Green, Local, and Political: Indonesian Traditionalist Islamic Groups beyond NU

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 29 August 2012


Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Kevin W Fogg (Oxford University)


Indonesia Project
+61 2 6125 3794
Domestic and foreign scholars continually talk about and study the Java-based Nahdlatul Ulama as the representative for traditionalist Islam in Indonesia. Although the power and influence of NU are great, locally-founded groups are more important in many regions– and sometimes achieve greater influence in their territory than NU has achieved anywhere in Indonesia. This talk will provide an overview of a nascent project studying several such groups. Jamiatul Washliyah was formed by a group of students in Medan in the 1930s, and continues to dominate Islamic education in coastal North Sumatra. Nahdlatul Wathan on Lombok was led for sixty-five years by its charismatic founder and now dominates all politics in West Nusa Tenggara province. Alkhairaat in Central Sulawesi has centered around one Arab-Indonesian family since their arrival in the region eighty years ago, but prefers to stay out of direct limelight. The talk will also touch on other groups, both current and historical, such as Darul Da’wah wal Irsyad in South Sulawesi, Musjawarattuthalibin in South Kalimantan, Persatuan Tarbiyah Islamiyah in West Sumatra and Aceh, and Persatuan Nurul Falah in South Sumatra, to postulate why some groups achieve great local power and influence while others do not. Finally, a few observations will be made about the relationships of these organizations with NU.

Kevin W. Fogg completed the requirements for his PhD at Yale University, USA, in 2012, with a dissertation on the social and political history of the Islamic movement in Indonesia from 1945 to 1965. He is the incoming Al-Bukhari Fellow for the History of Islam in Southeast Asia at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and a Lecturer in the Oxford Faculty of History.

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