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Jakarta Post

In search of Mohammad Natsir's spirit in Islamic Revivalism

  • Ida Indawati Khouw

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, August 3 2008   /  10:15 am

Last July the country commemorated the 100th birthday of Mohammad Natsir (1908-1993), one of the country's founding fathers. The statesman had complex thoughts and ideas but is better known for his stance on Islamic ideology. Author Imdadun Rahmat dubs him the "ummu al-radla'ah", the "wetnurse" of contemporary Islamic revivalism. Scholars and politicians agree that the fifth prime minister of the country (1950-1951) cannot be labeled in a mechanistic way simply as a proponent of Islamic ideology. His nationalist credentials were especially reflected in his noted mosi integral (parliamentary resolution laying down a unitary state) that helped save the newly-born Indonesia from federalism, while being consistent with his Islamic ideology and desire to have Islamic values as the foundation of the state. Natsir's political struggle was channeled thr...