ISLAMIST NEWSPEAK: The Use of Arabic Terms as a Form of Cultural Hegemony in Political Communication by Muslim Fundamentalist Groups in Indonesia

Lestari Nurhajati, Adam James Fenton

Abstract


Within Indonesian contemporary political discourse, fundamentalist groups are implementing a linguistic manipulation of Arabic terminology in order to influence the thinking of wider public. Prolific use of Arabic terminology in religious and political discourse is employed by such groups to baffle the thinking of impressionable audience. This study examines the use of Arabic terms by two Islamist groups in Indonesia, namely the Islamic Defenders Front (Front Pembela Islam/FPI) and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). It uses in-depth interviews with leaders of those organizations combined with a critical discourse analysis approach. It examines the use of three key Arabic termsjihad khilafah and habibto illustrate how the meaning of those words has been distorted compared with their generally accepted Indonesian definitions. The paper theorizes that this practice conforms to Gramscian notions of cultural hegemony, that a ruling elite manufactures the consent, loyalty and discipline of a mass of followers to uncritically conform to the preferred thought of the hegemony.

Keywords


Arabic terminology; political communication; cultural hegemony; fundamentalist groups

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2020.14.2.287-308

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Journal of Indonesian Islam (ISSN 1978-6301 and E-ISSN 2355-6994) is published by the Postgraduate Program (PPs) and the Institute for the Study of Religion and Society (LSAS), State Islamic University (UIN) of Sunan Ampel Surabaya.

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