Photo by Chris Chaplin.

Indonesian Islam has long been lauded as tolerant and “moderate”. It is this moderate character that has enabled Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim-majority country – to become a flourishing democracy, unlike many Muslim-majority countries in the Persian Gulf region. But recent years have seen rising Islamic conservatism in Indonesia, a trend that some scholars have called the “Arabisation” of Indonesian Islam.

Conservative Islamic social movements have long had a foothold in Indonesia, but they have surged in the more open political environment of the post-authoritarian era. Salafism is one such movement, a puritanical school of Islamic thought connected to Saudi Arabia.

Why has Salafism grown in popularity, especially among young Indonesians? How have Salafis promoted their teachings? What do they want, politically and economically? How is Salafism changing the face of Islam in Indonesia and, potentially, being changed in turn?

In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Jacqui Baker explores these questions and more with Dr Chris Chaplin from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Dr Chaplin recently published a book on the Salafi Islamic movement in Indonesia: “Salafism and the State: Islamic Activism and National Identity in Indonesia.

In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, Dr Dave McRae from the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the University of Melbourne, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash 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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