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Religious and pro-violence populism in Indonesia: the rise and fall of a far-right Islamist Civilisationist Movement

Barton, Greg, Yilmaz, Ihsan and Morieson, Nicholas 2021, Religious and pro-violence populism in Indonesia: the rise and fall of a far-right Islamist Civilisationist Movement, Religions, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 1-22, doi: 10.3390/rel12060397.

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Title Religious and pro-violence populism in Indonesia: the rise and fall of a far-right Islamist Civilisationist Movement
Author(s) Barton, GregORCID iD for Barton, Greg orcid.org/0000-0002-2134-0704
Yilmaz, IhsanORCID iD for Yilmaz, Ihsan orcid.org/0000-0001-8409-3045
Morieson, Nicholas
Journal name Religions
Volume number 12
Issue number 6
Article ID 397
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2021
ISSN 2077-1444
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
civilizationism
far-right
Indonesia
Islam
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI)
Islamist populism
NATIONALISM
OLIGARCHY
POLITICS
populism
Religion
religious populism
STATE
violence
Summary The first quarter of the twenty-first century has witnessed the rise of populism around the world. While it is widespread it manifests in its own unique ways in each society, nation, and region. Religious populism, once rarely discussed, has come to take a more prominent role in the politics of a diverse range of societies and countries, as religious discourse is increasingly used by mainstream and peripheral populist actors alike. This paper examines the rise of religious populism in Indonesia through a study of the widely talked about, but little understood, Islamic Defenders Front (FPI—Front Pembela Islam). The case study method used to examine the FPI provides a unique insight into a liminal organization which, through populist and pro-violence Islamist discourse and political lobbying, has had an outsized impact on Indonesian politics. In this paper, we identify the FPI as an Islamist civilizationist populist group and show how the group frames Indonesian domestic political events within a larger cosmic battle between faithful and righteous Muslims and the forces that stand against Islam, whether they be “unfaithful Muslims” or non-Muslims. We also show how the case of the FPI demonstrates the manner in which smaller, liminal, political actors can instrumentalise religion and leverage religious rhetoric to reshape political discourse, and in doing so, drive demand for religious populism. The paper makes two arguments: First, the FPI is an example of a civilizationist populist movement which instrumentalises religion in order to create demand for its populist solutions. Second, that as Islamic groups and organisations in Indonesia increasingly rely on religio-civilizational concepts of national identity, they become more transnational in outlook, rhetoric, and organisation and more closely aligned with religious developments in the Middle East.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/rel12060397
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 2204 Religion and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30152175

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.