Newly elected head of Nahdlatul Ulama Yahya Cholil Staquf. Photo by Hafidz Mubarak A for Antara.

Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), claims membership of 40 to 45 million people, and has long occupied a highly significant position in Indonesian society and politics. One of its most high-profile leaders (and Indonesia’s fourth president), Abdurrahman Wahid, remains a symbol for pluralism, remembered for his role in the struggle for democratic reform under the New Order. Today, NU members hold key ministerial and administrative positions in the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

As Indonesian democracy shows signs of decline, what is NU’s role? How does it continue to defend its position as a ‘moderate’ Muslim organisation and advocate for pluralism? How will its new leader, Yahya Cholil Staquf, direct the organisation’s focus ahead of the 2024 elections?

In Talking Indonesia this week Dr Jemma Purdey discusses these questions and more with Dr Alexander R. Arifianto, a Research Fellow with the Indonesia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne, Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight.  Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

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