Javanese majority has been deprived socially and economically. The social stratification during the Dutch occupation put abangan Javanese at the lowest level, Arabs and Chinese second, and the Dutch and Javanese priyayi at the top. The privilege of the Dutch also gave opportunities for the Chinese to live in urban areas and engage in business conveniences. In addition, as we have seen, the triumph of the Chinese in business positioned them as a different social class. Arabs, although privileged to live in urban areas, didn’t receive quite the same economic facilities. The Arabs who had the same religion and culture could easily merge with the Javan Solonese. In most cases, their Arab Muslim-ness was regarded by the Javanese as having a higher degree of religiosity and society. The Arab acculturation was also supported by the fact that most Arabs married with Javanese women. Eventually, the lower level abangan Javanese were socially and economically marginalized. This situation has not changed significantly until now. Although many of the lower level Javanese nowadays are living at the periphery of urban areas, they are constantly and economically marginalized. The success of the Chinese in business adds another level to social gaps and social jealousies. Therefore, anti-Chinese riots have been an ongoing social issue in Solo.
The hegemonic power of the Solo kingdoms during the Dutch occupation is another reason why lower level Javanese (abangan) were deprived. Since the very beginning of Solonese (Surakartan) history in the 18th century, politics was a dominant issue among the aristocrats which finally resulted in the splitting of the Mataram kingdom into several kingdoms. The inability of the aristocrats to handle so many social problems drew the involvement of the Dutch Business Company (VOC) into both internal and external social problems. The rise of Sarekat Islam in the early 20th century, the peak of social protest against the hegemony of the authoritarian Dutch government, was not responded to positively by the aristocrats. Their ignorance was supported by the disharmony of the Kasunanan and Mangkunegaran kingdoms, a condition which has lasted until today. The social gap or distance between the aristocrats and the kawula (lower class people) was not well mediated by the priyayi (upper class people). On the emergence of Sarekat Islam, Kuntowijoyo asserts that it came from a collective sub-conscious place due to the failure of the priyayis. In fact, it was the priyayis who were fully aware of both sides—raja and kawulo—since both did not interact with each other. Until the independence of Indonesia in 1945, the kingdoms reluctantly acknowledged the new state and still accepted the return of Dutch government in 1948. The detachment of Kasunanan from lower class people made them resistant to the Indonesian government’s plan to accord Kasunanan a special autonomous status in 1946. Social action in the name of anti-Swapraja (anti-autonomous government) was supported by the majority of the Solonese. Obviously, the failure of the kingdoms to provide social cohesion for society split society even further.
Globalization and modernization has drastically changed the world. Not only has globalization shrunk the world, but it has also brought cultural fragmentation at the regional level. Related to this, Tibi, who shares views with Geertz on culture, looks at culture as a framework for social production of meaning and then determines it at the local level. Accordingly, it is due to globalization that political Islam arises in most Muslim countries in the world. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, religious fanaticism and revivalism have arisen around the world, including Indonesia. The rapid mainstreaming of information and technology has marginalized the role of religion in society. Conventional Islamic preaching, therefore, can no longer restrain the tide of modernization from the West. Inevitably, some communities feel that their culture and identity have suffered, that they may lose their social exchange in, economics, for example. The unavailability of a communication space for the community with the government has led them to such a kind of social tension. In such a plural society as Solo, a policy that does not accommodate all parts of society will always be a seed of dispute. From some Islamic fundamentalist perspectives, modernization is viewed as a threat, since it is a social process which produces social products. Moaddel, however, tends to see the phenomenon of radical Islamic groups as related to ideological tensions within the Islamic world. For this reason, some ‘ulamas frame globalization and modernization as part of gazwul fikri (the war of thought). In addition, the hegemonic power of the West allows Westerners to benefit from the invasion of Palestine and Iraq in the name of war on terrorism. All of the above could give rise to social discontent which could in turn incite the emergence of a social movement. The overwhelming emergence of Islamic political parties, Islamic radical groups, and vigilante forces in many parts of Indonesia could be considered products of globalization and modernization.
