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A step closer to establishing the islamic state (may-december 1948)

Institutional and territorial consolidation

In the second half of 1948, the Darul Islam’s efforts were channelled into consolidating the movement’s control over WestJava and opposing the Dutch in both military and political capacities. In early May 1948 Kartosuwiryo, Sanoesi Partawidjaja, Kamran, Toha Arsjad, and Kiyai Gozali Toesi led a conference in the vicinity of Bantarujeg (Maja- lengka) to establish the majelis imamah or kabinet (guiding assembly, or cabinet), an act that marked the transformation of the MOI from a socio-political mass movement into a government body.[1]

On 27 August Kartosuwiryo released the Constitution of the Islamic state, and in the following months he continued to structure and give a clearer shape to this political entity. The Negara Islam Indonesia was to be a republic, led by an imam and based on sharia law. The imam had to be elected, his actions would be pursued only in the interest of the public and his authority would be submitted only to the sharia. He was entrusted with law-making, a process whose principle aim would be the formulation of laws inspired by sharia principles and, at the same time, able to deal with the needs of a modern Islamic society.

Similar paradigms of government were suggested by other groups across the archipelago, especially in Aceh and South Sulawesi, as mentioned in the preface to this book. Yet, despite having a vision starkly different from Soekarno’s, the Darul Islam was still far from positioning itself in opposition to the Republic, keeping its focus instead on regional anti-Dutch activities. For the Darul Islam, the Islamic state was in a state of war, or jihad, with the Dutch forces, and every member of the Islamic ummah had the religious duty to fight fi Sabilillah.[2]

July and August, which that year corresponded to the fasting month of Ramadhan, had been quieter than the rest of the year. Yet even amidst reduced clashes and increased arrests, the Darul Islam had nonetheless succeeded in consolidating its presence in the region.[3] By the end of September 1948, the D.I area included the territory that had been under D.III in May. The D.II stretched southwest to Pameungpeuk and Mount Cupu, northwest to Tan- jungsari and Tanjungkerta (Sumedang), north to the railway in Sukamelang, east to Cirebon, and then curving back in to Ciki- jing and Mount Sawal. The D.III had expanded further into the Garut regency in Bungbulang, towards Bandung, Indramayu and Cirebon in the north, and east into Central Java, with Salem under Darul Islam influence.[4]

The expansion towards the east was led by Amir Fatah, commander of the mobile division of the TII. Through October and December he would push into the neighbouring province and become head of the Central Java division of the Darul Islam.[5] Here the Darul Islam won the support of smaller Islamic groups, including the Moedjahidin of Pekalongan, Tegal and Brebes, which then became the core of the local Darul Islam.[6] In the west, the TII had regiments in Bogor, Jakarta and Banten as early as June 1948.[7]

  • [1] Dinas Sejarah TNI, Penumpasanpemberontakan D.I./T.I.I., p. 64.
  • [2] ‘Maklumat Negara Islam Indonesia no. 1, 25 August 1948, JogjaDoc no. 218e, ANRI.
  • [3] ‘Beknopt Politiek Politioneel Verslag van de regentschappen Bandoeng, Garoet, Tasikma-laja, Tjiamis, Soemedang, Cheribon, Koeningan, Indramajoe, Madjalengka, Poerwakarta, Soeka-boemi, Tjiandjoer en Buitenzorg’ for the months of July and August 1948, AMK:RI no. 284, NA.
  • [4] CMI Publication no. 91, 29 September 1948, AAS no. 3977, NA.
  • [5] ‘CMI Doc. No. 5176, Documenten betreffende de “Daroel Islam"-beweging’, 21 December1948, AAS no. 2752, NA.
  • [6] CMI Publication No. 97, 18 November 1948, AAS no. 3977, NA.
  • [7] ‘Rapport van Bk. Bandoeng inzake Islamitische stromingen in de residenties Prianganen Cheribon’, Archief van de Marine en Leger Inlichtingendienst, Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service en Centrale Militaire Inlichtingendienst in Nederlands-Indie [hereafter AIntel]no. 1705, NA.
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