[Diffusion of Ideas] Questioning the Categorization of Islam in Indonesia: Islamic Preachers, Female Audiences and Social Media

16Jul2019

[Diffusion of Ideas] Questioning the Categorization of Islam in Indonesia: Islamic Preachers, Female Audiences and Social Media

16Jul

[Diffusion of Ideas] Questioning the Categorization of Islam in Indonesia: Islamic Preachers, Female Audiences and Social Media




Abstract

This paper focuses on majelis taklim (Islamic study gatherings) that are organised by middle-class women in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, who regularly use social media to express their piety. The women also utilise social media to watch preachers online, invite them to speak at their gatherings, and communicate with them on a daily basis. Interestingly, the ideological and cultural backgrounds of these preachers can vary greatly. Although some of them can clearly be associated with particular (trans)national Islamic currents, it is much more difficult to identify their audience. The paper thus questions categories such as “traditionalist”, “modernist”, and “reformist”, which have been widely used to describe Islamic movements in Indonesia. It is critical of terms such as “conservative”, “moderate”, “liberal”, and “radical”, which derive from political fields, or certain Arabic terms, including “Aswaja”, “Ikhwan”, “Salafi”, and “Wahhabi”, which have also entered academic discourse. Analysing online and offline practices, the paper traces how a female audience navigates and actively influences the complex social and ideological composition of the Islamic field as it presents itself today in Indonesia.

Martin Slama is a researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, where his work focuses on contemporary socio-religious dynamics in Indonesia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Indonesia on Muslims’ use of social media, Hadhrami-Arab communities, and young people’s engagement with the Internet. Recently, he edited a special issue of the journal Indonesia and the Malay World (vol. 46, no. 134) on “Practising Islam through social media in Indonesia”.

Event Details
Date & Time

Speaker
Martin Slama
Researcher
Institute for Social Anthropology,
Austrian Academy of Sciences

Venue
MEI Conference Room, Level 6
Block B, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Singapore 119620

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Attendees
Cindy Evangeline
Radiah Mohd Nizam
Hanky Guruh
SUZAINA KADIR
Hanna Wdzieczak
Musaab Al-Janabi
Ryan Ma
Yang Yang
Remy Mahzam
Nur Diyana
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About the Speaker(s)

Martin Slama is a researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, where his work focuses on contemporary socio-religious dynamics in Indonesia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Indonesia on Muslims’ use of social media, Hadhrami-Arab communities, and young people’s engagement with the internet. Recently, he edited a special issue of the journal Indonesia and the Malay World (vol. 46, no. 134) on “Practising Islam through social media in Indonesia”.