Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje

Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje

DR. CHRISTIAAN Snouck Hurgronje (8 February 1857 – 26 June 1936) was a Dutch scholar of Oriental cultures and languages and Advisor on Native Affairs to the colonial government of the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia).

Born in Oosterhout in 1857, he became a theology student at Leiden University in 1874. He received his doctorate at Leiden in 1880 with his dissertation ‘Het Mekkaansche Feest’ (“The Festivities of Mecca”). He became a professor at the Leiden School for Colonial Civil Servants in 1881.

Snouck, who was fluent in Arabic, through mediation with the Ottoman governor in Jeddah, was examined by a delegation of scholars from Mecca in 1884 and upon successfully completing the examination was allowed to commence a pilgrimage to the Holy Muslim city of Mecca in 1885.
He was one of the first Western scholars of Oriental cultures to do so.

A pioneering traveler, he was a rare Western presence in Mecca, but embraced the culture and religion of his hosts with passion, converting to Islam.

In 1889 he became professor of Malay at Leiden University and official advisor to the Dutch government on colonial affairs. He wrote more than 1,400 papers on the situation in Atjeh and the position of Islam in the Dutch East Indies, as well as on the colonial civil service and nationalism.

As the adviser of J. B. van Heutsz, he took an active role in the final part (1898–1905) of the Aceh War (1873–1913). He used his knowledge of Islamic culture to devise strategies which significantly helped crush the resistance of the Aceh inhabitants and impose Dutch colonial rule on them, ending a 40 year war with varying casualty estimates of between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants dead and about a million wounded.

His success in the Aceh War earned him influence in shaping colonial administration policy throughout the rest of the Dutch East Indies, however deeming his advise insufficiently implemented he returned to the Netherlands in 1906. Back in the Netherlands Snouck continued a successful academic career.

— Wikipedia

Ch. O. van der Plas

Ch. O. van der Plas

CHARLES O. van der Plas or Ch. O. van der Plas (1891-1977) was an administrator in the Dutch East Indies colonial government who served as the Governor of the State of East Java during the Indonesian National Revolution.

He was born on 15 May 1891 in Buitenzorg, Duth East Indie (Bogor, Indonesia) and died on 7 June 1977 in Zwolle, a municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometres (75 mi) northeast of Amsterdam.

He is son of Charles Olke van der Plas Sr., Administrator in the cultures, and jkvr. Catharina Cornelia Eleanor Clifford Kocq van Breugel. He married Lilian Mabel Skerrett Rogers on 30 April 1919. From this marriage one son and one daughter were born. After her death on 10 December 1924, on 8 November 1933 he married Johanna Jacoba Willemina Hermine Pleijte. From this marriage no children were born.

After finishing his high school, on September 22, 1908 van der Plas went to the University of Leiden to study to prepare for the exam for the Dutch East Indian administrative service on June 20, 1911. In 1912, he started as an administrative officer in the Civil Service (BB) in Java and was inspector of BB. Since 1913, the fulfillment of special tasks drew early attention to him. In 1919 he was admitted to the Netherlands’s Bestuursacademie and he wooed the function of Dutch consul in Jeddah. It was the famous Leiden Professor C. Snouck Hurgronje who chose him for this strategic diplomatic post. He served as as the Dutch consul to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from 1921 to 1926.

van der Plas was influenced by the Dutch Islamist scholar Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje and became an expert in Indonesian society and politics, Islam and Arabic.

Following the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War Two, he served as a member of the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration and rose to the position of Governor of East Java (18 May 1936 to 30 June 1941). van der Plas played an important role in establishing the State of Madura, a constituent state of the federal planned Republic of the United States of Indonesia.

After the Allied soldiers landed in Jakarta and various parts of Java in September 1945, the situation became heated and critical. On 15 September, British First Admiral Patterson arrived on the battleship HMS Cumberland at Tanjung Priok harbor accompanied by Charles Van der Plas, the representative of Netherlands Indies Civil Administration (NICA) at the Allied headquarters in Singapore.

After having a small incident with the young republicans, Van der Plas told his British colleagues that wiping out the Japanese-made republic would be fast and easy. Take down the “red and white” flag from department buildings, capture Soekarno and the other leaders as Japanese collaborators and war criminals, and the republic would become a history.

Wikipedia/Kahin, George McTurnan and Audrey Kahin. 2003. “Southeast Asia: A Testament”. London: Routledge Curzon;;;


Samuel Zwemer

Samuel Zwemer

SAMUEL Marinus Zwemer (April 12, 1867 – April 2, 1952), nicknamed The Apostle to Islam, was an American missionary, traveler, and scholar. He was born at Vriesland, Michigan. In 1887 he received an A.B. from Hope College, Holland, Mich., and in 1890, he received an M.A. from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N. J.. His other degrees include a D.D. from Hope College in 1904, a L.L.D. from Muskingum College in 1918, and a D.D. from Rutgers College in 1919.

After being ordained to the Reformed Church ministry by the Pella, Iowa Classis in 1890, he was a missionary at Busrah, Bahrein, and at other locations in Arabia from 1891 to 1905. He was a member of the Arabian Mission (1890–1913). Zwemer served in Egypt from 1913–1929. He also traveled widely in Asia Minor, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London.

In 1929 he was appointed Professor of Missions and Professor of the History of Religion at the Princeton Theological Seminary where he taught until 1937. He had married Amy Elizabeth Wilkes on May 18, 1896. He was famously turned down by the American Missionary Society which resulted in him going overseas alone. He founded and edited the publication The Moslem World for 35 years. He was influential in mobilizing many Christians to go into missionary work in Islamic Countries.

Zwemer retired from active work on the faculty of Princeton College Seminary at the age of seventy, but continued to write and publish books and articles as well as doing a great deal of public speaking. Zwemer died in New York City at the age of eighty-four.

According to Ruth A. Tucker, Samuel Zwemer’s converts were “probably less than a dozen during his nearly forty years of service” and his “greatest contribution to missions was that of stirring Christians to the need for evangelism among Muslims.” — Wikipedia

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