« Trading blows: NU versus PKS » by Greg Fealy, 10/07/2018, Indonesia at Melbourne
How did a visit to Israel by a senior Islamic figure lead to members of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), accusing the nation’s second largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), of behaving like communists who are out to destroy Indonesia? This is a tale about the fevered state of Islamic discourse in Indonesia, one nurtured in the hothouse of social media. It has been fuelled by long-standing and deepening doctrinal animosities as well as competing political interests. Its resonance will be felt in next year’s legislative and presidential elections.
The saga began in early June, when Yahya Cholil Staquf, the secretary of NU’s Religious Council (PB Syuriah) and a member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Advisory Council (Wantimpres) visited Israel. He travelled at the invitation of the advocacy group the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and gave a series of public lectures as well as met political and religious leaders and academics.
Yahya claimed he went to Israel out of concern for the Palestinians and a desire to foster peace in the Middle East. He also invoked the name of Abdurrahman Wahid (“Gus Dur”), Indonesia’s fourth president and former NU chair, who visited Israel on numerous occasions and served on the advisory board of the Peres Centre for Peace. Yahya ignored advice from many of his NU colleagues not to go and travelled without the approval of the NU Central Board.
News of the visit broke in the Islamic media on 9 June, sparking immediate controversy. When, a few days later, the Israeli press carried pictures of Yahya shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Islamist groups reacted angrily, calling on NU and President Widodo to censure or dismiss him for undercutting Indonesia’s long-standing pro-Palestinian policy and for playing into the hands of an Israeli government that had only recently shot dead more than 50 Palestinians on the Gaza border. Criticism of Yahya sharpened when it was reported that he failed to meet any Palestinian leaders and had been “severely censured” by Hamas in a press statement on 11 June.
Lire la suite sur : http://indonesiaatmelbourne.unimelb.edu.au/trading-blows-nu-versus-pks/
« Nahdlatul Ulama and the politics trap » by Greg Fealy, 11 July 2018, New Mandala
At first glance, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has never been in a stronger position. It has a record number of members in cabinet. It enjoys close relations with the president, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), has privileged access to the corridors of power and is the beneficiary of increasingly generous largesse from the state, all of which are boosting the range of services and opportunities that it can provide to its vast membership. NU’s president, Ma’ruf Amin, is also the chairman of the influential Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) and numerous other senior nahdliyyin (NU members) hold strategic positions in the bureaucracy, state-owned enterprises and the corporate sector. NU’s campaign to promote its “moderate”, culturally embedded Islam Nusantara (Archipelagic Islam) concept has won government endorsement and attracted international attention. In short, NU’s status as the pre-eminent Islamic organisation in Indonesia has never seemed more secure.
A closer look, however, suggests that the organisation’s position is more vulnerable and its future more uncertain than its current exuberant confidence might indicate. Indeed, NU is to an extent emblematic of some of the challenges facing Indonesia’s civil society more broadly. Among these are the increasing influence of conservative views at the grassroots, the hazards of engagement with party politics, and the increasingly blurred boundary between the state and civil society as the latter seeks to capture state resources, and governments seek to co-opt civic organisations such as NU to service their goals.
Lire la suite sur : http://www.newmandala.org/nahdlatul-ulama-politics-trap/
Politics, Plurality and Inter-Group Relations in Indonesia – Islam Nusantara & Its Critics: The Rise of NU’s Young Clerics by Alexander Raymond Arifianto, RSIS (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies) CO17018
“Two years after the idea of Islam Nusantara was first introduced as a reinterpretation of the Nahdhlatul Ulama’s basic theological tenets, it continues to face opposition from conservative factions. Backing the resistance are theological critiques from younger clerics who seek to eradicate liberal influences from the organisation, the largest in Indonesia.
The rift between the factions of NU current chairman Said Aqil Siradj and former general chairman Hasyim Muzadi can be seen in the East Java strongholds of NU. The opposition by NU Garis Lurus (NU True Path), consisting of influential young clerics, constitutes a serious challenge to NU’s theological frame that had been instituted by former President Abdurrahman Wahid and his followers over three decades. These popular young clerics argue that Islam Nusantara is an invention of “liberal” thinkers while there is only one universal Islam for all Muslims that does not require “localised” intepretations such as Islam Nusantara.”
Lire la suite sur : http://www.rsis.edu.sg/rsis-publication/rsis/co17018-politics-plurality-and-inter-group-relations-in-indonesia-islam-nusantara-its-critics-the-rise-of-nus-young-clerics/#.WId-EZenEoJ