by Rüdiger Lohlker | orcid: 0000-0002-3927-0783
Professor of Islamic Studies, Oriental Institute, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
“Developments in the Islamic world outside of the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] region traditionally receive little scientific attention. . . .
“Often ignored because of the preoccupation in Europe with the development in the Arab world, Turkey and Iran, the important, paradigmatic case of Islamic law, to be more precise: fiqh, in Indonesia, may help to answer the following questions: to what extent can religious freedom, universal human rights and the rule of law be integrated in the legal conceptions of religious traditions? Can religions derive argumentative resources thereof against (renewed) political appropriation? In order to understand Islam nusantara, Islam in the Indonesian archipelago, as the living process of adapting to ever-changing circumstances, and not a mere collection of texts dear to any legal historian, there are some crucial texts that we can consult and that will help to conceptualize this living Indonesian Islam. The most important recent document is called the Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Declaration on Humanitarian Islam – however, there are other documents to be discussed. . . .
“The last result of this ongoing process is a short statement called Nusantara Statement promulgated by [Nahdlatul Ulama’s 8-million-member young adults organization] Ansor at a mass rally on November 22, 2018, on the occasion of the birthday of the prophet (mawlid) and attended by the Indonesian president Joko Widodo.
“The statement reads:
“‘We call upon people of goodwill of every faith and nation to join in building a global consensus to prevent the political weaponization of Islam, whether by Muslims or non-Muslims, and to curtail the spread of communal hatred by fostering the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order, founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being.’
“Thus, we witness a seemingly technical debate on the methodology of fiqh in Indonesia turning into a religio-political statement with a potentially global impact. We may understand this statement as the final proof of indigenization cum globalization cum universalization of fiqh in Indonesia.
“Hence, it is possible to understand this process of indigenization as the development of a genuine Indonesian school of thought beginning to operate at a global level and claiming Islam as part of the universal values of humanity and not excluding other Islamic and non-Islamic parts of the global society.” Read the full article (PDF).