Category: Religion

Major changes are coming for the certification and marketing of halal products in Indonesia. Dr Stewart Fenwick examines the new halal regime, which he warns could see the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) gain influence over most areas of commercial and industrial activity in the country.

Former State Secretary and Islamic scholar Djohan Effendi died in Geelong, Victoria, on 17 November after a long illness. His former student Ihsan Ali-Fauzi remembers a quietly principled man who was committed to challenging religious exclusivism.

How does support for political Islam correlate with other political attitudes in Indonesia, such as support for decentralisation, choice of a political party, or anti-Chinese sentiment? What are the implications of these correlations for upcoming regional and national elections? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Dr Diego Fossati in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

The government recently announced it was blocking messaging application Telegram for providing a forum for extremist propaganda. But Nava Nuraniyah writes that the real reason for the ban may have been to force the tech company to comply with government regulations.

After leading massive protests against former Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, the past few months have seen the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) doggedly pursuing individuals who have criticised the organisation online. Sana Jaffrey and Siswo Mulartono look at the significance of this phenomenon and explain why is it likely to continue.

The recent Jakarta gubernatorial election saw the mobilisation of religious sentiment on a massive scale. Postgraduate students Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir, Lukman-nul Hakim and Diatyka Widya Permata Yasih look at the growing use of identity politics in Indonesian electoral democracy.

On 9 May, judges sentenced Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama to two years in prison for blasphemy, surprising many, as prosecutors had not pursued a custodial sentence. Professor Simon Butt presents a legal analysis of the decision. What arguments did the court hear and what did it accept?

The government’s recent announcement that it planned to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) has won support but also criticism, over fears of growing restrictions on freedom of association and assembly. Eryanto Nugroho writes that whatever happens, only acts, not thoughts and concepts should be banned.

Police named Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab a suspect in a high-profile pornography case on Monday. Dr Helen Pausacker writes that while many of his opponents would like to see him behind bars, there is little legal justification for charging him under the Pornography Law.

What has spurred the government to attempt to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), what would be the likely impact of such a ban, and what are the challenges for the government in regulating extremist speech and ideology? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Sidney Jones, in the latest episode of the Talking Indonesia podcast.

The conviction for blasphemy of former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was not a surprise, writes Professor Tim Lindsey. What was surprising was that the judges decided to follow the usual pattern in blasphemy cases when the case before them was so very unusual.

The recent protests against Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama saw groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI)
come to the fore, while mainstream Muslim organisations Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah saw their influence wane. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr writes that NU and Muhammadiyah leaders need to rethink their approach.