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Islamism - 4
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"JIZYA AND THE SPREAD OF ISLAM BY HARSH NARAIN" has been updated at VOI website, here is the link:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>West propelled jihadi factories </b>
The Abu Salem case in Portugal and riots in France are facets of a colonial mindset which feed subversives all over the world, says Cecil Victor

The Portuguese caveat on the death penalty for Abu Salem and the genesis of the riots in France are facets of a coin that are a throwback to a colonial mindset which its present-day practitioners do not appear to want to shed - thereby feeding criminalisation and terrorism around the globe.

It is being made out that it was India's 'sovereign' decision to give an undertaking to Portugal that the death penalty would not be sought for Abu Salem for planning and executing the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, killing several hundred persons. But the brutal fact is that India was coerced into the undertaking out of fear of a rejection of its extradition treaty. It was nothing but a blatant exercise by Portugal of the concept of 'limited sovereignty', which itself is a defensive reaction to a rollback of colonialism by a resurgent nationalism.

That Portugal should impose the caveat even in the face of the simultaneous massive terrorist attack on the railway network in neighbouring Spain on the Iberian peninsula underscores the insensitivity to the cause and effect of international terrorism, even as the former colonial power's mouth - what are increasingly being seen to be inane - claims to fighting terrorism.

The horrendous French experience of widespread riots across the country is a legacy of French colonialism forced into retreat by Arab nationalism in North Africa. It forced Charles de Gaulle to quit Africa decades ago, but the pejorative 'Beurs' were chickens that came home to roost as campfollowers of the 'French Foreign Legion'. The current generation is the children of those who collaborated with the French in the north African wars. It should be no great surprise that they came to believe in French promises of 'egalite' and have now revolted at being pushed to the fringe of French society.

Signs of French intolerance of these alien cultures that had pushed roots into its soil were in abundance in recent times in the insistence on bans on religious symbols that accentuated their difference. Integration was only marginal and suburbanised.

Whether it is a 'clash of cultures' or a 'clash of civilisations' is as yet debatable, but the effect is frightening. And, India has been the victim of both the terror of colonialism as well as of terror as a tool of neo-fundamentalism engendered by a resurgent colonialism. The two-nation theory first implemented by the British in Ireland and Palestine was launched on the subcontinent, and its lasting effect lies in the graduated exercise of its inherent fundamentalism. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan became occasion to ratchet upwards Islamic fundamentalism, of which there was an existing reservoir in Pakistan.

It paid dividends in forcing the Soviets out of Afghanistan, but the vacuum in Afghanistan was sought to be filled by a motley group of fundamentalists divided in their tribal loyalties and unable to remove that thorn in their flesh - the Lion of Panjshir, Ahmed Shah Masood.

Perceiving that its 'strategic depth' was pocked with inconsistencies, Pakistan decided to go whole hog. It trained a special breed of Islamic fundamentalists in its madarsas, and fed them on jihad and the promise of a score of 'houris' in heaven in the afterlife. Thus was born the modern suicide killer. As a weapon of first resort (the second being conventional arms as in Kargil backed by the threat of first use of nuclear weapons as the last resort), the Taliban won Afghanistan for Pakistan while the world was looking elsewhere.

Afghanistan became the crucible for the International Jihad Council and the emergence of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda as the nucleus of a worldwide network of Islamic fundamentalists with cravings for the Caliphate. This bloodthirsty horde was supported by the logistical network of the Pakistan Army's ISI and generous helpings of petrodollars from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world.

Because this network helped the Western world to undermine the Soviet Union, it turned a blind eye to Pakistan's activities till the US itself was attacked on 9/11. But the lesson is only half-learned. The Iraq misadventure was launched on false evidence and pernicious perceptions seeded with the same germs as in Ireland, Palestine, the Indian subcontinent, the Soviet Union, etc. The dragon seed of Islamist fundamentalism was dispersed more widely than ever, and the coalition forces in Iraq became magnets for the maggots.

The infection, far from being controlled, is spreading. Britain was infected, so is Europe. Suddenly, far-away Australia has discovered that its ocean-bound cocoon is no longer a safe haven. It was, it must be admitted, alert to the danger and managed to stop a murderous module of terrorists from attacking their mainland. Apparently, they have learned something from their Bali experience. Not so Jordan, which has just got a lesson in geopolitics of the kind that was Lebanon of the 1970s.

The malaise will burgeon and bloom if efforts continue to undermine, as through the Portuguese and European Union demarches, statal institutions like the judiciary and the armed forces of nations that are the target of external aggression through clandestine means.

More particularly so, if it is laced with dishonesty as in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the myriad of mini concentration camps that have been set up in newly independent nations that were, during their coalition within the Soviet bloc, accused of just these same kinds of crimes against humanity.

Yesterday in Oakland, CA (San Francisco Bay area) Nation of Islam members smashed liquor stores owned by Muslim. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->About a dozen African-American men wearing suits, white-collared shirts and bow ties — a trademark of the Nation of Islam — entered the store on San Pablo Avenue and West Street around 11:30 p.m.

One went behind the counter and swept dozens of shelved liquor bottles to the floor. Others smashed glass refrigerator doors with long slim metal pipes, breaking beer and wine bottles inside the cases. The whole incident from start to finish was caught on surveillance tape.

The men warned the store clerks to stop selling alcohol to African Americans, but they also knocked over display racks containing bread and other food items. Then, almost as quickly as they arrived, they all filed out and headed to another West Oakland liquor store, New York Market at Market and 35th streets, where they did the same thing.

Although the men did not identify themselves as Black Muslims or members of the Nation of Islam, police suspect that's who was behind the attacks, based on the attackers' attire.

"There was no warning. They never camein before," Saleh said Thursday morning.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Islam is a Riot</b>
by Burt Prelutsky
22 November 2005
The best thing about the rioting in France is that it proves once and for all that pandering to radical Islamists is always a bad idea. Even when you provide them with all the perks available to sluggards in a socialist society, it’s no guarantee they won’t turn right around and bite the hand that feeds them. So, just in case anybody ever asks you to name the biggest difference between a radical French Muslim and a French poodle, you now know the answer.

<b>France made the mistake of throwing open its doors 40 years ago to cheap Arab and African workers,</b> and came to discover, to its dismay, that the children and grandchildren of those original immigrants, don’t care for the French any more than the rest of us do.

There are those who believe that the rioting is the result of the French failing to assimilate Muslims into their society. Far be it from me to defend France, something you may have noticed over the past century the French, themselves, are extremely reluctant to do. However, you might as well condemn Old MacDonald for not assimilating with his farm animals. It’s not French snobbery that isolates the Muslims or creates their embarrassingly high rate of unemployment. The fact of the matter is that many of these young men are too spoiled and too lazy to do manual labor, and too ignorant and ill-educated to do anything else. Combine a welfare state that provides them with food and lodging with a vulgar religion that condemns all non-believers as infidels, and you have gasoline just waiting for a lighted match.

Most liberal pundits, I’ve found, justify riots, blaming society at large for its marauders. I, on the other hand, am not so easily hoodwinked. Check out the photos of every riot you’ve ever seen and you will discover that it’s the very same riff-raff in every mob, no matter where the vandalism takes place. Remove the 16-25 year old male punks from the pictures, and you’d be left with a lot of lamp posts and telephone poles minding their own business.

Whether it’s the Rodney King mob burning down stores in L.A., the PLO bums throwing stones in Jenin, or the lay-a-bouts in Paris, they’re exactly the same as the punks in America who run amok every time their home team either wins or loses a Super Bowl or an NBA title. There is a reason why you rarely see anybody over the age of 30 out in the streets. Could it be that only youngsters are ever oppressed or downtrodden? Hardly. It’s because even their own parents know that the young hoodlums would be just as likely to stone them as to stone the cops; far likelier, in fact, because their folks are less likely to be armed and dangerous.

It’s no secret that testosterone-driven young males enjoy busting windows, spray-painting graffiti, and starting fires. Unfortunately, just as with certain parents who are in denial when it comes to the antics of their bratty children, social workers, members of the liberal media and other assorted pacifists, habitually blame riots on capitalism, western imperialism, gas companies and, for all I know, premature potty training.
Frankly, what I most fear is that in a world in which multiculturalists, including even President Bush and Secretary of State Rice, feel obliged to bow and scrape to Muslims, in a world so overflowing with infantile feel-good rhetoric about the joys of Islam, that it will eventually and inevitably give rise to fascism.

Each time I hear people defending radical Islam, pretending that it’s merely another humanistic faith like Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, I wonder if they would have insisted that National Socialism was just another political party, and that being a Nazi was no different from being a Republican or a Democrat.

