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'Ulamā', State and Politics: Majelis Ulama Indonesia After Suharto

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This essay examines the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) and the legal decisions that it issued after the fall of President Suharto, whose regime played a role in its establishment. In light of MUI's changing relationship with the state under Suharto's successors B. J. Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid, I call for a more nuanced reading of MUI's decisions.

I also discuss the relative weight accorded to MUI decisions—variously called "opinions," pieces of "advice," and "fatwās"—arguing that these "discursive products" reflect a conscious attempt by MUI to break free from the circumstances of its birth and to guide the reformation process in postSuharto Indonesia.


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