Madura Island as a Province

May 11th, 2006, in IM Posts, by

The campaign to make the island of Madura a stand-alone province, separate from East Java, continues to gather steam. It finds most of its support from conservative Islamic groups and figures.

Madura is a dusty island just off the north coast of East Java, close to the provincial capital Surabaya. The people of Madura, the Madurese, are a peculiar group, quick to anger, stubborn, rough and ready, not on the whole very likeable, especially when they leave the island and settle elsewhere, which most of them have done. However Madura today retains a population of about 3 million. The Madurese are also known for their fierce attachment to Islam, putting their more slack Javanese cousins to shame on the devoutness front.

There is something of a split between the far eastern part of the island, the regency of Sumenep, and the rest of Madura. Sumenep is where the royal family of Madura hail from and the people there are generally more cultured and civilised than their rough-housing brothers in the west.

In any case the campaign for provincial status for Madura began formally three months ago with the publication of the Sampang Declaration, Sampang being a town on the island. The declaration was signed by an array of figures including representatives from the Majelis Ulama Indonesia, (MUI), various other religious leaders, mayors and members of parliament for Madura. The regent of Sumenep, however, refused to sign, claiming that he had to wait for the Governor of Madura's signature first.

Some of the more notable content of the declaration included the signatories' vision for Madura as a province. This consisted of the desire to make Madura a place free of narcotics, gambling, pornography and immodesty.

There have been several attempts previously to make Madura a province on its own, and these attempts usually emanated from, or were coordinated by, Islamic boarding schools and their leadership. The last such try was in 1993 and began at the premises of the Al Amin school in Sumenep.

These previous attempts all ran out of steam but the current one seems to be of a more serious nature and a study group has been formed to evaluate the effects of the recent granting of province status on the regions of Gorontalo and Banten.

Were Madura to become more self-governing it is almost inevitable, given the nature of the support for the proposal and recent trends in other Islamically devout areas of the country such as West Java and South Sulawesi, that at least some aspects of Islamic sharia law would gradually be introduced on the island.


4 Comments on “Madura Island as a Province”

  1. avatar Ardhyana says:

    I am a Madurese. I think this is the most beautiful island in the world. The Madurese are always able to see good things inside people no matter who he is. Its people have the strongest faith to religion, beliefs, and spiritual thing. They are simple, kind, obstinate, hard working, and believe ini something good about their selves. Go MAdurese! one day, I want to see the real religious, developing, independent, smart, intelligent, and dynamic MAdura. Allahu Akbar!

  2. avatar Jessica Morman says:

    I am a home schooled American college graduate (English literature, Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA 2005), daughter of American missionaries. My parents, dad raised Catholic, mom raised Methodist, became evangelical Protestants at Southern Illinois University through Campus Crusade for Christ. You might say Bill Bright’s _Four Laws_ were my catechism, soon supplemented by the Westminster Cathechism in the Presbyterian Church in America when I was sixteen. Reading the Madurese plan to outlaw gambling, pornography, immodesty and narcotics, I at first thought: Great idea! That reminds me of Oliver Cromwell, and the Scottish Presbyterians whom I admire — and whose ideas inspired our Pilgrim fathers. Madura Island is a place where I could raise kids! Yet I know that Sharia law tends to hurt Muslims who profess faith in Christ Jesus. Perhaps this strategy is more like that of the Amish, whom I sometimes desire to join, but no, I know that we must be in the world because Christ in us is greater than Satan in the world (and my own sinful nature too). Also, I think of the Prohibition, properly made an amendment to the US Constitution. Did that Prohibition get rid of drunkenness in America? No! The young people, such as in the _Great Gatsby_ found illegal means. Similarly, I was in favor of a quiet lights out curfew at my Christian college, but we did not have one. Some amount of freedom is necessary. Also, with the Holy Spirit’s power, you can be yourself and still be good and enjoy life. Merry Christmas!

  3. avatar Dea says:

    it’s can become an opportunity to Madura Island showed it’s self more,especially about culture and tourism spot.
    Go Fight Beautiful Island ¥ *_*

  4. avatar MOHAMED BASHRAHIL says:

    BISMI LLAHI RAH MANI RAHIIM

    WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE PICTURES AND THE AL AMIN SCHOOL PICTURES SO THAT WE CAN SEND OUR CHIKDREN TO YOUR ISLAND I AM FROM TANZANIA AND WITHOUT A PROPER RELIGION IS LIKE A COW WITHOUT ARE SHEPHERD

    ASSALAMU ALAIKUM

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