I worry that in a world filled with folks lying about the emperor, it will finally take a Hitler to point out he’s as naked as a jaybird.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing people parroting the lie that Islam is a religion of peace. I suppose so long as you’re willing to set aside your bible and pick up the Koran and start kneeling to Mecca, they’ll let you live in peace; unless, of course, you belong to a different sect. In which case, in the name of the great and merciful Allah, they’d have no choice but to cut your head off.

Of course American Muslims aren’t like the butchers and suicide-bombers who murder in the name of their religion, or so we’re told. But just how would we know that to be true? What we do know is that even after 9/11, until the F.B.I. put a stop to it, many of them were funneling funds to Al Qaeda.

Before I’m convinced there’s a real difference between our Muslims and those other ones, the faithful in the U.S. will have to first stop whining about racial profiling; their young people will have to start enlisting in the armed services; and they’ll have to begin condemning their co-religionists loudly and often. For openers, it would be a nice gesture if they passed the hat around the old mosque and then announced they’d come up with a multi-million dollar reward for Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.

As for the rest of us, it’s high time we stopped trying to come up with highfalutin’ excuses for murderous mobs.

The answer, nearly always, to why young people riot is simple. It’s fun.

Burt Prelutsky has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn, and Diagnosis Murder.
archive at

Arabs should not exclude Ismalist parties
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Source ::: Reuters
DUBAI: The United States should not back “sham” reforms in the Arab world which continue to isolate powerful Islamist opposition, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said yesterday.
“It would be a mistake to exclude Islamist parties on the assumption they are inherently undemocratic or prone to violence,” </b>  <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->  she said in a statement released shortly before her appearance at a conference in the United Arab Emirates.

<b>“The best way to marginalise violent extremists is to make room for as broad a range of non-violent perspectives as possible.” </b>  <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->  <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Her comments appeared to be directed at Arab countries including Egypt, where the banned Muslim Brotherhood has made stunning gains by winning 76 seats in ongoing parliamentary elections.

The Bush administration has made little comment on violence that marred the polling. Police have arrested nearly 200 Muslim Brotherhood activists in a crackdown on the group.

Washington backs Egypt’s refusal to license the Brotherhood – a vocal critic of US policy in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—over its religious platform. Albright, who played a key role in Arab-Israeli diplomacy in the 1990s, attacked a recent constitutional reform which allowed for Egypt’s first ever multi-party presidential elections.

“The system he (President Hosni Mubarak) is recommending would make it virtually impossible for truly independent parties to participate. Sham democracy should be exposed for what it truly is,” Albright said.

Mubarak, whose ruling National Democratic Party has the majority in parliament, has been in power for over two decades.

The constitutional amendment approved by referendum in May set tough conditions for rival presidential candidates. Under the old system, parliament chose Mubarak as sole candidate and Egyptians then voted for or against in a referendum.
<b>'Belgian Kamikaze' Shocks a Nation</b>
<i>Local Woman Dies in Failed Attack Against U.S. Troops in Iraq</i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The 38-year-old woman's mother, Liliane Degauque, told local TV networks that <b>her daughter was "so nice'' - but began to change when she married an Algerian man and turned to Islamic fundamentalism</b>.

The case underscored the growing reach of international terrorism.

<b>"It is the first time that we see that a Western woman, a Belgian, marrying a radical Muslim, and is converted up to the point of becoming a jihad fighter,'' </b>federal police director Glenn Audenaert said.

In her younger years, Muriel Degauque lived a conventional life in an industrial belt of southern Belgium. Media reports said she finished high school before taking on several jobs, including selling bread in a bakery. They also said that as an adolescent she had run into problems with drugs and alcohol.

Authorities say Degauque went on to become a member of a terror cell that embraced al-Qaida's ideology. It included her second husband, a man of Moroccan origin who died in a separate terror attack in Iraq.

"This is our Belgian kamikaze killed in Iraq,'' read the headline of Thursday's La Derniere Heure newspaper, over a picture of a smiling young woman looking into the camera.
How West is going to control new Islamist?
Same can happen in India or infact it already did, one sikh married to Kashmir muslim was involved in parilament attack.
Clerics train guns on Akbar Khan film
Staff Reporter
A mockery of Mughal period, says All India Lawyers Minority Association

NEW DELHI : Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal: An eternal love story might have run into problems at the box office, but it has now also got the All Ulema Council and the All India Minority Lawyers Association protesting against the manner in which the Mughal period is depicted.

With the two taking the "historical" aspect of the movie very seriously, they feel that Mr. Khan has depicted the whole period and especially Noor Jehan in a "negative" manner.

"The filmmaker has made a mockery of the whole Mughal period and its culture. He has suggested that Noor Jehan had an illegitimate relationship with Mohabbat Khan, Jahangir's friend. However, history is witness to the fact that Noor Jehan always maintained strict `purdah'. Even Jahangir had to wait two and a half years to catch a glimpse of her. It was only after Jodha Bai begged her that she agreed to marry Jahangir . How can a woman who has does not have any perception of the outside world entertain such a relationship?" asked Mahmood Sajjid, president of the All India Lawyers Minority Association at a press conference in the capital on Thursday.

He said men were not allowed inside women's quarters but the filmmaker had shown soldiers and Mohabbat Khan inside the "restricted" area.
<b>Jihadi Terrorism: Ridiculous Explanations, Complex Solutions</b>
Sufi Jihad?

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Conversion losses
By Irfan Husain

MEET Sanno Amra and his wife Champa: a middle-aged Hindu couple. They live in a small, simple but spotlessly clean home in Karachi’s Punjab Colony.

Until six weeks ago, they lived with their five children, reasonably content with their lot. Sanno worked as a chauffeur, and his wife cooked for a family. On October 18, their lives suddenly fell apart: Champa returned home from work to discover that her three oldest daughters were missing — Reena (21), Usha (19) and Rima (17) had seemingly vanished without a trace. This is any parent’s worst nightmare, but the couple’s woes had only begun.

After searching frantically for the girls, they went to the local police station where the SHO put them off without registering a case. A couple of days later, they met the deputy superintendent of police for Clifton. This proved to be the only bright spot in the entire tragic episode, for DSP Raza Shah went out of his way to help. He forced his subordinates to file an FIR, and his intervention was invaluable in ensuring the safety of the parents. And just for the record, the MQM ‘sector-in- charge’ also lent them his organisation’s support.

On October 22, a police FIR for kidnapping was duly prepared, naming three young men from the neighbourhood as the principal suspects. Immediately, Sanno and his wife started getting threats from their neighbours. Earlier they had never had any problems, although they were the only Hindu family in a predominantly Muslim locality. But now, the same people were pressuring them to remove the names of the local boys from the FIR.

Within days, they received a package by courier containing three identical affidavits signed by their daughters, stating that they had converted to Islam of their own free will. The declaration concluded: “That since my parents are Hindu and after conversion of my religion, it is not possible for me to live and pass my life in Hindu system/society [sic] and therefore, I have decided to live separately...”

According to their affidavits, the girls (now calling themselves Afshan, Anam and Nida) were living in the hostel of the Madarsa Taleem-ul-Quran, and were being instructed by a local moulvi. On November 10, a court order directed the police and the administrators of the seminary to arrange a meeting between the girls and their parents.

When Sanno and Champa finally met their daughters, they were shocked to see that they were in burqas that concealed them from head to toe, leaving only their eyes uncovered. The eyes of the youngest girl were bloodshot from weeping. At this supposedly private meeting, a dour woman was present throughout as were a moulvi and a couple of cops. In subdued voices muffled by heavy fabric, the girls said they wanted to stay where they were.

Understandably, the parents are convinced that their daughters were under pressure. In fact, they simply cannot come to terms with the notion that their children have not only abandoned them, but also the faith they grew up in. As far as they are concerned, their daughters have been brainwashed. Interestingly, the girls have cited “religious channels on TV” as the reason for their conversion.

Since their daughters left, Sanno and Champa have not returned to their jobs. They stay at home with Suraj and Arti, their young son and daughter and wait for news. Apart from their neighbours, they have also been isolated by their own community. According to Sanno, other Hindus look down on them because of their girls’ apparent conversion. Face, that most pernicious of Asian values, has been lost.

I spoke to DSP Raza Shah and asked him if in his opinion, any pressure had been brought to bear on the girls. He was sure it had been a voluntary conversion, adding that it was very possible that neighbours might have influenced them. The parents are clear that their daughters never watched TV in their presence, nor did they ever discuss the possibility of a conversion. According to Vijay, a relative, twenty girls from the Hindu community had converted to Islam in the last five years.

