Civil Islam

Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia

ROBERT W. HEFNER
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7szvv
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    Civil Islam
    Book Description:

    Civil Islamtells the story of Islam and democratization in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation. Challenging stereotypes of Islam as antagonistic to democracy, this study of courage and reformation in the face of state terror suggests possibilities for democracy in the Muslim world and beyond.

    Democratic in the early 1950s and with rich precedents for tolerance and civility, Indonesia succumbed to violence. In 1965, Muslim parties were drawn into the slaughter of half a million communists. In the aftermath of this bloodshed, a "New Order" regime came to power, suppressing democratic forces and instituting dictatorial controls that held for decades. Yet from this maelstrom of violence, repressed by the state and denounced by conservative Muslims, an Islamic democracy movement emerged, strengthened, and played a central role in the 1998 overthrow of the Soeharto regime. In 1999, Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid was elected President of a reformist, civilian government.

    In explaining how this achievement was possible, Robert Hefner emphasizes the importance of civil institutions and public civility, but argues that neither democracy nor civil society is possible without a civilized state. Against portrayals of Islam as inherently antipluralist and undemocratic, he shows that Indonesia's Islamic reform movement repudiated the goal of an Islamic state, mobilized religiously ecumenical support, promoted women's rights, and championed democratic ideals. This broadly interdisciplinary and timely work heightens our awareness of democracy's necessary pluralism, and places Indonesia at the center of our efforts to understand what makes democracy work.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-2387-1
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-x)
    James Piscatori and Dale F. Eickelman

    Few subjects in the Muslim world in the late 1990s commanded the attention of analysts and policy makers as much as Islam’s compatibility with democracy, and few countries aroused more interest than Indonesia. Revolutionary developments engulfed the world’s largest “Muslim” state, from the popular unrest that led to the overthrow of President Soeharto after thirty-two years in power to the holding of the first relatively free, multiparty elections since the 1950s to the bloody events in East Timor that brought an unprecedented foreign military intervention to an independent Indonesia. These startling events, along with the unexpected regional economic malaise, excited...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xx)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  6. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  7. Chapter One DEMOCRATIZATION IN AN AGE OF RELIGIOUS REVITALIZATION
    (pp. 3-20)

    Global politics at the turn of the millennium has been marked by two far-reaching events. The first has been the diffusion of democratic ideas to disparate peoples and cultures around the world. A skeptic might point out that politics varies greatly among societies and movements waving the democratic banner, and political civility is not guaranteed by good words alone. Nonetheless, as with the earlier notion of nationalism (equally varied in its ideals and practice), there can be little doubt that the cross-cultural diffusion of democratic ideas is one of the defining globalizations of our age.

    The second event marking world...

  8. Chapter Two CIVIL PRECEDENCE
    (pp. 21-36)

    A key theme in modern social theory has been that the traditions a society inherits from the past shape its ability to respond to the present, often in ways actors themselves do not fully understand. Dutifully engaged in business in an effort to confirm he is among God’s elect, the Calvinist entrepreneur who helps create modern capitalism in Max Weber’sThe Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism¹ provides the prototype for this sort of analysis, in which a precedent from the past is projected into the present to create something unexpectedly new. In the heyday of modernization theory in...

  9. Chapter Three CONTESTS OF NATION
    (pp. 37-57)

    No idea has had so profound an influence on the refiguration of Muslim politics in modern Indonesia as has nationalism. In the first decades of this century Muslim leaders shifted their sights away from earlier dreams of resurrecting a pan-Islamic polity toward the goal of a multiethnic nation coincident with the territorial borders of the Dutch East Indies.¹ Still today, almost a century later, the great majority of Indonesian Muslims are not only resigned to the idea of the Indonesian nation but are among its most ardent promoters. Inasmuch as nationalism has been one of the driving forces of modern...

  10. Chapter Four AMBIVALENT ALLIANCES: RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE EARLY NEW ORDER
    (pp. 58-93)

    Although some details remain a mystery, the course of events that began with the attempted leftist officers’ coup of September 30, 1965, and culminated in the installation of Soeharto’s New Order regime in mid-1966 is now more or less clear. The events of 1965–66 marked the end of one chapter in modern Indonesian history and the beginning of another. By the time the transition was complete, everything in the nation’s politics had changed. The charismatic leader who had dominated most of the independence era, President Achmad Sukarno, was stripped of his power; the political parties that had raucously vied...

  11. Chapter Five THE MODERNIST TRAVAIL
    (pp. 94-127)

    The new order regime presented modernist Muslims with challenges even more daunting than those faced by Nahdlatul Ulama’s traditionalists. The final years of the Soekarno era had not looked kindly on believers in the compatibility of Islam and modern civilization. From 1956 on, the modernists’ primary political organization, the Masyumi, was excluded from governing coalitions. In the late 1950s Masyumi leaders were the subject of Communist Party campaigns portraying them as stooges of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Finally, in the aftermath of regional rebellions outside Java, on August 17, 1960, President Soekarno, backed by the military high command, ordered...

  12. Chapter Six ISLAM DEFERRED: REGIMIST ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS
    (pp. 128-166)

    When, on December 6, 1990, President Soeharto beat a large mosque drum (bedug) to open the first national conference of the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals, he shattered in one fell swoop one of the most enduring stereotypes of New Order politics. Here, after all, was a man long regarded as a staunch defender of Javanist mysticism andPancasilapluralism giving his blessing to an elite Muslim organization openly dedicated to the Islamization of Indonesian society. Most observers were aware that the president had made a few concessions to Muslims in the late 1980s. But no one had expected Soeharto...

  13. Chapter Seven UNCIVIL STATE: MUSLIMS AND VIOLENCE IN SOEHARTO’S FALL
    (pp. 167-213)

    The crackdown on the press in June 1994 marked the end of Soeharto’s experiment with limited liberalization and the beginning of a dangerous new policy on Islam. The timing of the two policy shifts was not accidental. The new policy on Islam was based on the idea that the president could best neutralize the growing prodemocracy movement by mobilizing conservative Muslims to his side. The “turn to Islam,” begun in the late 1980s, had thus entered a new and final phase. Rather than attempting to co-opt mainstream Muslims, the president now concentrated his energies on conservative Muslims willing to trade...

  14. Chapter Eight CONCLUSION: MUSLIM POLITICS, GLOBAL MODERNITY
    (pp. 214-222)

    In an article a few years ago the Turkish sociologist Serif Mardin offered a wryly inconclusive answer to the question of whether the ideals of democracy and civil society are generalizable to the Muslim world. “Civil society is a Western dream, a historical aspiration,” he first avers. The dream is premised on values that reach back to Greek times, entailing notions of moral autonomy and individual self-creation. Given its cultural genealogy, Mardin implies, the ideal of civil society will be of limited interest outside the West, because the notions of personhood and agency on which it is based are incompatible...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 223-270)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 271-286)