Indonesian nationalism : a Western invention to contain Islam in the Dutch East Indies

TitleIndonesian nationalism : a Western invention to contain Islam in the Dutch East Indies
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsTiro THDM, Ghayasuddin M
Book TitleThe impact of nationalism on the Muslim world
PublisherThe Open Press Al-Hoda Publishers
Call NumberM 3g 309 N
Keywords1900-1942, Aceh, C. Snouck Hurgronje, Excerpta Indonesica, INDONESIA, Islam, Jawa, Nationalism, POLITICS, religious policy

Among the heterogeneous population in the Dutch East Indies, adherence to Islam has often been the only element that they have held in common. The strength of the Acehnese people in resisting the Dutch was due to their common religion. In recognition of this fact, Dutch Islamic policy, as formulated by Snouck Hurgronje, had as its objective the destruction of Islam as a politico-religious faith in order to secularize and, rather than Islam, westernize the country. Towards the end of colonial rule, secular nationalism replaced Islam as the common denominator which bound the people of the Archipelago together. After Indonesia achieved independence, the Javanese succeeded in expropriating this form of 'Indonesian' nationalism. Regional movements for autonomy were violently repressed. The author maintains that a Javanese military colonial state emerged, whose army has perpetrated atrocities against the population of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, West Papua and East Timor.