Of all the agencies for the spread of salifism in

Indonesia, none has been more important than

LIPIA. In early 1980, the Imam Muhammad bin

Saud University in Riyadh, which had branches in

Djibouti and Mauritania, decided to open a third, in

Indonesia. It sent an instructor, Sheikh Abdul Aziz

Abdullah al-Ammar, a student of the top salafi

scholar in the world, Sheikh Abdullah bin Baz, to

Jakarta. Bin Baz urged his protégé to meet with

Mohammed Natsir on arrival.30

Natsir welcomed the idea of Jakarta's hosting an

extension of a major Saudi university. Not only

would it help strengthen local capacity in Islamic

law, it would also give far more Indonesian

students access to the kind of instruction available

in Saudi Arabia.31 He agreed to facilitate the

project, and by the end of 1980, a new institute

based on salafi principles was up and running.32

and Tamsil Linrung, Menunaikan Panggilan Risalah:

Dokumentasi Perjalanan 30 Tahun Dewan Dakwah

Islamiyyah Indonesia, Jakarta, 1997.

28 See ICG Report, Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia, op.

cit., and ICG Asia Report N°43, Indonesia Backgrounder,

How the Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Works, 11

December 2002.

29 Other well-known salafi leaders who trained under Jamil ur-

Rahman were Abu Nida' and Shaleh Su'aidi of Yogyakarta,

Ahmad Fa'iz of Kebumen, and Abu Ubah, of Riau.

30 Aay Muhamad Furkon, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera,

Ideologi Dan Praksis Politik Kaum Muda Muslim Indonesia

Kontemporer (Teraju Publishers, 2004), p. 173.

31 Ibid.

32 The original name was Lembaga Pendidikan Bahasa Arab

(Institute for Arabic Language Study).

Indonesia Backgrounder: Why Salafism and Terrorism Mostly Don't Mix

ICG Asia Report N°83, 13 September 2004 Page 8

The new school followed the curriculum of its parent

university, and many of the faculty were salafi

scholars, brought from Saudi Arabia. It provided full

scholarships, covering tuition, housing, and a stipend

that by Indonesian standards was extraordinarily

generous (100 to 300 rials per month, roughly $27 to

$82)33. Promising graduates received scholarships to

continue their studies at the master's and PhD level

in Riyadh.

The first LIPIA students included men who have

become some of Indonesia's best-known salafi

leaders.34 Many students became Muslim preachers

(da'i), on university campuses, among other places,

and there was a particularly strong relationship

between LIPIA and outreach activities on the

campus of the University of Indonesia in Jakarta.35

But in the early 1990s, a split developed within the

faculty, passed on to the students, between the purists

of the salafi movement and those who were

influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. The

Brotherhood's founder, Hassan al-Banna, pioneered

the concept of a political movement (harakah) aimed

at the transformation of Muslim societies and based

on the construction of model communities, built up

from small groups (usroh, literally family) of ten to

fifteen people who would live by Islamic law.

The concept of usroh communities spread rapidly on

Indonesian campuses in the early 1980s, just as the

Soeharto government's targeting of political Islam

intensified. Not only was the concept adopted by

many of the campus groups set up by DDII as a way

of organising Islamic study, but it also became the

theoretical basis for the establishment of what

amounted to political cells for more explicitly antigovernment

activities. Abdullah Sungkar, later to

found JI, and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir started the usroh

communities in Central Java.36

33 Figures denoted in dollars ($) in this report are in U.S.


34 Among them are Abdul Hakim Abdat, a hadith scholar

from Jakarta; Yazid Jawwas, of Minhaj us-Sunnah in Bogor;

Farid Okbah, a director of al-Irsyad; Ainul Harits, Yayasan

Nida''ul Islam, Surabaya; Abubakar M. Altway; Yayasan al-

Sofwah, Jakarta; Ja'far Umar Thalib, founder of Forum

Ahlussunnah Wal Jamaah; and Yusuf Utsman Baisa, a

director of al-Irsyad Pesantren, Tengaran.

35 Ali Said Damanik, Fenomena Partai Keadilan (Jakarta,

2002), fn. 202, p. 206.

36 See ICG Briefing, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, op. cit.

Within LIPIA, the influence of the Brotherhood

increased steadily. Several of the most popular

instructors subscribed to its basic tenets, and the

LIPIA library began filling up with books by leaders

of the Brotherhood or those supportive of its aims.37

Some LIPIA students influenced by Brotherhood

during this period went on to become leaders of the

Justice Party, now the Prosperous Justice Party, a

political movement set up very much along

Brotherhood lines (and that is sometimes referred to

as the tarbiyah or education movement).38 By the

early 1990s the purists, concerned about keeping the

focus on religious as opposed to political activities,

were upset at the influence of hizbiyah thinking in


In fact, the basic methodology of the purists and the

political activists was almost identical. Both placed

heavy emphasis on education and recruitment. Both

used dauroh – training progrom in Islamic studies --

to draw in more followers and increase their religious

knowledge. But purists believed that the Brotherhood

was sullying Islam by being too accommodating to

"innovators" in the interests of achieving political

goals. As one scathing critic put it, "Everyone's a

friend, no one's an enemy, they yell, 'There's no East,

there's no West, there are no Sunnis, no Shi'as, what's

important is Islam!'"39 But by tolerating deviants, the

purists said, the Brotherhood was undermining the

principles of aqidah (faith).

Rather than fight a losing battle in LIPIA, the purists

around 1995-1996 began to discourage their followers

from attending the school. By the time that decision

was taken, however, LIPIA's influence on the spread

of the salafi movement was already huge, in terms of

the sheer numbers of graduates. By June 1998, the

school had produced 3,726 students; by 2004, the

number would be closer to 5,000.40 Not all became

committed salafis, of course. Ulil Abshar Abdalla, for

example, the founder of the Liberal Islam Network --

in some ways, the antithesis of the salafi movement --

is also a LIPIA graduate. But overall, no single

institution did more to propagate salafism in Indonesia.

1 komentar:

Taalib said...

Jazaakumullaahu khayran