Dr Abdul Mu’ti, MEd
Although Muhammadiyah is not practically into politics, but Muhammadiyah needs to play its political role. It must be hard to imagine a non-political organization to play such a role looking at the assumption that political parties are the only one that can play a role in politics. If we look into politic in wider perspective, particularly in terms of state affairs, it has always been obvious that Muhammadiyah can not be separated from the reality of this nation formation.
On 47th Muktamar that was held in Makassar that was resulted in a resolution regarding Indonesia, a Pancasila Nation that so called ‘Darul Ahdi wa Syahadah’ (Land of shared testimony and agreement) by Muhammadiyah, was considered as one of Muhammadiyah Political Documentation. It is said so because it tells us about Muhammadiyah position and perception about Indonesia. Meanwhile others are also hold onto their political slogan so called ‘Indonesia is not negotiable (Indonesia harga mati)’. On the case of Muhammadiyah, this organization decided to translate Indonesia, a Pancasila Nation, into the concept of ‘Darul Ahdi wa Syahadah’.
In Example, when the commemoration of Isra’ Mi’raj is held in the National Palace, and then Muhammadiyah is asked to delegate its member to speak at the event, it can be considered that Muhammadiyah is doing its political role. So that, when we talk about politics is not necessarily only about national election.
Thus to play its political role, there are three things that Muhammadiyah expected play. First, Muhammadiyah should be an opinion maker, such as actively conveys its ideas, thought and concept, on the purpose of influencing national law and policy. This role is very important and it has been played by Muhammadiyah for a long time in a form of offering propositions, ideas about this nation formation and how national affairs should be done.
As an opinion maker, Muhammadiyah can deliver its criticism. Amar Makruf (a call for virtue) is a part of Muhammadiyah’s duty, the rest is called nahi munkar (the act against injustice and evil) and both come as one package. If amar makruf comes as a proposition, and nahi munkar as a form of correction, Muhammadiyah Chairman’s criticism towards the government can be considered as a polical statement. Certainly it has to be delivered properly while making sure that it still on Muhammadiyah’s track. Muhammadiyah must not be neglectful towards any current national situation. As part of critical groups, Muhammadiyah needs to be corrective, in a way that not only criticizes, but also comes with solutions.
The role of opinion maker can also come in a form of political penetration. Such as conveying and resonationg its ideas repeteadly through various fora that might also be done by numbers of different person.
Muhammadiyah’s role as an opinion maker can be played to its maximum level as a form of contribution towards national politics. Realizing that Muhammadiyah still deeply trusted by various national elements to convey its thoughts and ideas.
These all are the uneasy challenge that Muhammadiyah may face in the future. This political role is played by Muhammadiyah’s choice, since not all people are willing to accept Muhammadiyah’s ideas. This is exactly reflects what so called ‘Muadzin’s role’ (a person with duty to recite a call for prayers in Islam). Muadzin calls for virtue that not necessarily done by whoever hear it.
Second, Muhammadiyah can play such role in the form of political lobbies with a purpose of strengthening its political network by building a good and proper political communication with various national elements.
Finally, Muhammadiyah may delegate or distribute its cadre to various national institution and bureaucracy. These all are done in order to carry out its national call.
Was published in Suara Muhammadiyah no 13/2016