Talking to the parents in their simple home, I could feel their pain and their distress. “We just sit and stare at each other”, Sanno said. “For us, life is over.” Above all, they want the certainty of the knowledge that their daughters did not abandon them voluntarily. They went back to the madressah recently where they were refused access to their daughters. “Even if they have become Muslims, we are still their parents,” Champa said tearfully. The moulvi at the madressah, instead of being sympathetic, invited Sammo and Champa to convert as well.

What the stricken parents are looking for is closure: once they are satisfied that their daughters will never come home again, they will learn to live with their grief. But for this to happen, they want the girls to be moved to neutral ground like the Edhi orphanage where they can meet them without the coercive presence of moulvis and cops. But this request has been turned down by a judge.

Vijay has shared the family’s tribulations, and is understandably bitter. “Mr Jinnah had promised the minorities equal rights and protection. But it seems his promises were buried with him,” he maintains. Given the spate of conversions, some voluntary, some forced, the insecurity among the minorities, especially among Sindhi Hindus, is understandable.

Even if most of these conversions are not at gunpoint, they still take place in an overpowering environment of religiosity. Religious programmes on every private and public TV channel must leave an imprint on young minds. The need to conform at school and college where religion casts a constant shadow, must exert a subtle influence on non-Muslim students. And in a society based on faith, the minorities have been marginalized to the point where they are tempted to convert simply to get ahead in life.

But Sammo and Champa are not concerned with the larger issues regarding the place and fate of the minorities in Pakistan. All they want is justice. For them this involves being able to spend time alone with their beloved daughters, free from pressure and coercion, and to satisfy themselves that they took this drastic step on their own. Surely in a state that aspires to General Musharraf’s oft-touted ideal of ‘enlightened moderation’, this should not be too much to ask for.

Conversion losses
By Irfan Husain<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Same happened during partition in Pakistan. Lot of people I know went through real hell during and after partiton in Pakistan. But now same is happening in India by mullahs and muslim movies stars.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mitra+Dec 4 2005, 10:06 AM-->QUOTE(Mitra @ Dec 4 2005, 10:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Don't exactly know if this is the correct thread for this article but posting it anyway.
This is an excellent article from 'Swaveda' regarding a largely unnoticed Hindu resurgence in Indonesia.

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Great Expectations: Hindu Revival Movements in Java, Indonesia
By Thomas Reuter

May 13, 2005

Hindu empires had flourished in Java for a millennium until they were replaced by expanding Islamic polities in the 15th century, setting the stage for Indonesia becoming the world's largest Muslim nation. In the 1970s, however, a new Hindu revival movement began to sweep across the archipelago. Hinduism is gaining even greater popularity at this time of national crisis, most notably in Java, the political heart of Indonesia. Based on preliminary ethnographic research in five communities with major Hindu temples, this paper explores the political history and social dynamics of Hindu revivalism in Java. Rejecting formalist approaches to the study of religion, including the notion of 'syncretism ', the Hindu revival movements of Java are treated as an illustration of how social agents employ religious or secular concepts and values in their strategic responses to the particular challenges and crises they may face in a specific cultural, social, political and historical setting.

Expectations of a great crisis at the imminent dawn of new golden age, among followers of the Hindu revival movement in Java, are an expression of utopian prophesies and political aspirations more widely known and shared among contemporary Indonesians. These utopian expectations are set to shape the prospects of Indonesia's fledgling democracy. In this paper, I will reflect on the different historical conditions under which these and similar utopian expectations and associated social movements arise, and may either either incite violent conflict or serve a positive role in the creation or maintenance of a fair society.

My interest in Java is recent and arose inadvertently from nearly a decade of earlier research on the neighboring island of Bali. The majority of Balinese consider themselves descendants of noble warriors from the Hindu Javanese empire Majapahit who conquered Bali in the 14th century. A growing number of Balinese are conducting pilgrimages to Hindu temples in Java, most of which have been built in places identified as sacred sites in traditional Balinese texts (often written in Old-Javanese language). Balinese have been heavily involved in the construction and ritual maintenance of these new Hindu temples in Java. They further dominate organizations representing Hinduism at a national level. Finally, many Javanese Hindu priests have been trained in Bali.

I had the opportunity to gain a first hand impression of the expansion of Hinduism in Java and of Balinese involvement therein during a field trip in late 1999. Following preliminary ethnographic research in eight different Hindu Javanese communities it became evident that this movement has its own dynamics and rationale, no matter how much it may have been spurred by Balinese support. Most thought-provoking, perhaps, were the emotional accounts of events since 1965 leading up to a resurgence of Hinduism, and the constant references to the famous Javanese prophesies of Sabdapalon and Jayabaya.

On an earlier field trip in 1995, I was also able to visit central and southern Kalimantan where a large Hindu movement has grown among the local Ngaju Dayak population. The lead-up to a mass declaration for 'Hinduism' on this island was rather different to the Javanese case, in that conversions followed a clear ethnic division. Indigenous Dayak were confronted with a mostly Muslim population of government-sponsored (and predominantly Javanese) migrants and officials, and deeply resentful at the dispossession of their land and its natural resources. Compared to their counterparts among Javanese Hindus, many Dayak leaders were also more deeply concerned about Balinese efforts to standardize Hindu ritual practice nationally; fearing a decline of their own unique 'Hindu Kaharingan' traditions and renewed external domination.

The Javanese Hindu revival movement is in many ways unique, and its recent expansion may surprise a casual observer. Java is often viewed as the headquarters of Islam within the world's most populous Muslim nation. On its own, however, this superficial image fails to do justice to the immensely complex and varied cultural history of this island; a history that continues to exert a profound influence on contemporary Javanese society. A glance at one of the many ancient monuments scattered across its landscape would suffice to remind one of a very different Java, where a succession of smaller and larger Hindu kingdoms flourished for more than a millennium, producing a unique and dynamic mixture of Indic and indigenous Austronesian culture. At the peak of its influence in the 14th century the last and largest among Hindu Javanese empires, Majapahit, reached far across the Indonesian archipelago. This accomplishment is interpreted in modern nationalist discourses as an early historical beacon of Indonesian unity and nationhood, a nation with Java still at its center.

That the vast majority of contemporary Javanese and Indonesians are now Muslims is the outcome of a process of subsequent Islamization. Like Hinduism before it, Islam first advanced into the archipelago along powerful trade networks, gaining a firm foothold in Java with the rise of early Islamic polities along the northern coast. Hinduism finally lost its status as Java's dominant state religion during the 15th and early 16th century, as the new sultanates expanded and the great Hindu empire Majapahit collapsed. Even then, some smaller Hindu polities persisted; most notably the kingdom of Blambangan in eastern Java, which remained intact until the late 18th century.

Islam met with a different kind of resistance at a popular and cultural level. While the majority of Javanese did become 'Muslims', following the example of their rulers, for many among them this was a change in name only. Earlier indigenous Javanese and Hindu traditions were retained by the rural population and even within the immediate sphere of the royal courts, especially in a context of ritual practice. In this sense, the victory of Islam has remained incomplete until today.

To proclaim on these grounds that Javanese religion, or any other religion, is a product of 'syncretism' is to say no more than that it has a history, as every religion inevitably does. Given that history has no definite beginning, 'syncretism' has been a feature in all world religions from the start.[1] Even a more modest distinction between degrees of 'syncretism' or 'orthodoxy' in the religions of different societies, or in those of the same society at different times in its history, is rather unproductive unless this or similar distinctions are situated in relation to much broader historical processes affecting the societies concerned as a whole. A process of religious 'rationalization' (in the Weberian sense), in particular, may needs to be situated within a broader context of modernity.

Insofar as it is justifiable to speak of a trend toward increasing 'orthodoxy' in Indonesian Islam in the 20th century, a trend which applies similarly to Indonesian Hinduism and Christianity, this phenomenon must be assessed against the historical background of colonialism, the subsequent establishment of an independent Indonesian state, and the advent of modernity. In the colonial and post-colonial era, an ever more popular and educated acceptance of Islam was gained, in Java and elsewhere, through the work of independent or government Islamic organizations with an anti-colonial and modernist socio-political orientation. In the wake of this still continuing process of rationalization, a conceptual potential has been created for greater socio-political polarization among the followers of different and, now, more precisely distinguishable 'religions'. Nevertheless, the more orthodox among Javanese Muslims, who tend to identify themselves with a more modern and global notion of Islamic religion, are still a minority and are themselves divided into factions (for example, over the issue of whether to aspire toward a secular or an Islamic Indonesian state). Most recently these divisions became apparent during the dismissal of President Wahid on charges of incompetency.

