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Islamic Values, Law and Expectations in Contemporary Indonesia

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image of Islamic Law and Society

In this essay I survey the wide variety of views manifested by Indonesians regarding Islamic values and law. Within government circles, the security conscious “guardian group” bars political Islam but regards worship as benign, while the Ministry of Religious Affairs has adopted an accommodationist stance which promotes Muslim community values outside of politics. Outside of government, non-Muslims and nominal Muslims are chary of Islamic values and attempts to institute Islamic law, while Muslim groups express a strong desire to have Islamic norms operate for the betterment of society and to fulfill Qurʿanic admonitions about such matters. Some Muslim groups call for greater attention by individuals to Islamic teachings, while others call for the establishment of sacred law in society. Most Muslim groups want the Indonesian state to identify with Islam, but, at the same time, many approve of the current national policies regarding inter-communal harmony and the emphasis on modernity.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Islamic Studies McGill University


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