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Post-IslamismThe Changing Faces of Political Islam$
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Asef Bayat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766062.001.0001

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Post-Islamist Politics in Indonesia

Post-Islamist Politics in Indonesia

(p.157) 6Post-Islamist Politics in Indonesia

Noorhaidi Hasan

Oxford University Press

Despite the attempts made by radical Islamists to engulf the political arena of post-Suharto Indonesia by promoting mandatory implementation of shari’a law and jihad, Indonesia has witnessed a new trend in the discourses, actions and movements that seek to push Islam into the center stage. The strategy of implementing the shari‘a from below, promoting da‘wa (Islamic proselytizing) and non-violent endeavors has been appealing and considered more appropriate to deal with the current situations. There is reason to believe that Indonesia today is in the throes of a post-Islamist path. A sort of synthesis between the call for Islam’s importance for public life and democracy, post-Islamism has emerged to be an alternative to Islamist radicalism. Through its endeavour to fuse religiosity and rights, faith and freedom, as well as Islam and liberty, this post-Islamist alternative has enabled Muslims to express their religious beliefs and practices,without plunging into violence and joining a cycle of militancy. Post-Islamism in Indonesia has very much to do with democratic consolidation that facilitated the opening of political opportunity in the post-Suharto era and the burgeoning of modern democratic idioms as a result of moderate Muslims’ campaign against Islamist radicalism. With changes in regime and political situation moderate Muslims from a diverse background are able to involve in the debates about objectifying Islam and this prevents militant Islamist actors from dominating religious symbols and the interpretation of religious creeds through their militant campaigns to establish an Islamic state. Changes in regime and political climate have simultaneously facilitated the shifts in tactics of the major Islamist party in Indonesia, the Prosperous Justice Party, PKS (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera). To garner electoral support and participate in the coalition, the party has made adjustments to its identity and ideology. Despite its ambivalence towards democracy, PKS has also increasingly developed an inclusive political platform and altered its basic perception about what is permissible in a democratic environment, thus contributing to deepening post-Islamist trend and democracy in Indonesia.

Keywords:   Post-Islamism, Indonesia, Islamism, Kashkar Jihad, Prosperous Justice Party

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