The Meanings of Moderate Islam in Indonesia: Alignments and Dealignments of Azharites

Judith Schlehe, Eva Nisa

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    In our contemporary world, cultural orientation and the dynamics of alignments and dealignments arise from the intersubjective level of transcultural encounters and social imaginaries. Yet this does not automatically lead to fluidity and cosmopolitanism. The current paper focuses on the cultural and religious orientations of Azharites (graduates of al-Azhar University in Egypt). The central question revolves around the identifications Azharites promote and how they are connected with Indonesian students' social lives in Cairo. The paper argues that moderate Islam is in the minds and hearts of most Indonesian Azharites, a fact that corresponds to the concept of 'Islam Nusantara' as recently promoted by the Indonesian government. Yet, the meaning of moderacy needs to be reflected upon, as it refers to a middle way that excludes not only Islamism/radicalism but also secularism/ liberalism/the political left. The authors suggest that Indonesian students in Cairo, following this middle way and mainly socializing with like-minded Indonesian friends, are not sufficiently prepared to engage in critical dialogues with Others.
    Original languageEnglish
    Commissioning bodyUniversity of Freiburg
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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