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Radical Islam, Islamic Fervour, and Political Sentiments in Central Java, Indonesia

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So-called radical Islam is not a discrete category. Springing from virtually the same matrix, it and moderate Islam cannot clearly and unambiguously be separated, so that the social categories of 'Muslim democrats' and 'Muslim radicals' are not, in some respects, sharply opposed. Both are inspired by a desire for greater Islamic penetration of Indonesian society—the shariatisation of society—though to varying degrees of intensity. Other common features are: the rejection of Western hegemony, partly on the basis of solidarity with the perceived suffering of Muslims elsewhere in the world and partly for cultural reasons; scepticism towards the secularist government and its policies, and personally towards the president (prior to the 2004 presidential elections); and a concern about the perceived lawlessness and moral decline of Indonesian society, for which (at least partially) the West is to blame.


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