"Political Islam has been constitutionally, physically, electorally, bureaucratically, and symbolically defeated. A mutual suspicion between Islam and the state occurs in a country in which the majority of its people—87 percent—are Muslims."
Since the unraveling of Western colonialism in the mid-twentieth century, Muslim nations have struggled to reconcile Islamic ideas and political movements with the state. In Indonesia, in particular, Islam and the state have long been at an impasse. While the ritual dimension of Islam has been allowed to flourish, political Islam has been defeated by various means.
Islam and the State in Indonesia probes the nature and effects of this mutual suspicion in a country in which 87 percent of the people are Muslims. Author Bahtiar Effendy addresses the problem of the Islam-state relationship in Indonesia in light of the fact that Islam—contrary to stereotypes—is a religion open to many interpretations and expressions by its followers. As Professor Effendy contends, there is no legitimate political reason to place Islam in opposition to the modern political system. Rather, the tension derives from the way Islam is articulated socio-culturally, economically, and politically in Indonesia.
Islam and the State in Indonesia documents the background of this hostile relationship and analyzes the efforts of a new generation of Muslim political thinkers and activists to overcome it. The book also examines the state's recent moves toward accommodating political Islam.
This book is groundbreaking both in its illumination of the past and in its insights into a way out of historic problems. It will be of great interest to students, scholars, journalists, government officials, and others seeking to understand this complex and divisive arena.
Bahtiar Effendy is a lecturer at Islamic State University, Jakarta, and the University of Indonesia. He also is deputy director of the Institute for the Study and Advancement of Business Ethics.
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