To a large and growing number of equally 'modern' Javanese, however, their ancient Hindu past is still very present indeed, and prophesied to come alive once more in the near future. A utopian Hindu revival movement has emerged in Java over the last three decades of the twentieth century, and is gathering momentum in the turmoil of Indonesia's continuing economic and political crisis. Drawing on ancient prophesies, many of its members believe that a great natural cataclysm or final battle is at hand in which Islam will be swept from the island to conclude the current age of darkness. Thereafter, they say, Hindu civilization will be restored to its former glory - with Java as the political center of a new world order that will last for a thousand years.

Adding to the concern of Muslim observers, the Javanese Hindu movement is part of a wider national phenomenon of Hindu revivalism and expansion. Situated at the heart of Indonesia, however, the Hindu movement in Java may have the most serious implications yet for the social and political stability of the nation as a whole. In addition, the same mood of apocalyptic fear, utopian expectation and revivalist zeal is shared by many Javanese Muslims. This is made evident in a number of revivalist Islamic movements, whose members also tend to describe the present as an age of moral and social decay.

Recent incidents of inter-religious violence in the Moluccas and Lombok, and the major importance afforded to religious affiliation in Indonesia's recent parliamentary and 1998 presidential elections are both indicative of a national trend towards religious polarization (Ramstedt 1998). Such polarization has not been characteristic of Javanese society, particularly at a community level, where neighborhood cooperation and social peace have been valued more highly than religious convictions (Beatty 1999). With nominal Muslims now openly converting to Hinduism this could well change, tearing away at the delicate web of compromises that is the very fabric of Javanese society. On a more positive note, Indonesians of all confessions also share an urgent desire for political reform and genuine democracy, and may still be prepared to cooperate in the struggle to achieve this common aim.

The emergence of a self-conscious Hindu revival movement within Javanese society is thus a highly significant development. The following preliminary outline of this movement is to provide an appraisal of some of the deep social divisions and widely shared utopian aspirations in contemporary Indonesian society which are set to shape the immediate future of this fragile nation.

Hindu Revivalism in Historical and Political Context

While many Javanese have retained aspects of their indigenous and Hindu traditions through the centuries of Islamic influence, under the banner of 'Javanist religion' (kejawen) or a non-orthodox 'Javanese Islam' (abangan, cf. Geertz 1960), no more than a few isolated communities have consistently upheld Hinduism as the primary mark of their public identity. One of these exceptions are the people of the remote Tengger highlands (Hefner 1985, 1990) in the province of Eastern Java. The Javanese 'Hindus' with whom this paper is concerned, however, are those who had officially declared themselves 'Muslims' prior to their recent
conversion to Hinduism.

In an unpublished report in 1999, the National Indonesian Bureau of Statistics tacitly admits that nearly 100.000 Javanese have officially converted or 'reconverted' from Islam to Hinduism over the last two decades. At the same time, the East Javanese branch of the government Hindu organization PHDI (below) in an annual report claims the 'Hindu congregation' (umat hindu) of this province to have grown by 76000 souls in this year alone. The figures are not entirely reliable or objective, nor can they adequately reflect the proportions of Java's new Hindu revival movement, based as they are on the religion stated on people's identity cards (kartu tanda penduduk or 'KTP') or on other measures of formal religious affiliation. According to my own observations, many conversions are informal only, at least for now. In addition, formal figures often do not adequately distinguish between religious conversions and general population growth, given that most government agencies only record people's religion at birth.

Problems with estimating rates of conversion aside, it is remarkable that despite their local minority status the total number of Hindus in Java now exceeds that of Hindus in Bali. Data collected independently during my preliminary research in Eastern Java further suggest that the rate of conversion accelerated dramatically during and after the collapse of former President Suharto's authoritarian regime in 1998.

Officially identifying their religion as Hinduism was not a legal possibility for Indonesians until 1962, when it became the fifth state-recognized religion.[2] This recognition was initially sought by Balinese religious organizations and granted for the sake of Bali, where the majority were Hindu. The largest of these organizations, Parisada Hindu Dharma Bali, changed its name to P.H.D. Indonesia (PHDI) in 1964, reflecting subsequent efforts to define Hinduism as a national rather than just a Balinese affair (Ramstedt 1998). In the early seventies, the Toraja people of Sulawesi were the first to realize this opportunity by seeking shelter for their indigenous ancestor religion under the broad umbrella of 'Hinduism', followed by the Karo Batak of Sumatra in 1977 and the Ngaju Dayak of Kalimantan in 1980 (Bakker 1995).

Religious identity became a life and death issue for many Indonesians around the same time as Hinduism gained recognition, namely, in the wake of the violent anti-Communist purge of 1965-66 (Beatty 1999). Persons lacking affiliation with a state recognized-religion tended to be classed as atheists and hence as communist suspects. Despite the inherent disadvantages of joining a national religious minority, a deep concern for the preservation of their traditional ancestor religions made Hinduism a more palatable option than Islam for several ethnic groups in the outer islands. By contrast, most Javanese were slow to consider Hinduism at the time, lacking a distinct organization along ethnic lines and fearing retribution from locally powerful Islamic organizations like the Nahdatul Ulama (NU). The youth wing of the NU had been active in the persecution not only of communists but of 'Javanist' or 'anti-Islamic' elements within Sukarno's Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) during the early phase of the killings (Hefner 1987). Practitioners of 'Javanist' mystical traditions thus felt compelled to declare themselves Muslims out of a growing concern for their safety.

The initial assessment of having to abandon 'Javanist' traditions in order to survive in an imminent Islamic state proved incorrect. President Sukarno's eventual successor, Suharto, adopted a distinctly nonsectarian approach in his so-called 'new order' (orde baru) regime. Old fears resurfaced, however, with Suharto's 'Islamic turn' in the 1990s. Initially a resolute defender of Javanist values, Suharto began to make overtures to Islam at that time, in response to wavering public and military support for his government. A powerful signal was his authorization and personal support of the new 'Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals' (ICMI), an organization whose members openly promoted the Islamization of Indonesian state and society (Hefner 1997). Concerns grew as ICMI became the dominant civilian faction in the national bureaucracy, and initiated massive programs of Islamic education and mosque-building through the Ministry of Religion (departemen agama), once again targeting Javanist strongholds. Around the same time, there were a series of mob killings by Muslim extremists of people they suspected to have been practicing traditional Javanese methods of healing by magical means.

Repeated experiences of harassment or worse have left adherents of Javanist traditions with deep-seated fears and resentments. In interviews conducted in 1999, recent Hindu converts in eastern and central Java confessed that they had felt comfortable with a tenuous Islamic identity until 1965, but that their 'hearts turned bitter' once they felt coerced to disavow their private commitment to 'Hindu Javanese ' traditions by abandoning the specific ritual practices which had come to be associated therewith. In terms of their political affiliation, many contemporary Javanists and recent converts to Hinduism had been members of the old PNI, and have now joined the new nationalist party of Megawati Sukarnoputri. Informants from among this group portrayed their return to the 'religion of Majapahit' (Hinduism) as a matter of nationalist pride, and displayed a new sense political self-confidence. Political trends aside, however, the choice between Islam and Hinduism is often a highly personal matter. Many converts reported that other members of their families have remained 'Muslims', out of conviction or in the hope that they will be free to maintain their Javanist traditions in one way or another.

These observations provide no more than a preliminary sketch of the changing landscape of cross-cutting and sometimes contradictory social, political and religious identities wherein the Javanese Hindu revival movement is taking shape. In essence, the collapse of the authoritarian Suharto regime has allowed old rivalries between Islamic and Nationalist parties to resurface in a changed environment and in a new guise. This has led to a degree of socio-political polarization as has not been seen since the 1960s revolution, although it may have been an inherent conceptual possibility throughout modern Indonesian history.

Hindu Revivalism in Social and Economic Context

A common feature among new Hindu communities in Java is that they tend to rally around recently built temples (pura) or around archaeological temple sites (candi) which are being reclaimed as places of Hindu worship. One of several new Hindu temples in eastern Java is Pura Mandaragiri Sumeru Agung, located on the slope of Mt Sumeru, Java's highest mountain. When the temple was completed in July 1992, with the generous aid of wealthy donors from Bali, only a few local families formally confessed to Hinduism. A pilot study in December 1999 revealed that the local Hindu community now has grown to more than 5000 households. Similar mass conversions have occurred in the region around Pura Agung Blambangan, another new temple, built on a site with minor archaeological remnants attributed to the kingdom of Blambangan, the last Hindu polity on Java. A further important site is Pura Loka Moksa Jayabaya (in the village of Menang near Kediri), where the Hindu king and prophet Jayabaya is said to have achieved spiritual liberation (moksa). A further Hindu movement in the earliest stages of development was observed in the vicinity of the newly completed Pura Pucak Raung (in the Eastern Javanese district of Glenmore), which is mentioned in Balinese literature as the place where the Hindu saint Maharishi Markandeya gathered followers for an expedition to Bali, whereby he is said to have brought Hinduism to Bali in the fifth century AD. An example of resurgence around major archaeological remains of ancient Hindu temple sites was observed in Trowulan near Mojokerto. The site may be the location of the capital of the legendary Hindu empire Majapahit. A local Hindu movement is struggling to gain control of a newly excavated temple building which they wish to see restored as a site of active Hindu worship. The temple is to be dedicated to Gajah Mada, the man attributed with transforming the small Hindu kingdom of Majapahit into an empire. Although there has been a more pronounced history of resistance to Islamization in East Java, Hindu communities are also expanding in Central Java (Lyon 1980), for example in Klaten, near the ancient Hindu monuments of Prambanan.

