Mobilising Mainstream Islam in Indonesian Politics
Room 321, Level 3
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
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Recent socio-historical developments around the world show that there is increasing disconnection between mainstream narratives expressed in public arenas and liberal-pluralist democratic principles. In Indonesia, this has produced tension among the educated middle class as constituents of competing political parties, which increases the prominence of marketing tools to mobilise sentiments, including religious, in favour of specific political candidates during elections.
Indonesia is a post-authoritarian country, founded upon pluralist ideals, of approximately 260 million people comprising almost 90 percent state-registered Muslims and hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups. It therefore provides a significant case study.
Dr Rakhmani uses social media data to understand politico-religious conservative narratives among the urban middle-class, and investigates how these narratives are mobilised by political-marketing agencies as part of the election industry. By focusing on the largest religiously motivated demonstration against the Chinese/Christian governor Ahok in 2017, this talk will demonstrate that the combination of mainstream Islam, media technology, and middle class aspirations has contributed to social changes that may hinder democratic developments.