09 November 2009

Fachrizal Halim on Communism and Islam

My friend Fachrizal had an article published in the Jakarta Post in October challenging the notion that the Indonesian Communist movement was hostile to Islam from its inception.

Fachrizal cites Lenin's appeal to "all labouring Muslims of Russia and the East", and the subsequent support for the Bolsheviks on the part of some Russian Muslims. In Fachrizal's view, this "strategic alliance" was a result of the shared opposition of the Muslims and the Bolsheviks to Western imperialism.

Fachrizal argues that a similar alliance existed in Indonesia between the Communists and the Muslims masses. He concludes that it is time for the Communists' contribution to the formation of modern-day Indonesia to be fully acknowledged.

This is certainly a very interesting take on the issue. The history of cooperation between the Communists and Islamists in the days of Indonesia's struggle for independence is new to me. I do feel, though, that Fachrizal might be somewhat idealistic when he talks about Lenin's attitude towards Russian Muslims. On the other hand, he does acknowledge the fact that Stalin saw no grounds for the compatibility of Islam and Communism. This had a devastating outcome not just for the freedom of conscience of Soviet Muslims, but also in Indonesia, where the pro-Soviet Communists were forced to take an increasingly anti-Islamic stance.


Alicia said...

Hi Rashed, I just wanted to share some exciting news with you. My friend Shurouq, from Jordan, is giving me a copy of the Koran Holy Book and in return she is accepting a copy of the record written by prophets in ancient America. May God bless you! Take care!

Rashed said...

Hi, Alicia! Way to go! We need more interfaith dialogue and exchange of this sort in order to build bridges of understanding.

God bless you too!

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