Curfews, Obligatory Prayers, Whippings: Hard-Line Islam Emerges in Indonesia

Conservative Islamic groups are using political activism and charity work to build wide support for Shariah-inspired laws.

A man was caned in Aceh in May for having sex with another man.In the Indonesian market town of Cianjur, new rules require government workers to clock in with their thumb prints at a downtown mosque to confirm attendance at morning prayers. That’s on the order of district chief Irvan Rivano Muchtar, who also wants a 10 p.m. curfew for the town and is sending police to stop teenage girls and boys hanging out without parental supervision.

A man in an FPI uniform watched evening prayers at Indonesia’s national mosque in Jakarta in June.The 36-year-old elected official, who belongs to a mainstream, secular political party, likes traveling and listening to bands such as Coldplay. These days, he said, Islam is the key to political success.

Hard-line Islamic groups are using the country’s democratic system to promote new, Shariah-based laws, and have built support among citizens with charity work and public preaching. Being pulled in their wake are politicians such as Mr. Muchtar, and in concert, these forces are tipping a country known for its moderate brand of Islam toward the more politicized form associated with the Middle East…

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Also published on Fenixx.org

  • Hard-Line Muslim Groups Make Inroads in Indonesia

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