Finally, the dramatic political shift to the Reformation Era triggered the emergence Islamic radical groups. Social discontent, formerly (and forcefully) suppressed by the New Order regime, emerged following its decline. Social conflicts have become the most common phenomena of horizontal precariousness. Horizontal tensions in the form of religious conflicts, such as those in Ambon and Poso, have escalated during this period. The inability of the authorities to address religious strife is a ‘political opportunity structure’ giving chance to social actors to establish social movements. In the Solo context, this political opportunity has also given rise to Islamic radical groups, or the resurgence of old radical Islamic groups. On the other hand, the failure of the local government to grasp social figures and give them meaningful access to political institutions has led to the emergence of some Islamic radical groups. The re-emergence of Pondok Ngruki and jama’ah Gumuk in the form of the FPIS and the establishment of some vigilante forces such as Laskar Jundullah and Laskar Hisbullah are among the results of this political condition.
The Solonese perceived the emergence of Islamic revivalism as an opportunity to resolve their social problems. Therefore we can see that most members of the abovementioned Islamic radical groups, including vigilante forces, are from the abangan deprived-community at the periphery of Solo. Some terms related to Islamic other values have been used by these groups to attract more people into their communities. Along with the conviction that Islam is the ultimate solution to the world’s disorder, the cries for shari‘ah and anti-West are among the most prolific issues to incite people into radical Islamism groups. Nevertheless, unlike other Islamic radical groups such as in Banten, Garut, Tasikmalaya, and Bulukumba which fervently demand the implementation of shari‘ah as a regional regulation (perda), the Islamic groups in Solo are not strong enough to make such a demand. Although there are many socially deprived abangan “converts,” thos involved in religious radical groups, their numbers are not significant compared to those who are not “provoked” and who remain firmly as abangan.
Solo is rife with radical Islamic groups. The existence of the Pondok Ngruki, jama’ah Gumuk, Kompak of DDII, and some Islamic vigilante forces in the city verify this assumption. The above phenomena also confirm that Pondok Ngruki and its related Islamic radical movements are not the only phenomenon of Islamic radicalism in Solo. However, it should be noted here that Islamic vigilante groups can hardly be categorized as radical since they are more concerned with moral issues than such fundamental issues as shari‘ah or the Islamic state Moreover, these organizations do not have obvious views on Islamic values. For these reasons, I deliberately do not offer rigid categories here since these vigilante forces could possibly turn into social movements depending on favourable socio-political or cultural conditions. Since, in many cases, these vigilante forces were involved in violent actions, these groups could be categorized as radical in broader terms. Although some radical Islamic groups have emerged, their demand for shari‘ah is not as pronounced as in other regions such as Garut, Banten and Bulumkumba. In fact, the Islamic radical movement in Solo has not become mainstream yet.
The phenomenon of Islamic radicalism in Solo stems from many socio-cultural and political factors. Social, political, and economic deprivation since the beginning of the 20th century has contributed greatly to the rise of social discontent. The lack of religious and traditional leaders in Solonese society has also led them to form a kind of loose abangan society. Certain global and political conditions, in the end, incited this moveable society into social movements. The involvement of some people in radical Islamic groups has been a way to resolve socio-cultural problems. In other words, radical Islamic activism is a part of other social and radical movements in this society. In my view, socio-cultural problems still lie beneath the surface of Solonese society and may explode if just the right trigger is pushed. Compared to the mass support of SI during the age of motion (to borrow Shiraishi’s term), some radical Islamic groups these days have not quite touched the hearts of their loosely bound abangan society. In other words, although some radical Islamic groups exist in the region, they are hardly mainstream in Solo. This situation is mostly due to the success of dakwah activities in these communities.
Finally, the role of moderate Islamic organizations has mitigated against such radical Islam in Solo. In other words, they should continue to intensify their dakwah activities to touch the vast abangan majority in the region. Although large Islamic organizations such as Muhammadiyah and NU are not widespread in Solo, we cannot conclude that they have been rejected by the Solonese. Their previous failures in dakwah could lead them to change their methods of dakwah. In addition, coordinative agendas should be made between all moderate organizations to involve all levels of society accordingly. As in other parts of Indonesia where NU is accepted in the suburbs, this organization could play well at the abangan majority level. Meanwhile, Muhammadiyah and the MTA, which already have networks among the urban abangan, could further broaden their networks. In addition, the role of some student Islamic organizations such as the KAMMI, IMM, and HMI are absolutely necessary to broaden their dakwah activities not only among university students but also among the society, especially the abangan. The ability of authorities to diverge all agendas of this huge process of santrinisasi (re-Islamization) is also necessary, beside their main task to give religious leaders in Solo political access. Such a comprehensive approach should be employed to reduce the abangan majority and include them in the current mainstream of moderate Islam in Indonesia.
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