Category: Religion

Indonesians were stunned over the weekend by photos of kindergarten students dressed as violent extremists. Lies Marcoes writes that while the choice of costume was disturbing, the fact that something like this could happen in an Indonesian kindergarten was not a surprise.

President Joko Widodo surprised many when he selected Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his vice presidential running mate. Dr Budhy Munawar Rachman looks at Ma’ruf’s record at the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) and writes that if the pair are elected, things could become a lot worse for religious minorities.

When Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf was arrested for corruption last month, members of the public began asking if his hand would be cut off. But as Dr Dina Afrianty explains, Aceh’s Islamic Criminal Code does not cover corruption, and is primarily concerned with regulating sex.

Religious identity politics is increasingly becoming the norm in Indonesian elections. Dr Sandra Hamid calls for more attention to be paid to the period between elections, and how growing exclusivism in the practice of Islam can have implications for future electoral contests.

Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun take a look at the results of the 2018 regional elections. Rather than reflecting national-level dynamics, they write, the behaviour of political parties and politicians at the local level is defined primarily by opportunism.

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.