The Indonesian Revolution

Muhammad Natsir

in Liberal Islam

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116212
Published online November 2007 |
  The Indonesian Revolution

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Born in Sumatra, Muhammad Natsir (Indonesia, 19081993) was among the first Indonesians to receive a European education. He combined this Western training with his Islamic beliefs to create a modernist interpretation of Islam, which he promoted as leader of the modernist wing of the Consultative Congress of Indonesian Muslims (the Masjumi party) during the 1940s and 1950s. 1 After Indonesia regained its independence, Natsir rose to the prime ministership, serving for a year in 19501951. Thereafter, through his speeches and interviews, he became identified as the champion of liberal parliamentary democracy. 2 In the following essay from 1955, Natsir urges Muslims to accept the secular Indonesian state (analogous to the Kabir and Zafar essays in this volume). In 1958, Natsir appears to have abandoned these views, siding with an Islamic revolutionary movement in Sumatra, serving several years in prison, and emerging with far more rigid theological positions. The younger generation of Indonesian Islamic reformers, represented by Nurcholish Madjid in this volume, viewed Natsir as a recalcitrant member of the old guard. 3

Chapter.  5812 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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