24 January 2017
Two years after it was first introduced, the Islam Nusantara theology of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the largest Indonesian Islamic organisation, continues to face opposition from more conservative factions. This is casting a shadow over NU’s effort to promote the middle ground and toleration in Indonesia.
Two years after the idea of Islam Nusantara was first introduced as a reinterpretation of the Nahdhlatul Ulama’s basic theological tenets, it continues to face opposition from conservative factions. Backing the resistance are theological critiques from younger clerics who seek to eradicate liberal influences from the organisation, the largest in Indonesia.
The rift between the factions of NU current chairman Said Aqil Siradj and former general chairman Hasyim Muzadi can be seen in the East Java strongholds of NU. The opposition by NU Garis Lurus (NU True Path), consisting of influential young clerics, constitutes a serious challenge to NU’s theological frame that had been instituted by former President Abdurrahman Wahid and his followers over three decades. These popular young clerics argue that Islam Nusantara is an invention of “liberal” thinkers while there is only one universal Islam for all Muslims that does not require “localised” intepretations such as Islam Nusantara.
… Alexander R. Arifianto PhD is a Research Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This is part of a series.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 26/01/2017