It is a common feature of social organization in neighboring Bali to find temples at the hub of various networks of social affiliation (Reuter 1998). Temples may be equally important for Hindu Javanese, though for different reasons. Clear ethnic or clan-like divisions are generally lacking in Javanese society, and in any case, would be too exclusive to promote a rapid expansion of new Hindu communities. How social relations take shape within the support networks of Javanese Hindu temples and how they differ from those among patrons of Balinese temples remains to be explored, as is also true of the ritual practice of Javanese Hindus. Some of the resemblances observed so far seem to reflect not only the common historical influence of Hinduism in Java and Bali, but also a common indigenous cultural heritage shared among these and other Austronesian-speaking societies (Fox & Sathers 1996).

Taking Pura Sumeru as an example, it is also important to note that major Hindu temples can bring a new prosperity to local populations. Apart from employment in the building, expansion, and repair of the temple itself, a steady stream of Balinese pilgrims to this now nationally recognized temple has led to the growth of a sizeable service industry. Ready-made offerings, accommodation, and meals are provided in an ever-lengthening row of shops and hotels along the main road leading to Pura Sumeru. At times of major ritual activity tens of thousands of visitors arrive each day. Pilgrims' often generous cash donations to the temple also find their way into the local economy. Pondering with some envy on the secret to the economic success of their Balinese neighbors, several local informants concluded that "Hindu culture may be more conducive to the development of an international tourism industry than is Islam". Economic considerations also come into play insofar as members of this and other Hindu revival movements tend to cooperate in a variety of other ways, including private business ventures which are unrelated to their joint religious practices as such.

Hindu Revivalism as a Utopian Movement

Followers and opponents alike explain the sudden rise of a Hindu revival movement in Java by referring to the well-known prophecies of Sabdapalon and Jayabaya. In this they reveal a number of shared utopian and apocalyptic expectations, even though their interpretations of the prophesies differ significantly. These mixed expectations have been a reflection of growing popular dissatisfaction with the corrupt and dictatorial Suharto government in the 1990s and until its demise in 1998, following student riots and popular demonstrations in many major Javanese cities in the wake of the Asian economic crisis. They also draw inspiration from a deeper crisis of political and economic culture still current in Indonesia today. The Indonesia's present first democratically elected government under President Abdurahman Wahid's leadership again has attracted criticism, increasingly so in during recent months, as the nation continueds to be threatened by religious conflict, secession movements in Aceh and West Papua, and by government corruption scandals.[3] Under the new presidency of Megawati Sukarnoputri (from 23 July 2001) this sense of political instability is widely expected to persist. At the same time many also fear a possible return to the repression of the Suharto years. It is the prophesies of Sabdapalon and Jayabaya that provide perhaps the most ready vehicle for the interpretation of these tumultuous political events, to the members of Hindu revival movements as well as their opponents. The prophesies of Sabdapalon and Jayabaya provide a ready vehicle for the interpretation of these events, to the members of Hindu revival movements as well as their opponents.

Sabdapalon is said to have been a priest and an adviser to Brawijaya V, the last ruler of the Hindu empire Majapahit. He is also said to have cursed his king upon the conversion of the latter to Islam in 1478. Sabdapalon then promised to return, after 500 years and at a time of widespread political corruption and natural disasters, to sweep Islam from the island and restore Hindu-Javanese religion and civilization. Some of the first new Hindu temples built in Java were indeed completed around 1978, for example Pura Blambangan in the regency of Banyuwangi. As the prophesies foretold, Mt Sumeru erupted around the same time. All this is taken as evidence of the accuracy of Sabdapalon's predictions. Islamic opponents of the Hindu movements accept the prophesies, at least in principle, though their interpretations differ. Some attribute the Hindu conversions to a temporary weakness within Islam itself, laying blame on the materialism of modern life, on an associated decline of Islamic values, or on the persistent lack of orthodoxy among practitioners of 'Javanese Islam' (Soewarno 1981). In their opinion, the 'return of Sabdapalon' is meant to test Islam and to propel its followers toward a much needed revitalization and purification of their faith.

A further prophesy, well-known throughout Java and Indonesia, is the Ramalan (or Jangka) Jayabaya. A recent publication on these prophesies by Soesetro & Arief (1999) has become a national best seller. The predictions of Jayabaya are also discussed frequently in daily newspapers. These ancient prophesies, indeed, are very much a part of a current public debate on the ideal shape of a new and genuinely democratic Indonesia.

The historical personage Sri Mapanji Jayabaya reigned over the kingdom of Kediri in East Java from 1135 to 1157 AD (Buchari 1968:19). He is known for his efforts to reunify Java after a split had occurred with the death of his predecessor Airlangga, for his just and prosperous rule, and for his dedication to the welfare of the common people. Reputed to have been an incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, Jayabaya is also the archetypal image of the 'just king' (ratu adil) who is reborn during the dark age of reversal (jaman edan) at the end of each cosmic cycle to restore social justice, order, and harmony in the world. Many believe that the time for the arrival of a new ratu adil is near (as the prophesies put it, "when iron wagons drive without horses and ships sail through the sky [i.e. cars and airplanes]"), and that he will come to rescue and reunite Indonesia after an acute crisis, ushering in the dawn of a new golden age. These apocalyptic and utopian expectations evoke the notion of a revolving cosmic cycle, of a glorious past declining into a present state of moral decay, where the ideal order of things is momentarily inverted, only to be restored again in a future that is in effect a return to the past.

Hindu Javanese emphasize with pride that their ancestors Sabdapalon and Jayabaya represent a golden pre-Islamic age. Islamic opponents, in turn, claim that Jayabaya was in fact a Muslim and that Sabdapalon had only resisted conversion because what he was confronted with at the time was but a muddled and impure version of Islam (Soewarno 1981). Nevertheless, Muslim and Hindu interpreters agree that this is the time of reckoning, of major political reform if not a revolution. They also tend to agree that a truly democratic system of government may only be realized with the help of a leader of the highest moral caliber, thus blending modern notions of democracy with traditional notions of charismatic leadership.

That the prophesies of Jayabaya are of profound significance to Indonesians of very different persuasion and from all walks of life is illustrated by the secret visits (once before he was nominated as a presidential candidate and again before his election) of President Abdurahman Wahid (then head of the NU) to the ancestral origin temple of Raja Jayabaya in Bali, the remote mountain sanctuary Pura Pucak Penulisan.[4] After a solitary nocturnal devotion at this ancient Hindu temple, as local priests told me, Gus Dur (the president's popular nickname) spoke with them at length about Jayabaya's prophesies and the imminent arrival of a new ratu adil. Opponents of Gus Dur have prefered to identify his government with another passage in the prophesies, which refer to "a king whose [interim] rule shall last no longer than the life span of a maize plant".

In conversations in Java and Bali in late 1999, I was continuously struck by the spirited political idealism of my informants, and their readiness even to risk their lives in the pursuit of political reform. It was sobering to note that they were envisaging for their Indonesia of the future so ideal a system of government as even western democracies could not claim to have achieved so far. I became rather concerned as well, in contemplating a very different attitude of cynicism and a sense of futility that now seems to permeate political life in western societies, and is reflected in the decline of popular participation and the silent attrition of important democratic institutions, such as independent universities (Ellingsen 1999). Studying Hindu revivalism in Java, in particular, reminded me also of persistent utopian and apocalyptic undertones in western scientific and technological worldviews, such as the early utopian predictions of a new cyber-democracy among Internet users and the more recent apocalyptic hysteria about the 'Y2K' computer bug.


