Category: Religion

Recent years have seen significant divisions within Indonesia’s two largest Muslim organisations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr looks at the causes of these divisions and how they are affecting the organisations’ religious and political positions.

To mark 20 years since the fall of Soeharto and the New Order regime, Indonesia at Melbourne is speaking to a range of prominent Indonesians about their views on the reform process. Today we speak to Muslim feminist Lies Marcoes.

Why is blasphemy such a serious offence in Indonesia? What do recent blasphemy cases have in common and where do they differ? Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues and more with Dr Melissa Crouch in the latest episode of the Talking Indonesia podcast.

Are we seeing a conservative turn in Indonesian Islam? What new Islamic organisations are emerging, and what challenges do they pose to mainstream organisations such as NU and Muhammadiyah? Dr Charlotte Setijadi explores these questions and more with Dr Ahmad Najib Burhani in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.

For more than a year, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has been tracking the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA), which stands accused of spreading hoax news and hate speech online. SAFEnet Regional Coordinator Damar Juniarto presents a detailed examination of the shadowy network.

Who are Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese Muslims? Is there a Chinese way of being Muslim? What can their story tell us about religious tolerance and cultural diversity in Indonesia today? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these issues and more with Dr Hew Wai Weng in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast. 

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a controversial challenge to the Criminal Code that sought to outlaw same sex sexual relations. Hendri Yulius writes that the decision is a reminder that the state is far from uniform in its response to issues of gender and sexuality.

Last week, the Constitutional Court rejected a petition from the Family Love Alliance (AILA) that sought to criminalise consensual sex outside marriage. Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun writes that AILA’s petition was an attempt to bypass the normal process of formulating criminal law, and could have had serious consequences for the rights of citizens.

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is Indonesia’s most prominent ‘Habib’ – an honorific title given to Islamic scholars who are descendants of Prophet Muhammad. Ahmad Syarif Syechbubakr traces the origins of the Habib in Indonesia and examines their influence over contemporary Jakarta politics.

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.