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Islamic Civil Society in Indonesia during Jokowi’s Second Term
20 Oct 2020

The RSIS panel webinar on “Islamic Civil Society in Indonesia during Jokowi’s Second Term” was held on 29 October 2020. Opening the session was Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, General Secretary of the Clerical Advisory Council, Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), who spoke about the perceived rise of Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. Kyai Staquf asserted NU’s strong advocacy for religious tolerance — an identity shared by its community of nearly 100 million NU Muslim followers in Indonesia. He reiterated that intolerant and radical views cannot be part of NU when it comes to discussing the role of religion in politics.

The second speaker was Prof Abdul Mu’ti, General Secretary of Muhammadiyah. He asserted that Muhammadiyah had criticised several new legislations proposed by the Jokowi administration as a responsible civil society organisation, and not because it had a political agenda. He also affirmed that Muhammadiyah does not participate in practical politics. Rather, the organisation prefers to promote peaceful and moderate Islamic practices, so that Indonesia – which consists of multiple ethnic and religious groups – could remain a tolerant, pluralistic and diverse society.

The final speaker was Dr Irman Lanti, a lecturer from National University, Jakarta. Dr Lanti argued that while Jokowi might have defeated Prabowo in the 2019 presidential election, this does not mean that conservative Islamic groups would cease to be an important political force in Indonesia. These groups have become legitimate actors within Indonesian politics and society, and that instead of trying to suppress them, the Indonesian government and moderate Muslim groups should utilise democratic strategies to check the appeal of these groups.

Catch it here on the RSISVideoCast YouTube channel:

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