The study of 'revival', 'millenarian', 'cargo-cult' or 'revolutionary' movements has a long and somewhat controversial history in the social sciences (Schwartz 1987). A common feature identified in studies of such movements is the linking of apocalyptic and utopian expectations, suggesting a tendency for people to readily believe what they most fear or wish to be true. Most analysts have stressed the ease with which charismatic and authoritarian leader figures can exploit such powerful beliefs and sentiments (Adorno 1978), and how mass manipulation may precipitate self-destructive behavior, such as collective suicide, or bizarre acts of violence. At the same time, social theory has produced its own visions of apocalypse and utopia, Karl Marx' prophesy of a 'final class struggle' and subsequent 'class-less society' being the most prominent among them.

In both cases, the lingering impression is that highly fatalistic or idealistic social movements are dangerous and destructive in the extreme. This is often true enough, but not necessarily so. Utopian expectations as such, judging by the original meaning of the word utopia ('no-place'), do not suggest a need for a single radical change so much as a continuous process of reform; a striving towards an ideal that ultimately can not be located or reached. As for apocalypticism, much may depend on whether it has some rational foundation. This may well be the case in Indonesia, now poised, as it is, at a significant historical juncture.[5]

A fundamental problem and simultaneously a source of inspiration for this field of social research has been the immense variability within the class of phenomena it seeks to describe. In the absence of a comprehensive theoretical framework that would serve to identify major categories of historical, political or situational variables in the genesis, development and outcomes of such apocalyptic or utopian movements, reporters and researchers alike are often seduced into focusing instead on their more obscure and sensational features.Although there have been repeated attempts to draw this research together under the umbrella of a single paradigm, such as Smelser's (1962) proposal for a more general category of 'value-focused social movements', discussion continues to be frustrated by disagreements on matters of definition and terminology. This problem pertains to discussions both across and within the boundaries of contributing disciplines, including anthropology, political science, sociology, social psychology and comparative religion. A review of the extensive and varied literature on millenarian movements is beyond the scope of this paper.

Under these adverse conditions, most attempts to transcend the specificity of particular apocalyptic or millenarian movements have been geographically or culturally restricted, and taken shape in discussions among groups of area specialists. The more significant among recent advances in the field, on the basis of such regional comparisons, have come from anthropological research on 'cargo-cult' movements in Papua New Guinea (Stewart 2000) and on 'endtime' movements in America (Stewart & Harding 1999).

This regional focusing of the discussion has paid dividends as an interim solution, but it also has detracted attention from a broader anthropological project of understanding idealistic social movements as a possible modality of social change in all human societies. While the notion of 'millenarian movements' has become a kind of gateway concept for researchers in PNG and the USA, for example, those working in other regions may pay very little attention to the same topic even though they may have cause to do so. Indonesia is one of these more or less neglected regions, with only a small minority of scholars caring to comment on millenarian movements and their recent proliferation (including Lee 1999, Timmer 2000).

Collaboration among fellow Indonesianists will be essential for any future attempt to raise the level of comparative research on this topic to the same high standard that has been achieved elsewhere. Even then, such a regional research project must be firmly anchored in a general anthropological theory. Without such a broader comparative framework to bridge the gaps between regional studies, the latter may deteriorate, for example, into neo-colonial discourses about the 'inherent madness' of Indonesia or other non-western societies. This particular objection has been raised most vehemently in recent critiques of 'cargo-cult'
studies (Lindstrom 1993, Kaplan 1995).

While Javanese Hindu revivalism may serve as my privileged example, an important future aim is to develop a more general theoretical approach to 'value-oriented social movements', on the basis of four hypothesis. Namely, that these movements; 1) can occur in all human societies, 2) are an extreme manifestation or response to social change, 3) are informed by radical some forms of 'religious' or 'secular' idealism, and 4) are accompanied by a heightened self-awareness among participants of being 'agents' or 'witnesses' of societal change. These different dimensions of idealist social movements are assumed to be interconnected. A heightened sense of agency and reflexivity, for example, may reflect in different ways on underlying material and symbolic interests that have been frustrated or denied to broad or narrow sectors of the society concerned.

The link between value-based social movements and the general phenomena of 'socio-cultural change' and 'reproduction' is a crucial issue, and it is both complex and variable. As a force operating within underdetermined and mutable socio-cultural worlds with limited cohesion such movements can not be adequately described, by evoking the metaphor of a homeostatic 'system', as either 'functional' or 'dysfunctional'. Even if we were to define cultural reproduction and change more cautiously, as different takes on a single and largely unpredictable historical process, some of these movements may appear to be exerting a 'reactionary' influence while others are more 'radical' or a combination of both. Expressions of social critique (in relation to society as it is or is perceived) are a common theme in the discourses produced within different value-oriented social movements. But we may also find combinations of restorative or visionary idealism, in different proportions, depending on whether the critique is focused on undesirable change or undesirable stagnation in the society concerned.

In evaluating the significance of Hindu revivalism and similar movements in Java for the stability and future development of Indonesian democracy, it is thus of the utmost importance to adopt a balanced view of processes of social change and their implications. The acute danger normally attributed to rapid social change in general and to idealistic social movements in particular must be weighed against the less sensational dangers of political inactivity, cynicism and complacency. Rather than casting a condescending judgement on the state of Indonesian society, the current proliferation of millenarianism therein must be evaluated within the context of a critical project of cross-cultural comparison. In this context, it may be worth pointing to the current "anti-globalization" movement in western countries, for this movement too serves as a reminder: The creation of a just society is a continuous, often circular, and still unfinished project, as much for us as it is for the people of Indonesia.


[1] Islam, for example, incorporated elements from the tribal traditions of Arab peoples and from Jewish and Christian texts such as the 'Old Testament'.

[2] The other four state-recognized religions (agama) are Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Buddhism (mainly Indonesians of Chinese ethnicity). Unrecognized religions are categorized by the state as minor
'streams of belief' (aliran kepercayaan) or are simply treated as a part of different local 'customs and traditions' (adat).

[3] As I am writing this, parliamentary procedures have been set into motion so as to impeach President Abdurahman Wahid on allegations of his involvement in corruption scandals.

[4] Pura Pucak Penulisan is still an important regional temple, and was a state temple of Balinese kings from the eighth century AD (Reuter 1998). Many statues of Balinese kings are still found in its inner sanctum, including one depicting Airlangga's younger brother Anak Wungsu. Literary sources suggest that intimate ties of kinship connected the royal families of Bali with the dynasties of Eastern Javanese kingdoms, including Kediri. Jayabaya's predecessor Airlannga, for example, was a Balinese prince.

[5] Sometimes apocalyptic expectations can reach such a pitch that members of the movement concerned may feel a need to bring about the very cataclysm the have been predicting. The poison gas attack in Tokyo launched by Japan's AUM Shinokio sect is a recent example. It is still uncertain whether the recent bomb attacks on Javanese Christian churches over the christmas period of 2000 were the responsibility of radical religious groups, or were instigated by other political interest groups wishing to destabilize the country by inciting simmering inter-religious conflicts in Java to the same level of violence as in the troubled Molukka Province.


Adorno, T. W. 1978. 'Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda'. In A. Arato & E. Gebhardt (eds), The Essential Frankfurt School Reader. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Bakker, F. 1995. Bali in the Indonesian State in the 1990s: The religious aspect. Paper presented at the Third International Bali Studies Workshop, 3-7 July 1995.

Beatty, A. 1999. Varieties of Javanese Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Buchari 1968. 'Sri Maharaja Mapanji Garasakan'. Madjalah Ilmu-Ilmu Sastra Indonesia, 1968(4):1-26.

Ellingsen, P. 1999. 'Silence on Campus: How academics are being gagged as universities toe the corporate line'. Melbourne: The Age Magazine, 11.12.1999:26-32.

Fox, J. & Sathers, C. (eds) 1996. Origins, Ancestry and Alliance: Explorations in Austronesian Ethnography. Canberra: Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Geertz, C. 1960. The Religion of Java. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Hefner, R. 1985. Hindu Javanese: Tengger Tradition and Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hefner, R. 1987. 'The Political Economy of Islamic Conversion in Modern East Java'. In W. Roff (ed.), Islam and the Political Economy of Meaning. London: Croom Helm.

Hefner, R. 1990. The Political Economy of Mountain Java. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hefner, R. 1997. 'Islamization and Democratization in Indonesia'. In R. Hefner & P. Horvatich (eds), Islam in an Era of Nation States: Politics and Religious Renewal in Muslim Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Kaplan, M. 1995. Neither Cargo nor Cult: Ritual Politics and the Colonial Imagination in Fiji. Durham (NC): Duke University Press.

Lee, K. 1999. A Fragile Nation: The Indonesian Crisis. River Edge (N.J.): World Scientific.

