Reading teh Myth: Public Teaching of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir

Timothy Earl Behrend


Abu Bakar Ba 'asyir, menurut media di luar Indonesia, dituduh sebagai penganjur terorisme dan revolusi melalui organisasi yang disebut Jamaah Islamiyah. Namanya sering dikaitkan dengan Al Qaidah, dan sejumlah peristiwa terorisme. Ia ditangkap karena desakan sejumlah negara atas Indonesia, melalui tuduhan sebagai aktor terorisme. Abu Bakar Ba'asyir sendiri merupakan seorang muslim taat, disiplin, tetapi juga absolutis dan simplistis. Ia memang, melalui pengajarannya, tampak berobsesi menegakkan syari'at Islam di negara Indonesia, untuk mengganti sistem kafir. Dalam hal ini, ia seorang radikalis. Tetapi, sesungguhnya ia bukan penganjur terorisme dan kekerasan dalam mencapai tujuannya, sebagaimana dituduhkan media. Sikap radikalnya, sesungguhnya, tak beda dengan sikap radikal kaum Kristen fundamentalis yang pernah terjadi di barat, terutama Amerika Serikat. Selain itu, ia juga sangat menentang Amerika yang dipandangnya telah melakukan hegemoni dan terorisme budaya.


Reading teh Myth, Public Teaching, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir


A truncateu version of this article appeared in Inside Indonesia 74 (April-June 2003), pp. 9-10. Travel funding that made a quick trip to Indonesia after the Bali bombings possible was provided by The University of Auckland Research Committee, to whom I am grateful. I would also like to thank Ustad Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, Ustad Farid Ma'ruf, teachers and students at Pondok Pesantren Islam Al-Mukmin, and many others who helped make a short trip in a new landscape surprisingly fruitful for me.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore, MFA "Press Statement on the Request for Addition of Jemaah Islamiah to List of Terrorists Maintained by the UN", 23 October 2002, as quoted in Sidney Jones, "Indonesia Backgrounder: How the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist network operates", International Crisis Group, Jakarta and Brussels, 11 December 2002, p.5

Ba'asyir has been repeatedly quoted as saying that jemaah islamiyah (the Islamic community) is a concept, not an organisation. See for example "Jemaah Islamiyah, Ideas and Idealism", Tempo Magazine, 5-11 November 2002, article=60

Terror in Paradise." A News Hour with Jim Lehrer transcript. October 14, 2002. Interview with Robert Gelbard, Zachary Abuza, and Michael Sheehan. Online News Hour. Online Focus. bb/ interna tional/july-dec02/bali_10-14.html. Look also at s711740.htm for an excerpt from Abuza's forthcoming book, Militant Islam in Southeast Asia: Networks of Global Terrorism (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, due out October 2003). A more extensive, but rougher version of this text can be viewed at http:// College/SEC2002-2/Tentacles.rtf.

Newspapers in Indonesia and elsewhere reported today (25-02-2003) that one of the small number of admitted Bali bombers who had implicated Ba'asyir under interrogation is now recanting, claiming that he had been forced to provide the Ba'asyir link. He is Ali Imron. one of the technical experts who helped assemble the bombs. See list link for AFP story as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald: http://

The way that news flows around the world is evident in the Dutch media's tendency to use the Anglicised spelling 'Bashir' rather than than Indo-Dutch 'Basyir' or 'Ba'asyir'

On Ba'asyir's connections to members of Darul Islam and other Islamist political movements, see especially On Ba'asyir's connections to members of Darul Islam and other Islamist political movements, see especially Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The case of the 'Ngruki Network' in Indonesia, an August 2002 report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (available at the ICG website, showreport.cfm?reportid=733).

Story filed August 30, 2002, WORLD/asiapcf/southeast-/07/30/ seasia.state/

See for example

For details on this trip, see my "Meeting Ustadz Abu", online at asia/tbehrend/ meetabb. pdf.

Memahami pokok-pokok ajaran dienul Islam (bersama: AI Ustadz KH. Abubakar Ba'asyir).

Ust. Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, "Sistem kaderisasi mujahidin dalam mewujudkan masyrakat Islam." In Irfan Suryahadi Awwas, ed., Risalah Kongres Mujahidin dan penegakan syari'ah Islam, pp. 79-90. Yogyakarta: Wihdah Press, 2001.

On anti-Semitism in Indonesian Islam, see Martin van Bruinessen, "Yahudi sebagai simbol dalam wacana Islam Indonesia masa kini," at pubiications/ yahudi_sebagai_simbol.htm#_ftn1.

For an introduction to these matters, see the 500 pages of discussion on the universal imamate and matters of shari'ah government, nationhood, and statehood in Irfan Suryahadi Awwas, ed., Risalah Kongres Mujahidin dan penegakan syari'ah Islam. Yogyakarta: Wihdah Press, 2001.

This particular explanation of jihad was provided by Irfan Awwas in the Yogyakarta offices of the MMI.



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