“The Institutional Sources of Islamic ‘Moderation’ in Contemporary Java, Indonesia,” by Alexandre Pelletier, CMS Seminar Series
Date(s) - 10/21/2020
4:30 pm - 5:45 pm
Cornell Comparative Muslim Societies Department
As both Muslim and Western governments increasingly seek the help of so-called “moderate” Muslim leaders, we still know little about why some of them are better able to mitigate the growth of militant Islamist groups. This paper explores some of the conditions that make successful “moderate” mobilization possible. Examining the case of contemporary Java, Indonesia, it argues that, beyond ideology, the landscape of Islamic institutions and networks in which Muslim leaders take part either facilitate or hinder “moderate” mobilization. Precisely, it shows that strong inter-ulama networks and institutions tend to mitigate the risk and cushion the cost of moderate mobilization. This paper draws on a newly compiled dataset about Java’s 15,000 Islamic schools and 30,000 Muslim clerics and 13 months of fieldwork in East, Central, and West Java.