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Author: Chiara Formichi
Recently Kartsowiryo and the Darul Islam have become heroic symbols of the Islamist struggle. The author looks beyond the popular dichotomy between rebel and martyr and unveils a politician whose legacy has been shaping the role of Islam in Indonesian politics for over fifty years. She thereby offers an alternative view of Soekarno as the leader of the republic and his antagonism with the Islamic state.
In a blend of archival sources, printed material, and oral accounts, the author follows the career and ideology of Kartosuwiryo.The chapters delineate the gradual radicalization of the Islamic party and of Kartosuwiryo's own ideals from the 1920s to the 1950s.
A testament to the relevance of historical research in understanding contemporary politics, Islam and the Making of the Nation guides the reader through the contingencies of the past that have led to the transformation of a nationalist leader into a 'separatist rebel' and a 'martyr', while at the same time shaping the public perception of political Islam and strengthening the position of the Pancasila in contemporary Indonesia.
Author: Chiara Formichi

This article reflects on the impact of transnational flows of students, pilgrims, and literature from Iran to Indonesia on the shaping of Shiʿa Islam in Indonesia since 1979, with a focus on the post-Suharto era (1998–2012) and the performance of ʿ Āshūrāʾ commemorative rituals. Since the early days of its Islamization, Southeast Asia has featured several literary and ritual practices rooted in a combination of Islamic and local traditions; most notable are those expressing patterns of pre-sectarian devotion towards the ahl al-bayt – drawing a parallel with Marshall Hodgson’s framework of ʿAlid piety (1955). Based on ethnographic and archival research, the author suggests that in the decades following the Iranian revolution some of these practices were abandoned in favour of a paradigm of devotion promoted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The polarization of practices, and the relationship between organizations representative of these two approaches, is illustrated through an analysis of the performative means used to represent the tragedy of Karbala during ʿĀshūrāʾ events in Bandung, Bengkulu (West Sumatra), and Jakarta in 2011. In Bandung the play “Tragedi Karbala” was performed by a Sundanese theatrical group staging a local text; in Bengkulu the traditional Festival Tabot took place following a pattern determined by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture in the early 1970s but now under the sponsorship of the Iranian Embassy; the  Jakarta event featured a taʿziya troupe brought from Iran by the Embassy’s cultural office.


In: Die Welt des Islams
In: Islam and the Making of the Nation
In: Islam and the Making of the Nation
In: Islam and the Making of the Nation