Pesantren as Nationalism Anchor
Since the beginning the history of struggle against colonials driven by Muslim community could be first of all traced through Portuguese expelling by Adipati Unus to Portuguese colonizers who occupied Malaka. Since then, Islamic boarding school students (santri) have always struggled hard against the colonizers from plundering our political authority, taking away our natural resources, and colonizing our nation archipelago.
While non Islamic boarding school students were more cooperative with colonizers like Portuguese, Dutch, British, or Japanese. They became ambtenaars, paid armies, or military officers. For them, there was no benefit to fight against the Dutch colonizers, moreover they were very benefited economically, politically and socially. For that reason, there has been almost no fight against colonizers conducted by their groups. Instead, all fights against the colonizers were conducted by Islamic boarding school students.<>
It seems admitted by activists and historians, namely Dr Douwes Dekker or Setiabudi as saying that if there was no Islam in Indonesia, the nation would disappear from this archipelago due to the massive attacks of western credos. Well, the nationhood would remain in Indonesia but it was not original anymore because they were netherlandized or westernized.
Moreover there was the Dutch Christianization Political Movement which strove hard to make Christianity a dominant religion to support the colonial system. By the reason if Islam could develop well, the colonialism existence would be threatened. Islam will always be opposed to unfair and oppressing colonial systems.
Islam has also struggled hard to keep national identity, so it is not easy to be netherlandized or conquered. That is why Indonesian nationality and identity still exist when Islamic boarding school students are placed as nationalism anchors. (Abdul Mun’im DZ)