How Pluralist Democracy Became the Consensual Discourse Among Secular and Nonsecular Muslims in Indonesia
Chapter 3 of Democracy and Islam in Indonesia, edited by Mirjam Künkler and Alfred Stepan, Columbia University Press, 2013.
20 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2019
Date Written: May 12, 2010
This article addresses the crucial question of how democratic attitudes emerged within the major Muslim civil society groups in Indonesia, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the Muhammadiyah. Key religious actors and organizations put Islam and democracy on the public agenda and in the process contributed both to the erosion of the authoritarian regime and to the building of democracy by their actions and, as hypothesized, actually had a positive effect on eroding the authoritarian regime and supporting a democratic transition. These thinkers had remained in constant dialogue with other public debate infrastructures, creating a wide network of publication and information dissemination that spread from the grassroots level toward the nation's diverse populace. Additionally, the ideas frequently dispensed were the products of both traditional Islamic education and modernist studies of philosophy and theology, ensuring that Islamic dialogue would be clearly expressed and applicable to facets of daily life.
Keywords: Indonesia, democratic transition, Islamic thought, pancasila, religion-state relations, democracy
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