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The Proclamation of the Negara Islam Indonesia

In part a result of Soekarno’s weakness, the Indonesian Republic was visibly crumbling under pressure from international diplomatic efforts. The Negara Islam Indonesia was officially declared against this backdrop on 7 August 1949, during the 20 th session of the dewan imamah in Cimampang, a meeting held in the aftermath of the Roem-Van Royen Agreement and attended by Kartosuwiryo, K.H. Gozali Toesi, Sanoesi Partawidjaja, Oni and Toha Arsjad.

Pragmatic and detailed as it was, this proclamation was still a theoretical statement that together with the 1948 Constitution presented an alternative to Soekarno’s 1945 text. In Kartosuwiryo’s vision the NII would evolve from a core ‘Negara Basis’, named Madinah Indonesia, with only de facto authority over a small portion of Indonesia, into a ‘Negara Kurnia Allah’ - a fully sovereign state. Solidifying the state into a permanent entity could only be obtained through a dramatic shift in the balance of power: locally, Kartosuwiryo called for an Islamic revolution; internationally, for a Third World War or a World Revolution ‘more devastating and violent than the previous ones so that, God willing, the international situation will deeply change’.

Aware of the movement’s current limitations, the dewan imamah stated that the daulatul Islamiya, or Darul Islam, would continue to conduct a holy war until it was transformed in the envisaged ‘Negara Basis ’: the NII would include the entire territory of the archipelago, be recognised as a de facto and de jure state, it would implement Islamic law, abolish slavery, and ensure that all enemies of Allah, religion and the state had left. Until these goals were met, the NII would be in a state of war (Negara Islam dimasa perang or dar-ul-Islam fi-waqtil-harbi), ruled by Islamic martial law. The time was ripe for establishing ‘God’s justice in this world’, and Kartosuwiryo called upon the Indonesian ummah to pursue ‘the holy duty of guarding the integrity of the NII’.[1]

  • [1] ‘Proklamasi berdirinja Negara Islam Indonesia’, 7 August 1949, AABRI DI no. 14.
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