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Post-authoritarian diversity in Indonesia's state-owned mosques: a manakiban case study
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Millie, Greg BartonGreg Barton, L Hindasah, M Moriyama
Indonesia's state-owned mosques are important sites for observing changes in religious life that have taken place since the demise of the Suharto regime. During the New Order period, ideological and political factors restricted access to mosques owned and managed by provincial and regency governments. In contemporary West Java, access to such mosques has been broadened, and they now display a diversity of religious programs and practices. Drawing on recent fieldwork, this article makes a case study of the intercession ritual known as manakiban which has recently emerged in government-owned mosques of West Java. It identifies two dominant factors behind the new inclusiveness: a desire for visibility and public legitimacy on the part of some members of the Sufi order that promotes the ritual, and secondly, a broadening of access to state-owned mosques as a result of more inclusive participation in the electoral process. The article contributes to knowledge of the politicisation of religion in contemporary Indonesia, and suggests new possibilities for understanding the meanings of public Islamic infrastructure.