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Book source: The Javanese in Suriname, Ethinicity in an Ethnic Plural Society, Parsudi Suparlan, Arizona State Univ., Tempe, 1995. ISBN 1-881044-02-5

Subject: [Religion] Islam and the Javanese

Among the Javanese in Suriname you may find reformists and traditionalists of Islam. Prior to 1920, there were only traditionalists among the Muslim Javanese. Those Javanese who came after 1920 noticed that the Javanese in Suriname had corrupted the practise of Islam by their belief in spirits and deities. They were also not following the five pillars of Islam such as praying 5 times a day. Other observed practises contrary to Islam were drinking, gambling, concubinage and adultry. These reformists did not participate in any religious activities of the traditionalists in Suriname. In the beginning their numbers were small and they did not form a threat to the traditionalists. But, when more and more did not return to Indonesia things changed. They built a mosque and began to spread Islam among the Javanese. In doing so, they attacked the traditionalists. The reformists also made contacts with the Hindustani Muslims. One point of contention among the traditionalists and reformists was the location of Mecca. To the traditionalists Mecca was WEST of Suriname like in Java. To the reformists Mecca was EAST (NE) of Suriname. Thus reformists changed the direction of facing Mecca when praying to east and the traditionalist prayed to the west. Between the reformists and traditionalists is also a moderate reformist group. This group prays to the east and adheres to the reformists Islamic teachings but retains many practises of the traditionalists such as the 'life cycle ceremonies'. ----- -----

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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