Contending Views and Power Struggle within Islam: The Clash of Religious Discourse and Citizenship in Contemporary Indonesia

Luthfi Makhasin, Bowo Sugiarto


In the last 20 years, the ‘conservative turn’ toward overtly Islamic identity in Indonesia paved the way for raising political Islamism. This political Islamism aspires to the continuing Islamization, implementation of sharia, and even the establishment of a global caliphate. Emerging Islamist forces such as Front Pembela Islam, Jemaah Tarbiyah, and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia along with the conservative turn, therefore, pose the normative-political challenges to both republican and liberal notions of citizenship. This paper deals with the question of religion and citizenship under the democratic space in contemporary Indonesia. By examining three variants of Islamic citizenship, religion vigilant, pragmatic, and rejectionist citizenship, this paper tries to address the following question: to what extent Islamism challenges the discourse of citizenship in contemporary Indonesia? We argue that while Islamism apparently rises and gains followers, the state and mainstream Muslim organizations (Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah), and their emphasis on Pancasila and commitment to NKRI successfully manage to reconcile Islam and citizenship under democratic space.


Religion; Islam; Citizenship; Vigilant; Pragmatic; Rejectionist

Full Text:



Ahnaf, M. I. (2016). Tiga Jalan Islam Politik di Indonesia: Reformasi, Refolusi dan Revolusi. Wawasan: Jurnal Ilmiah Agama dan Sosial Budaya, 1(2), 127-140. Crossref | Google Scholar

Ahnaf, M. I. (2018). Hizb al-Tahrir: Its Ideology and Theory for Collective Radicalization. In Expressions of Radicalization (pp. 295-320). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. Crossref | Google Scholar

al-Khaththath, M. (2007). Amanah Kepemimpinan. Al-Wa‘ie, 8(82), 7-8. Google Scholar

an-Nabhani, T. (2001). Structuring of a Party (Attakattul el-Hizbi). London: Al-Khilafah Publications. Retrieved from

Arifianto, A. R. (2017). Banning Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia: Freedom or Security?. RSIS Commentaries. Singapore: Nanyang Technological University. Google Scholar

Casanova, J. (2012). Rethinking Public Religions. In Rethinking Religion and World Affairs. Ed. by TS Sha, A. Stenan, M. Doft. New York: Oxford University Press. Crossref

Chaplin, C. (2018). Salafi Islamic piety as civic activism: Wahdah Islamiyah and differentiated citizenship in Indonesia. Citizenship studies, 22(2), 208-223. Crossref | Google Scholar

Dahl, R. A. (2005). What political institutions does large-scale democracy require?. Political Science Quarterly, 120(2), 187-197. Google Scholar

Facal, G. (2020). Islamic Defenders Front Militia (Front Pembela Islam) and its impact on growing religious intolerance in Indonesia. TRaNS: Trans-Regional and-National Studies of Southeast Asia, 8(1), 7-20. Crossref | Google Scholar

Hadiz, V. R. (2011). No Turkish delight: The impasse of Islamic party politics in Indonesia. Indonesia, (92), 1-18. Crossref | Google Scholar

Hasan, N. (2012). Islamist party, electoral politics and da’wah mobilization among youth: the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) in Indonesia. Journal of Indonesian Islam, 6(1), 17-47. Crossref | Google Scholar

Hilmy, M. (2009). Manufacturing The “Ontological Enemyâ€: Socio-Political Construction of anti-Democracy Discourses among HTI Activists in Post-New Order Indonesia. Journal of Indonesian Islam, 3(2), 341-369. Crossref | Google Scholar

Kusno, A., Rahmad, A., & Bety, N. (2017). Analisis Wacana Kritis Pembentukan Stereotip Pemerintah Oleh HTI. Bahasa dan Seni: Jurnal Bahasa, Sastra, Seni, dan Pengajarannya, 45(2), 143-154. Crossref | Google Scholar

Machmudi, Y. (2008). Islamising Indonesian: The Rise of Jemaah Tarbiyah and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) (p. 279). ANU Press. Crossref | Google Scholar

Majelis Pertimbangan Pusat Partai Keadilan Sejahtera. (2008). Memperjuangkan Masyarakat Madani: Falsafah Dasar Perjuangan dan Platform Kebijakan Pembangunan PK Sejahtera. Majelis Pertimbangan Pusat, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera. Google Scholar

McIntosh, W. A., Liu, D., Mackin, R., & el-Husseini, R. (2012). FPI (Islamic Defenders' Front): the Making of a Violent Islamist Movement in the New Democracy of Indonesia. Doctoral dissertation. Google Scholar

Menchik, J. (2016). Islam and democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without liberalism. Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

Mietzner, M., & Muhtadi, B. (2018). Explaining the 2016 Islamist mobilisation in Indonesia: Religious intolerance, militant groups and the politics of accommodation. Asian Studies Review, 42(3), 479-497. Crossref | Google Scholar

Mozaffari, M. (2007). What is Islamism? History and definition of a concept. Totalitarian movements and political religions, 8(1), 17-33. Crossref | Google Scholar

Muhtadi, B. (2009). The Quest for Hizbut Tahrir in Indonesia. Asian Journal of Social Science, 37(4), 623-645. Crossref | Google Scholar

Osman, M. N. M. (2010). Reviving the caliphate in the Nusantara: Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia's mobilization strategy and its impact in Indonesia. Terrorism and Political Violence, 22(4), 601-622. Crossref | Google Scholar

Osman, M. N. M. (2012). The rise of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia: identity, ideology and religio-political mobilization. Australian National University. Crossref | Google Scholar

Parker, L., & Hoon, C. Y. (2013). Secularity, religion and the possibilities for religious citizenship. Asian Journal of Social Science, 41(2), 150-174. Crossref | Google Scholar

Pimpinan Pusat Muhammadiyah. (2015). Tanfidz Keputusan Muktamar Muhammadiyah Ke-47. Pimpinan Pusat Muhammadiyah. Retrieved from

Rahmat, I. M. (2008). Ideologi Politik PKS: Dari Masjid Kampus ke Gedung Parlemen. Yogyakarta: LKiS. Google Scholar

Roy, O. (1994). The Failure of Political Islam. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar

Shihab, H. R. (2012). Wawasan Kebangsaan Menuju NKRI. Jakarta: Suara Islam Press. Google Scholar

Simanjuntak, T. (2000). Premanisme Politik. Jakarta: ISAI. Google Scholar

Stepan, A. (2014). Muslims and Toleration; Unexamined Contributions to the Multiple Secularisms of Modern Democracies. Boundaries of toleration, 267-296. Google Scholar

Suyatno. (2013). Sekolah Islam Terpadu: Filsafat, Ideologi dan Tren Baru Pendidikan Islam di Indonesia. Jurnal Pendidikan, 2(2), 355-377. Google Scholar

Tanuwidjaja, S. (2010). Political Islam and Islamic parties in Indonesia: critically assessing the evidence of Islam's political decline. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 29-49. Crossref | Google Scholar

Ward, K. (2009). Non-violent extremists? Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63(2), 149-164. Crossref | Google Scholar

Woodward, M., Amin, A., Rohmaniyah, I., & Lundry, C. (2011). A New Cultural Path for Indonesia’s Islamist PKS. USA: CSC Arizona State University. Google Scholar

Woodward, M., Yahya, M., Rohmaniyah, I., Coleman, D. M., Lundry, C., & Amin, A. (2014). The Islamic defenders front: Demonization, violence and the state in Indonesia. Contemporary Islam, 8(2), 153-171. Crossref | Google Scholar



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Politik Indonesia: Indonesian Political Science Review

License URL: