Professor Hefner notes that a far-reaching Islamic resurgence has occurred over the past 24 years, coincident with Indonesia’s return to electoral democracy, and an often overlooked feature of that resurgence has been the role of television media.
“The challenges that Indonesian democracy faces have more to do with structural vulnerabilities that are plaguing or afflicting democracy around the world than they do anything specific to ‘Islam’ or Muslim society in Indonesia.”
Among the world’s Muslim majority countries, Indonesia has been the most successful in transitioning to a functioning and fair electoral democracy as well as upholding a tradition of multiethnic and multireligious citizenship; this is something the whole world can learn from.
Under what conditions will Islamists moderate to support democracy and pluralism? Under what conditions will they adopt more exclusive behavior?
Professor Hefner’s remarks echoed the findings of his recent paper, which analyzes the causes and consequences of the “conservative turn” in Indonesian Muslim politics in democratic Indonesia.
Based on forthcoming research, Professor Hefner’s remarks explore the declining momentum of Islamist movements in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the temporary rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
In his remarks, Professor Hefner spoke about how Islamic educators in the state Islamic University system have played such a pivotal role in communicating that democracy and multireligious citizenship are in fact compatible with Islam.
Menchik presented a paper on the “Politics of the Fatwa” that mapped the Indonesian government’s attempts to control Islam thru bureaucratization.
Prof. Robert Hefner presented a paper on, “Plurality in Being Islamic: Perspectives from Indonesia on the Balkans-to-Bengal Legacy.”
Prof. Jeremy Menchik spoke at two events at Stanford University on October 12, 2017.
Prof. Jeremy Menchik discusses the recent parliamentary elections in the Netherlands and the history of Dutch anti-Muslim bigotry.
Prof. Robert Hefner discusses comments made by incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Middle Eastern Islamic religious schools.
Prof. Robert Hefner discusses recent accusations against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama that he insulted Islam.
The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations hosted a recent workshop examining activism, advocacy and scholarship on Islam in the digital realm.
Prof. Robert Hefner on how Indonesia should figure prominently in the next White House administration’s foreign policy deliberations.
Prof. Hefner focused on the challenge of intellectual renewal and political reform in Muslim countries in the face of radical challenges.
Jeremy Menchik publishes his new book, “Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance Without Liberalism” (Cambridge University Press).
Dean Adil Najam interviewed on the significance of President Obama’s first visit to a mosque.
Hefner was speaking in Indonesia this January, giving him a front row seat for the ISIS attacks in Jakarta.
Jeremy Menchik wrote an Op-Ed on the limits of ISIS’ appeal, and how they are demonstrated in the Jakarta attacks, for USAToday.