Lindstrom, L. 1993. Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Lyon, M. 1980. 'The Hindu Revival in Java". In J. Fox (ed.), Indonesia: The making of a Culture. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

Ramstedt, M. 1998. 'Negotiating Identity: 'Hinduism' in Modern Indonesia'. Leiden: IIAS Newsletter, 17:50.

Reuter, T. 1998. 'The Banua of Pura Pucak Penulisan: A Ritual Domain in the Highlands of Bali'. Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 32 (1):55-109.

Schwartz, H. 1987. 'Millenarianism: An overview'. In M. Eliade (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Religion, Vol. 9:521-532. New York: MacMillan.

Smelser, J. 1962. Theory of Collective Behavior. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Soesetro, D. & Arief, Z. 1999. Ramalan Jayabaya di Era Reformasi. Yogyakarta: Media Pressindo.

Soewarna, M. 1981. Ramalan Jayabaya Versi Sabda Palon. Jakarta: P.T Yudha Gama.

Stewart, K. & Harding, S. 1999. 'Bad Endings: American Apocalypsis'. Annual Review of Anthropology 28:285-310.

Stewart, P.J. 2000. 'Introduction: Latencies and realizations in millennial practices'. Ethnohistory 47(1):3-27. [Special Issue on Millenarian Movements.]

Timmer, J. 2000. 'The return of the kingdom: Agama and the millennium among the Imyan of Irian Jaya, Indonesia'. . Ethnohistory 47(1):29-65.

Note: Dr Thomas Reuter is Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne's School of Anthropology, Geography & Environmental Studies. This paper was published in The Australian Journal of Anthropology and is being reproduced with their permission <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Literacy alone will help Muslims overcome backwardness: Minister

Staff Reporter

Rally organised to promote Islamic education

# 7,000 children from 172 Muslim-managed schools and madrasas take part
# Students take part in elocution in Urdu, English, Hindi and Telugu
# Essence of all speeches stresses that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam
# 7,000 children from 172 Muslim-managed schools and madrasas take part
# Essence of all speeches stresses that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam

UNITED FOR A CAUSE: Students taking part in a rally voicing the need for Islamic education. — Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

HYDERABAD: Minister for Minority Welfare Mohammed Fareeduddin on Sunday laid stress on education, saying that this alone could pull Muslims out of backwardness.

Addressing a rally organised to promote Islamic education here, he pointed out that while the rate of literacy in Andhra Pradesh was 57 per cent, rate of literacy among Muslims was 18 per cent.

The literacy among Muslim women was even less at three per cent, he said.

Earlier, some 7,000 children from 172 Muslim-managed schools and madrasas took part in the rally that ended at the Quli Qutb Shah Stadium.

Children displayed banners as they marched past Mecca Masjid, Charminar, Gulzar Houz and Patherghatti before the stadium.

Here students presented their oratory skills as part of an elocution competition in Urdu, English, Hindi and Telugu languages.

The essence of all their speeches was that terrorism had nothing to do with Islam.

Chairman of the Reception Committee Zaheeruddin Ali Khan said that the Congress Government was benefiting from Muslim support after a gap of 13 years.

If the United Progressive Alliance Government failed to bring legislation on reservations for Muslims in Parliament, they would lose this support, he cautioned.

`Peaceful co-existence'

International Committee of the International Union of Muslim Scouts (IUMS) in Saudi Arabia president Abdullah Omer Naseef said, "We have to prove by civilised behaviour and peaceful co-existence that Islam respects other religions."

Prizes were distributed to winners of various competitions.

Moulana Syed Mohammedul Hussaini Qadri, president of Anjumane-Qadria, under whose auspices the function took place, Zahid Ali Khan, Chief Editor of Siasat Daily, Zuhair Ghunaim, secretary-General of IUMS, others took part.
Reconstruct Babri: Majlis

Staff Reporter

# Asaduddin for peaceful bandh on December 6
# BJP, Shiv Sena paying the price for their `deed'

Hyderabad: A protest meeting organised by the MIM on Sunday wanted reconstruction of Babri masjid at the same place where it was demolished in Ayodhya. A large number of people attended the public meeting held at Hashim grounds, Mallepally. Majlis president Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi blamed former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao for the tragedy.

Party MP Asaduddin Owaisi called for a peaceful bandh on December 6. The Muslim community should close their business establishments that day. He urged members of majority community who believe in secularism to observe bandh to express solidarity.

He said the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the RSS, which took active part in demolition of the mosque are now facing internal crisis.

BJP leader L.K. Advani and Uma Bharati who incited the kar sevaks are now facing severe threat to their political careers, he said. Mr.Asaduddin asked the Muslims to sink their difference and try to be strong politically.

Quota issue

Referring to the reservation issue, he warned the State Government that it could have to pay a heavy price if it fails to provide quota for Muslims. Majlis MLAs — Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri and Mumtaz Ahmed Khan — spoke.

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COMMENT: Islam and the challenge of modernity —Ishtiaq Ahmed

Professor Ali’s thesis is that of Islamic exceptionalism. He observes that whereas other non-Western cultures have successfully adjusted to the notion of an economics of growth and cultural Westernisation, Islam has not. The reason is that other cultures — Confucianism and Shintoism — are ethical systems and not revealed religions. On the other hand, Islam, a revealed religion, requires divine authority to justify change and adjustment

In his monumental work published posthumously, Islam and the Challenges of Modernity: An Agenda for the Twenty First Century (Islamabad: National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, Centre of Excellence, 2004) the late Professor Shaukat Ali, a veteran educationist settled in the USA, has compiled not only what South Asian Muslims have written on the need for an Islamic revival and reform but virtually the work of scholars from the entire Muslim world. Scholars such as Professor Shaukat Ali are a rarity as narrow specialisation and pedantic methodological concerns are replacing the classical scholar whose vision was panoramic.

As a concept, modernity is an over- and loosely-used generic tool that needs more stringent treatment. Essentially modernity signifies the end of religious authority as the source of objective knowledge about the world and reliance on science and scientific procedures. Practically it means manipulating nature for producing wealth and an economy of growth. However, the post-modern phase, which post-industrial societies are now experiencing, indicates the limits of classical modernity and rationality and a shift to cultural and spiritual concerns such as identity and preservation of nature. How does the Islamic heritage relate to such developments?

Professor Ali’s thesis is that of Islamic exceptionalism. He observes that whereas other non-Western cultures have successfully adjusted to the notion of an economics of growth and cultural Westernisation, Islam has not. The reason is that other cultures — Confucianism and Shintoism — are ethical systems and not revealed religions. On the other hand, Islam, a revealed religion, requires divine authority to justify change and adjustment. It is not clear where he places Hinduism which is not a revealed religion in the sense of the Middle Eastern faiths such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but neither is it simply a system of ethics.

But I believe there is a point to his argument that we need to consider how religions of Middle Eastern origin view societal changes. The Christian ecclesiastical order put up a fierce fight before modernity could be consolidated and Israel remains a religious type of state despite its democratic political system.

With regard to Islamic exceptionalism, Professor Ali believes that only change which is compatible with the sharia will be acceptable in Muslim society. Since at least the time of Jamaluddin Afghani the sharia has been interpreted rather flexibly. The limits set by sharia are not easily fixed. What we find happening is that while some traditional and fundamentalist groups try to resist modernity, even they do it selectively.

Some 150 years ago fatwas were issued against travel by train; pictures were considered un-Islamic and telephone and radio subversive gadgets. I believe only drawing or painting pictures is still considered wrong. Nowadays mullahs are using modern gadgetry including video cameras to publicise their point of view. The problem arises when modernity implies social emancipation. At this point, the mullahs are adamant about preventing equal rights and freedom for women and non-Muslims.

But even on such controversial matters things have not remained static. In Indonesia, the two main conservative movements, the Muhammadiyah, with a membership of 25 million in a population of 225 million and second only to the Nahdatul Ulama — Revival of Islamic Preachers — which has a membership of 30 million, have become more amenable to interpreting the sharia flexibly. For example they now say that privatisation of religion is possible in Islam.

Therefore it is not all that easy to establish the limits which the sharia sets to change and reform. It seems that vastly radical interpretations are possible. In this connection one can also note that Muslim secularists sometimes do invoke the hadith literature to justify that secularism is permissible in Islam. Justice Muhammad Munir of Pakistan is a case in point. It is a pity that the compatibility of reform with sharia is not discussed in depth or sufficiently critically.

With regard to individual thinkers the book is truly a digest of a vast body of literature. We find some well-known names as well as many others who are probably being presented for the first time to a Pakistani audience. We learn about Khayr al-Din Tunisi (died 1889) a freed slave who by sheer dint of merit rose to occupy the highest offices in the Tunisian political system. He advocated modernisation.

