Sarekat Islam


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sarekat Islam

 

(Islamic Union), one of the first mass political organizations in Indonesia.

Sarekat Islam was formed in 1912 as a result of the reorganization of Sarekat Dagang Islam (Union of Islamic Merchants), an organization that reflected the interests of the nascent Indonesian commercial and industrial bourgeoisie in the struggle against foreign (mainly Dutch) capital. In colonial Indonesia, Sarekat Islam’s slogan calling for the unification of all Muslims, who constituted the overwhelming majority of the population, was perceived as a call for the unification of the entire Indonesian people in the struggle against imperialism. In 1913, in his article “The Awakening of Asia,” Lenin observed that the revolutionary-democratic movement had spread to Indonesia as well, especially to the masses of the native population, among whom a nationalist movement had arisen under the banner of Islam (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 23, p. 145).

During World War I and especially after the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, Sarekat Islam grew into a genuinely mass organization of revolutionary-democratic character. In 1919 it had 2.5 million members. In this period it inspired the struggle against Dutch rule, uniting the national bourgeoisie, the working class, the peasantry, and the urban petite bourgeoisie into a single anti-imperialist bloc.

Because of the right wing’s desire to ensure bourgeois control over the organization—as a counterweight to the growing influence of the Communists, who had also joined Sarekat Islam—the organization split in 1923. The Communist Party of Indonesia succeeded in winning over a number of sections of Sarekat Islam, those that stood for the interests of the land-poor peasants, the artisans, and the urban poor. These sections came to be known as Red Sarekat Islam, and from 1924, as Sarekat Rakjat (People’s Union). That part of Sarekat Islam still under the control of bourgeois and Islamic leaders established a bourgeois party, the Partai Sarekat Islam (Islamic Union Party), which from 1929 has been known as the Islamic Union of Indonesia. The latter party has little influence among the masses; in 1961 it had 200,000 members.

E. M. GUREVICH

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The US also openly supported Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia, and supported the Jamaat-e-Islami against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan.
Kartosuwiryo was a charismatic leading figure in the early twentieth-century Islamic movement Sarekat Islam and later, from the mid-1940s, in the Masyumi political party.
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Sayyid 'Uthman's ability to speak to different audiences also became apparent in the last years of his life when he was invited to attend one of the first congresses of Sarekat Islam in 1913, the first indigenous mass organization out of which Indonesian nationalist organizations developed.
It is unclear why he first joined the Sarekat Islam Party in 1927.
In the following pages we will introduce Kartosuwiryo's early career in Sarekat Islam party, focusing on his prioritising the establishment of an independent Islamic state of Indonesia without seeking colonial co-operation, his relation to the Japanese authority, and his rise as regional leader of Masyumi in West Java.
Elaborating on earlier initiatives (including those by Sarekat Islam) Muhammadiyah changed the nature of Islamic charity through its large-scale investments in public services (including healthcare and education) and its decision to regard charity, besides education and religious purification, as one the main pillars of its modernizing mission.
At its congress in March 1953, the Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia (PSII)--which itself had earlier split from Masyumi--asserted its aim that "the Law of the Indonesian State be based on Islam", as well as that the head of state be a Muslim (quoted in Abdulgani 1954; see also Abdulgani 1964?, pp.
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