Muhammadiyah comes in for some criticism.
Muhammadiyah is holding its annual conference in Yogyakarta and the organisation, the second largest Muslim social group in the country, has come in for some criticism.
At the opening of the conference (Tanwir Muhammadiyah) on April 26th president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono complained that Muhammadiyah was not doing enough in the economic sphere:
We have to be honest and admit that Muhammadiyah's role in the economic field is not as big as in the health and educational fields.
The leaders of Muhammadiyah were all bureaucrats and academics, he went on, there were never any men from the business world.
Even in their speciality area, education, Muhammadiyah had work to do, the president intoned:
But one problem Muhammadiyah should also address is how to improve the quality of education at Muhammadiyah schools.
Later in the conference two former leaders of the organisation, Amien Rais and Syafii Ma'arif, both gave their own advice and criticisms for Muhammadiyah.
Old firebrand Amien Rais, in perhaps one of his classic speeches, said Muhammadiyah, and Indonesia as a whole, did not understand that globalization was just a form of economic imperialism. The only person who understood this was Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia.
What was worse, Amien went on, there were only two developing countries that were able to manage globalization successfully - China, a country of atheists, and India, a country of cow-worshippers. Indonesia, a country armed with the Pancasila doctrine, couldn't even compete with Godless people and cow-worshippers, he said.
The problem was that Muslims lacked self-confidence, he said, and that was why they were hopeless in the globalised world economy. Amien also hoped that Muhammadiyah could improve its educational efforts, so that Muslims were no longer being beaten by atheists and pagans presumably. Science and technology were the key, he said.
Meanwhile Syafii Ma'arif said that Muslims today were too concerned with side, fringe issues, they had forgotten why Islam had been sent to the earth. The centres of higher learning in the Muslim world did not produce work of any real value to the Islamic community, he said.
On the politics front Syafii Ma'arif said Muslims were still too susceptible to falling for the Left-Right dichotomy. Foreign imperialistic forces used the internal dissension this created to exploit the Muslim world, he said. The neo-imperialists of America prevented other cultures and peoples from rising to any great heights, especially the Islamic civilisation, which was regarded as dangerous by America.
However Islam continued its triumphant march across the world, he went on. There were now 1.3 billion Muslims and by immigration and high birth rates Muslims were becoming a major community in Europe and America. Many Muslims were killed in wars or internal conflicts but their number kept getting bigger, he said. jawapos