There is no such thing as moderate and/or modernist Islam, those Muslims who are, and attempt to mould that belief system in their own image, face an overwhelming amount of resistance. Even the supposedly less rigid Islamic sects in supposedly ‘moderate’ Indonesia are not what they appear to be, and believe in all four orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence, as do the members and spiritual advisors of al-Qaida. KGS
Indonesian Islam And Nahdlatul Ulama Without Camouflage
As per article two of the founding NU Statutes of 1926, the goal of this association was…
To uphold one of the schools of (Islamic) law of the four Imams Imam Muhammad bin Idris As-Shafi, Imam Malik bin Anas, Imam Abu Hanifa or Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal—and to do everything beneficial to Islam.
A 1952 “update” of these founding principles reiterated these goals:
To uphold the law of Islam, in accordance with one of the four schools of law: Shafii, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali
To bring about the application of the precepts of Islam in society
The contemporary Netherlands scholar of Indonesian Islam, J. Boland, in his 1971 “The Struggle of Islam in Modern Indonesia,” aptly summarized the implications of the NU’s founding principles, adding the NU’s own self-characterization:
Over against the modernists (ahli bidah), they (i.e., the NU) liked to call themselves the ahli sunnah wal djamaah, that is, the people who keep to the sunna (usage) of the Prophet, in community with the one great umma or djamaa, in short the orthodox…[A]ccording to article 1 of the by-laws of the NU, membership was dependent on the recognition of the authority of one of the four schools of law. This meant that the reformists or modernists who advocated a return to the Qur’an and Tradition in order to study these sources in an independent way (the so-called “new idjtihad”) could strictly speaking not become members of the NU.
Indeed the NU played a major role in the religious incitement of the mass killings of at least 100,000 non-Muslim ethnic Chinese—all of whom were deliberately conflated with Communist insurgents during the mid-1960s. The NU and their “youth movement” ANSOR (from the Arabic al-ansar, the Medinan helpers of the Muslim prophet Muhammad) were in the forefront of these violent actions to exterminate the “Communists.” Such orthodox Islamic religious incitement was epitomized by the issuance of an authoritative fatwa in November, 1965 fatwa sanctioning an annihilationist jihad as “A RELIGIOUS DUTY (caps in original),” explaining…
This religious duty is not only recommended, but obligatory, even an individual obligation…And because this action and this struggle must be carried out by consolidating all our strength—mental, physical, and material—therefore this action and this struggle are nothing less than a HOLY WAR (JIHAD) [caps in original]. This Holy War, according to religious law, is not (only) recommended, but obligatory