ABSTRACT

Islamic society in pre-independence Indonesia, the territory known as the Dutch East Indies, was shaped by two interdependent forces. These forces were the oppressiveness of the colonial political economy, and the arrival of modern nationalism, the “national revival,” to resist Dutch rule. It was in this cauldron of colonial exploitation of land, people, and political systems that the first modern Islamic organizations were founded. The structural economic injustice of colonialism provided the social context in which Islam resonated throughout the many islands of the archipelago. The message of these Islamic organizations was one of both spirituality and personal faith, but it was also political, giving voices to the frustrations produced by the inequitable status quo perpetrated by the Dutch and their collaborators.