Indonesia’s Approaching Elections: Politics, Islam, and Public Opinion

Issue Date January 2004
Volume 15
Issue 1
Page Numbers 109-123
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While many Muslims in Indonesia-the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country-believe that laws should be broadly in accord with Islam, relatively few support policies advocated by Islamist activists. At the mass level, Islamism is a rural rather than an urban phenomenon. Islamist leaders may be alienated urbanites, but their followers are disproportionately rural and subscribe to a particularly rural-Indonesian understanding of religion and society. Indonesia’s largest Muslim social organizations are significant obstacles to the further growth of Islamism. Not only are their leaders tolerant and pluralistic, but their broader memeberships seem immune to Islamism’s allure