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Sunday, 09 February 2014 18:58

Politicization of Islam During the Democratic Transition: New challenges for the Indonesian women’s movement

Politicization of Islam During the Democratic Transition: New challenges for the Indonesian women’s movement

 

Sri Wiyanti Eddyono

Semarak Cerlang Nusa--Consultancy, Research and Education for Social Transformation (SCN-CREST)

 

ABSTRACT

This paper demonstrate that the politicization of Islam in the transition period has developed rapidly within the Indonesian legal system. A number of studies have already illustrated that politicized Islam has encroached a number of regulations at the local government level in several Indonesian provinces. The researcher found that in addition to these local government regulations, politicized Islam has also penetrated national regulations in the fields of economy (sharia banks and regulations on inheritance), social services (wakaf and zakat) and politics (criminal laws regarding pornography). Three Constitutional Court rulings and two Supreme Court rulings have proven that the politicization of Islam has encroached upon the Indonesian judicial system. The trend remains serious treats for women human rights conditions that has started guarantees in many different laws especially because the politicizing Islam has tried to re-control women sexuality.

 

This paper is a development from the original report output of the Research Programme Consortium on Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts project funded by UK aid from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the benefit of developing countries in Juny 2010. The views expressed are not necessarily those of DFID.

 

...

 

Conclusion

 

The politicization of Islam cannot be ignored. Previously the attention of civil society and human rights institutions was focused on the passing of local by laws based on religious values. Few were aware that the politicization of Islam had already entered the fields of economic and social laws, and this trend only gained public attention when entering the field of criminal law. Meanwhile, the courts that have the authority to conduct judicial reviews have not remained uninfluenced by these interests. The Constitutional Court has even positioned itself within the discourse of religion and state by declaring that religious values are the valid foundation of national law. The Constitutional Court used the Constitution as pretext, yet also incorporated various opinions related to the notions of Western and non-Western, positioning Indonesia as non-Western, a classical argument used by those who reject human rights, with the reason of cultural context. At the same time the Supreme Court did not present a clear argument, appearing to merely follow the trends, strengthening local by laws based on religious values and morality.

 

The role of women movement and other civil societies groups are very crucials. Although in many cases the advocacy conducted by the groups --as stated in this paper-- were not fully successful but the groups have created attention from many parties to be aware to the stronger movement of politicizing of Islam. Some programs and networks have developed in addressing the politicizing Islam directly and not directly e.g. Alimat network for reforming family law link to Musawah Network, ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement for South Asean regional countries. Among the networks there is a deep understanding that the treat of policitizicing of Islam are very strong especially for women. However, in the same time the movement seems have problem to mobilize the resources because of internal and external situations.90

National Commission on Violence Against Women, a state independen body, the first formal institution that address the issues analysed the movement need to be stronger and more systematically working in this area since the rapid changes of the political sphere remains dramatic (Komnas Perempuan;2010).

 

Politicization of Islam that has been entered into the national legal systems shows that these forces have gained a place in society and certain circles in the parliaments, whether because of the interests of power or simply because the processes that successful attractive to people heart happen. This paper does not specifically describe how the role of mass media creates a very strong Islamic trend, but apparently popular culture and mass media power of imaging is very crucial, one thing that needs to be studied in the future and then needs to be addressed.

 

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Additional Info

  • Publication Type: Research Report
  • Topic: Gender analysis

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