The Marginalised Majority: Indonesian Muslim Women on Nationalism

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    There is a growing trend among many Indonesian Muslims to feel closely connected with the transnational community, especially through their association with transnational Islamic movements. This paper examines the voices of Indonesian women who have been active in global transnational Islamic movements, namely followers of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, Salafism, and Tablighi Jama'at. Women's voices are often marginalised in discussions of these movements. To what extent does these women's alternative imagined belonging challenges their sense of inherited Indonesian identity? How do they feel as Muslims in the largest majority-Muslim country in the world? What are their hopes and wishes with regards to their understanding of the notion of citizenship in Indonesia? Drawing extensively on case studies based on anthropological research in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Makassar, this paper demonstrates that women who attach themselves to transnational Islamic movements feel marginalised in the nation-state system despite the fact that Indonesia is the world's largest majority-Muslim country. On the other hand, their attachment to the transnational umma has eased the perceived pressure of being a minority and provided them a chance to gain a better status as part of a global community of Muslims. This phenomenon is part of the reflection of the crisis of trust between Muslims and nation-state systems. Attachment to transnational movements has introduced many Muslims to new hopes, identities and solidarities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-158
    JournalReview of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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