Category: Religion

Indonesians were stunned earlier this month after a photo emerged of Bogor Mayor Bima Arya opening the new office of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an organisation that openly rejects democracy and the Indonesian state. Burhanuddin Muhtadi looks at the movement and its strategy to revive a transnational Islamic caliphate.

Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), is promoting Islam Nusantara — its vision of an inclusive and peaceful Islam — as a counterweight to violent extremism. What exactly is meant by the concept? And what can Islam Nusantara offer the broader Muslim world? Dr Nadirsyah Hosen examines the movement.

Following the recent attack on the Gafatar community, and efforts to evict Ahmadiyah followers from Bangka Island, religious intolerance is once again in the spotlight. What are the drivers of intolerance, and what forms does it take? Is President Joko Widodo doing any better than his predecessor at managing the issue? Dr Dave McRae explores these questions with Ihsan Ali-Fauzi in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Al Makin writes that as long as Indonesians remain a pious people oriented toward religion, new religious movements like Gafatar will continue to emerge. Both the government and Indonesian citizens need to accept this fact. Photo by Jessica Helena Wuysang for Antara.

What makes West Java so prone to religious intolerance and violence? And which regulations, if any, need to be reformed to reduce conflict? Indonesia at Melbourne explored these issues with Dr Melissa Crouch, whose book examines religious conflict and the use of the courts by intolerant groups in West Java.

Many analyses of women’s involvement in fundamentalist groups depict these women as naive victims of more powerful or charismatic men. But as Lies Marcoes explains, young women have distinct political and ideological motives for participating in violent extremist movements. Photo by Armin Hari.

The release of a police circular on the management of hate speech has sparked fears in some quarters of a return to the restrictions on freedom of expression seen under the New Order. But as Irfan Abubakar writes, if implemented as intended, it could help to prevent religious conflict.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto rose to power in 2014 with pledges to eradicate corruption in the civil service, restore order to the city and improve waste management. But as Lies Marcoes writes, over recent months his name has become synonymous with religious intolerance.

How do Indonesian Muslims’ beliefs about Islam affect their political and economic behaviour? Dr Dave McRae explores this issue with Associate Professor Tom Pepinsky in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia. Photo by Dave McRae.