With 48 million people, West Java is Indonesia’s largest province in terms of population. Historically, it has served as the cradle of Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. Modernist Islamic parties and candidates that espouse a purist and orthodox form of Islam always won the free and fair elections in this province. It was also the centre of Indonesia’s Islamic rebellion, the Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia (DI/TII). The Islamic landscape of West Java, however, is not that much different from that of Central and East Java, which is based on Islamic traditionalism. The differences in the socio-political outlook between West Java and other major provinces in Java are due to historical reasons and set it apart from the pattern developed in the others. With the arrival of the new dakwah movements influenced by the Islamic transnational forces, Muslims in West Java are embroiled in an ambivalent position. On one hand, the new movements are considered as bringing a renewed sense of vigour for the Islamic dakwah in this region, but on the other hand, they are also seen as a threat to the common religious practices there. There are indications that conservative West Java is undergoing a further conservative turn, especially judging by the recent voting pattern in the province. However, there is also signs that the threat brought by the new dakwah movements might produce a turnaround away from the deepening of conservatism there.
About the Authors
Irman G. Lanti was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (Mar to Apr 2019). He is the President of the International Relations Alumni Association, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung Indonesia. He teaches at the Political Science Programme, Graduate School, Universitas Nasional, Jakarta in addition to being involved with several independent consultancies – mainly with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was previously associated with UNDP Indonesia in various positions since 2006 until last year. Prior to that, he worked at several think tanks and civil society organisations in Indonesia. Irman graduated from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada (PhD 2004), the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA (MA 1996), and Universitas Padjadjaran (BA 1993). He held visiting fellowships in the past with S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
Akim Ebih is the Head of the Centre for International, Gender, and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, and a Lecturer at the Department of International Relations in the same university. He obtained his doctorate from the Universitas Padjadjaran in 2017.
Windy Dermawan is the Head of the Centre for ASEAN, Asia Africa, and Middle East Studies at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, and a Lecturer at the same faculty. He received his doctorate degree from the Universitas Padjadjaran in 2018.
Country and Region Studies / Religion in Contemporary Society / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Working Papers
Last updated on 19/07/2019