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.

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.

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.

Police Chief Tito Karnavian has said that about AU$7.65 million was spent on security for the rallies to “defend Islam” on 4 November and 2 December. But as Ihsan Ali-Fauzi writes, these material costs are only part of the picture. Of far greater significance is that the protests have eroded the foundations of democracy and undermined the influence of “moderate” Muslim leaders.