The more well-known Jamaluddin Afghani (died 1897) believed that Islamic civilisation was superior to the Western one because Islam was a religion of progress and reason whereas Christianity was full of superstitions. Therefore the way forward is to revive true Islam as given in the Quran and Sunnah rather than what the ulema had been presenting. His disciple, the Egyptian Mohammad Abduh, was more focused on the purification of the law unlike his teacher who emphasised culture. Sir Syed took the position that there could be no clash between revelation and science because Islam was a religion based on nature. Of course Iqbal is given special attention and is the main source of inspiration for the reform that the author has in mind.

Fundamentalist thinkers are also included in the book. Syed Qutb of Egypt considered that the basic clash in the world was between Islam and jahiliyat (ignorance). Western civilisation of course is identified as jahiliyat. Then there are Abul Ala Maududi and Ayatullah Khomeini who represent different fundamentalist models of Islamic state. The common thread is their commitment to a holistic enforcement of the sharia to all departments of life. Such positions have played a central role in giving birth to extremist movements some of which have adopted terrorist strategies to defeat what they perceive is the age of ignorance.

The author also reviews many reforms undertaken to modernise Islamic law. He writes positively about the Muslim Family Laws introduced during the Ayub era. Indeed his approach is imbued in Iqbal’s belief in ijithad. Unfortunately Professor Shaukat Ali could not write the concluding chapter or for some reason the editors have failed to include it. Under the circumstances we can only speculate about the message he wanted to convey to his audience.

The author is an associate professor of political science at Stockholm University. He is the author of two books. His email address is Ishtiaq.Ahmed@statsvet.su.se
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Pentagon Breaks the Islam Taboo</b>
By Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 14, 2005

Washington's policy-makers have been careful in the war on terror to distinguish between Islam and the terrorists. The distinction has rankled conservatives who see scarce difference.

A little-noticed speech by President Bush in October gave them some hope. In a major rhetorical shift, he described the enemy as "Islamic radicals" and not just "terrorists," although he still denies that radicalism has anything to do with their religion.

Now for the first time, a<b> key Pentagon intelligence agency involved in homeland security is delving into Islam's holy texts to answer whether Islam is being radicalized by the terrorists or is already radical.</b> Military brass want a better understanding of what's motivating the insurgents in Iraq and the terrorists around the globe, including those inside America who may be preparing to strike domestic military bases. The enemy appears indefatigable, even more active now than before 9/11.

Are the terrorists really driven by self-serving politics and personal demons? Or are they driven by religion? And if it's religion, are they following a manual of war contained in their scripture?

Answers are hard to come by. Four years into the war on terror, U.S. intelligence officials tell me there are no baseline studies of the Muslim prophet Muhammad or his ideological or military doctrine found at either the CIA or Defense Intelligence Agency, or even the war colleges.

But that is slowly starting to change as the Pentagon develops a new strategy to deal with the threat from Islamic terrorists through its little-known intelligence agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity or CIFA, which staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at home and abroad. CIFA also supports Northern Command in Colorado, which was established after 9/11 to help military forces react to terrorist threats in the continental United States.

Dealing with the threat on a tactical and operational level through counterstrikes and capture has proven only marginally successful. Now military leaders want to combat it from a strategic standpoint, using informational warfare, among other things. A critical part of that strategy involves studying Islam, including the Quran and the hadiths, or traditions of Muhammad.

<b>"Today we are confronted with a stateless threat that does not have at the strategic level targetable entities: no capitals, no economic base, no military formations or installations," states a new Pentagon briefing paper I've obtained. "Yet political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West's response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level -- Islam -- unaddressed."</b>

So far the conclusions of intelligence analysts assigned to the project, who include both private contractors and career military officials, contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists. They've found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.

"Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad)," concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And "no one is looking for its off switch."

Why? One major reason, the briefing states, is government-wide "indecision [over] whether Islam is radical or being radicalized."

So, which is it? "Strategic themes suggest Islam is radical by nature," according to the briefing, which goes on to cite the 26 chapters of the Quran dealing with violent jihad and the examples of the Muslim prophet, who it says sponsored "terror and slaughter" against unbelievers.

"Muhammad's behaviors today would be defined as radical," the defense document says, and Muslims today are commanded by their "militant" holy book to follow his example. It adds: Western leaders can no longer afford to overlook the "cult characteristics of Islam."

<b>It also ties Muslim charity to war. Zakat, the alms-giving pillar of Islam, is described in the briefing as "an asymmetrical war-fighting funding mechanism." Which in English translates to: combat support under the guise of tithing.</b> Of the eight obligatory categories of disbursement of Muslim charitable donations, it notes that two are for funding jihad, or holy war. Indeed, authorities have traced millions of dollars received by major jihadi terror groups like Hamas and al-Qaida back to Saudi and other foreign Isamic charities and also U.S. Muslim charities, such as the Holy Land Foundation.

According to the Quran, jihad is not something a Muslim can opt out of. It demands able-bodied believers join the fight. Those unable -- women and the elderly -- are not exempt; they must give "asylum and aid" (Surah 8:74) to those who do fight the unbelievers in the cause of Allah.

In analyzing the threat on the domestic front, the Pentagon briefing draws perhaps its most disturbing conclusions. It argues the U.S. has not suffered from scattered insurgent attacks -- as opposed to the concentrated and catastrophic attack by al-Qaida on 9-11 -- in large part because it has a relatively small Muslim population. But that could change as the Muslim minority grows and gains more influence.

The internal document explains that Islam divides offensive jihad into a "three-phase attack strategy" for gaining control of lands for Allah.<b> The first phase is the "Meccan," or weakened, period, whereby a small Muslim minority asserts itself through largely peaceful and political measures involving Islamic NGOs -- such as the Islamic Society of North America, which investigators say has its roots in the militant Muslim Brotherhood, and Muslim pressure groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are on record expressing their desire to Islamize America.</b>

<b>In the second "preparation" phase, a "reasonably influential" Muslim minority starts to turn more militant. The briefing uses Britain and the Netherlands as examples.</b>

<b>And in the final jihad period, or "Medina Stage," a large minority uses its strength of numbers and power to rise up against the majority, as Muslim youth recently demonstrated in terrorizing France, the Pentagon paper notes.</b>  [good example, riots by muslims in India]

It also notes that unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam advocates expansion by force. <b>The final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, is to conquer the world in the name of Islam. The defense briefing adds that Islam is also unique in classifying unbelievers as "standing enemies against whom it is legitimate to wage war."</b>

<b>Right now political leaders don't understand the true nature of the threat,\ it says, because the intelligence community has yet to educate them. They still think Muslim terrorists, even suicide bombers, are mindless "criminals" motivated by "hatred of our freedoms,"</b> rather than religious zealots motivated by their faith. And as a result, we have no real strategic plan for winning a war against jihadists.

Even many intelligence analysts and investigators working in the field with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces have a shallow understanding of Islam.

<b>"I don't like to criticize our intelligence services, because we did win the Cold War," says a Northern Command intelligence official. "However, all of these organizations have made only limited progress adjusting to the current threat or the sharing of information."</b>

Why? "All suffer heavily from political correctness," he explains.

PC still infects the Pentagon, four years after jihadists hit the nation's military headquarters.

<b>"A lot of folks here have a very pedestrian understanding of Islam and the Islamic threat," a Pentagon intelligence analyst working on the project told me. "We're getting Islam 101, and we need Islam 404."</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<b>The hardest part of formulating a strategic response to the threat is defining Islam as a political and military enemy. Once that psychological barrier has been crossed, defense sources tell me, the development of countermeasures -- such as educating the public about the militant nature of Islam and exploiting "critical vulnerabilities" or rifts within the Muslim faith and community -- can begin.

"Most Americans don't realize we are in a war of survival -- a war that is going to continue for decades," the Northcom official warns.</b>
It remains to be seen, however, whether our PC-addled political leaders would ever adopt such controversial measures.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Dec 15 2005, 12:38 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Dec 15 2005, 12:38 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->xpost
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>The Pentagon Breaks the Islam Taboo</b>
By Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 14, 2005

Washington's policy-makers have been careful in the war on terror to distinguish between Islam and the terrorists. The distinction has rankled conservatives who see scarce difference.



Wow, it took them only 25 years to understand this! 25 years of feeding the monster and waging it on commies!

There is hope!
They should also study the Bible. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Majlis president Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi blamed former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao for the tragedy<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> Owaisi (or hisfather) were members of the razakars,a group of people who went on a murder rampage prior to the police action by Sardar patel several months after august 1947. If he is the one who was a razakar he should be brought to trial for murder and summarily hanged if found guilty

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