THE LOCAL POLITICS OF ORTHODOXY: The Majelis Ulama Indonesia in the Post-New Order Banten

Moch. Nur Ichwan

Abstract


The Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) has played an important role in guarding the Sunni orthodoxy in contemporary Indonesia. As it has chapters in almost parts of Indonesia in the provincial, district and municipality level, this role has been also translated into the local context. The strength of the MUI stems from “semi-officiality” and “semi-representative” nature of the organisation. This article is aimed to analyse this role in the post-New Order period, after the establishment of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) of Banten province in 2001, especially in dealing with deviant beliefs or sects and shirk (polytheist) and bid‘ah (religious innovation) practices. It is to show that orthodoxy and heterodoxy is not purely religious, but also political, as this is related to the problem of authority and power.

Keywords


Majelis Ulama Indonesia; local politics; Banten; Orthodoxy

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Interviewees

Prof KH Abdul Wahab Afif, 13 March 2007 and June 2008.

KH Ahmad Hudhori, secretary general of the MUI of Lebak, 18 June 2008.

KH Drs A Syefei AN, MSI, the general chairperson of the MUI of Serang regency, 10 June 2008.

Dr Asnawi Sarbini, MM, the secretary general of the Regional Leadership Board of Muhammadiyah of Serang and one of the chairpersons of the Serang MUI, 4 June 2008.

KH Babay Azdi Fahmi, the leader of Pesantren Bani Thohir, Serang, 17 June 2008.

Embay Mulya Syarif, head of the Committee for the Preparation for the Implementation of Syariah of Banten, 4 June 2008.

Ustadh Enting Abdul Karim, head of pesantren Al-Islam and ex-NII member (later chairman of Anshorut Tauhid of Banten), Serang, April and June 2008.

KH Ichwan Hadiyin, member of fatwa commission of the MUI of Lebak, 17 June 2008.

Prof. Dr. MA Tihami, Rector of IAIN Serang, 13 June 2008.

Drs H Maftuh Abubakar, SH, MH (head of Commission of Fatwa of Banten MUI), 3 June 2008.

KH Matin Syarkowi, head of NU of Kota Serang, 14 June 2008.

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Prof. Suparman Usman, June 2008.

Ustadh Yasin Muthohar, 6 June 2008 and 13 February 2010.




DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2012.6.1.166-194

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