A REAL THREAT FROM WITHIN: Muhammadiyah’s Identity Metamorphosis and the Dilemma of Democracy


This paper will look at Muhammadiyah as a constantly metamorphosing organism from which have grown modernist-refor­mist, liberalist progressive, political pragmatist and poten­tially violent fundamentalist-radical Muslims.  It will argue that the trajectory passed by and the victory of the radical-puritan element in the National Congress 2005 can potentially become an obstacle for Muhammadiyah's involvement in the process of implementing democratic values in Indonesia in the future. To keep watching Muhammadiyah’s trajectory is crucially important due to the fact that this organization is one of the powerful forces in the world toward the democratization process. In order to be on the right track of democracy, Muhammadiyah has to be able to cope with its internal disputes over democratic values. Only by means of coping with these internal disputes can this organization ensure its role in propagating and disseminating democratic ideas as well as practices in Indonesia.