It’s time again for Indonesia at Melbourne to take a short break over the Christmas and New Year period. Here we reflect on some of our favourite and most popular blog posts and podcasts from 2018. We look forward to seeing you again when we return in mid-January.

The new Smart Pakem app is supposed to give the public a safe way to report “deviant” religious practices. But could it trigger persecution and conflict instead? Zainal Abidin Bagir weighs up the implications for religion and rights.

Although opportunities for education remain limited for people with disability in Indonesia, some Islamic universities have taken steps to improve accessibility. In Talking Indonesia, Dr Dirk Tomsa chats to Dr Dina Afrianty about what pushed them to act, and the likelihood that others will follow.

Last month, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) leaders criticised a senior Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) figure for visiting Israel, sparking a furious online campaign of retaliation from young NU-linked activists. Associate Professor Greg Fealy takes a closer look at the escalating tensions and what they might mean for next year’s elections.

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 figures about their views on the reform process. Today we speak to Professor Jimly Assiddiqie, the former head of the Constitutional Court.

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.

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. 

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.

Following Kartini Day, on 21 April, Talking Indonesia looks at the state of the women’s movement in Indonesia. Dr Jemma Purdey speaks to Dr Intan Paramaditha about why sexuality and the female body continue to be sites for contestation and national anxiety, and how the movement is responding to the “conservative turn” in mainstream Islam.

Many observers have suggested that the win of Anies Baswedan in the Jakarta gubernatorial election last week has set the stage for the ongoing exploitation of religious and ethnic sentiment in Indonesian politics. According to Dr Dina Afrianty, however, most post-election analyses have failed to consider what the election result means for Indonesian women.

The expansion of the middle class in Indonesia has been accompanied by a rise in Islamic consumerism. Dr Inaya Rakhmani examines dominant narratives in Islamic-themed television programs, writing that the commercialisation of Islam has encouraged ideas and beliefs that aggravate rather than moderate social divisions.