TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - This is the question that emerged when Jakarta police arrested a number of leaders of Khilafatul Muslimin. Perhaps the name is new to you, but it turns out that the police have been monitoring the organization for a long time. It was established in 1997 by people linked with Darul Islam, a group that aimed to establish the Islamic State of Indonesia (NII).
The NII is an old organization. It emerged before Indonesia’s independence founded by Sekar Maridjan Kartosuwiryo. Kartosuwiryo wanted Indonesia to be based on Islamic sharia law. His aim was stymied by the wishes of Indonesia’s other founders, and as a result Kartosuwiryo was deemed subversive and was sentenced to death.
However, the idea never really died. Its adherents branched out to many movements and organizations. They include Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Baasyir, but many NII followers subsequently accepted Pancasila as the state ideology of Indonesia. Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja remained active and established Khilafatul Muslimin in Lampung.
He was jailed twice for terrorism offences and was the subject of a profile written by Busyro Muqoddas, former deputy chair of the Corruption Eradication Commission and a lecturer at the Indonesia Islamic University. In his book The Intelligence Regime Hegemony, published in 2011, Busyro wrote about Baraja’s life up the time he founded Khilafatul Muslimin.
Baraja claims to be a caliph, the highest leader for Muslims. But activists and researchers of Islamist movements say he is hallucinating. For example, he once sent a letter to ISIS leader Al Baghdadi asking for the latter’s pledge of allegiance. Therefore, the danger that Khilafatul Muslimin is relevant such that the police accused him of sedition after a video of a motorbike convoy—a routine activity by followers of the organization—went viral on social media. Why have the police only just arrested him now after monitoring him for so long?
To answer that question, we paid visits to Khilafatul Muslimin branches in South Lampung; Bekasi, West Java; Brebes, Central Java and Bima Regency, West Nusa Tenggara. In these regions, Khilafatul Muslimin has established Islamic schools. They have produced their own curriculum that is different from that of other schools. Funding is from donations from supporters.
Do they have enough ammunition to replace the complex system of governance with a caliphate? We report on that in this edition. Enjoy the magazine.
A Caliph between Two Caliphates
Who is Abdul Qadir Hasan Baraja?
He studied at the Gontor Islamic Boarding School. He was a member of the NII armed forces and Commando Jihad. Which faction is he from?
Interview with Khilafatul Muslimin Secretary Abdul Aziz
Khilafatul Muslimin’s Funding
The police seized Rp2 billion from the Khilafatul Muslimin headquarters. How is the organization funded?
The Wrong Way to Deal with a Caliph
Teaming up for Regional Thrones
The central government has appointed acting regional heads to replace those who have finished their terms before the simultaneous 2024 elections. The parties and those in power are squabbling over posts.
Tug-of-War against Jakarta
The appointment of acting regional heads has been opposed by governors. Why is the central government ignoring administrative procedures?
Appointment behind Closed Doors
Class Bias in Borobodur Temple
Using high ticket prices to limit visitors to Borobodur is a policy based on class bias. What should happen?