CHALLENGING RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY: The Emergence of Salafi Ustadhs in Indonesia

Din Wahid


With Muslims as majority population, religious authority plays important roles in Indonesia. This paper tries to show the map of religious authority in Indonesia both in history and the recent development. The paper shows that, in the past, religious authority in Indonesia were possesed by the kyai and other traditional religious leaders. However, there is an emergence of the new religious elites in Indonesia, the muballigh, the dai and the last is the salafi ustadhs. In addition, this paper also discusses the contestation between the established power of religious authority and the the newly emerged salafi ustadh. Feeling threatened by the changging trend and the influence of the salaf, there are various responses from the existing authorities. The responses vary from discussion to violence. One example is the mubahathah held between Persis and Salafi. Through the event, both parties tried to contest and challenge each other’s authority. Using religious arguments and using some religious symbols, both parties actually try to maintain their religious authority.


Salafi; Persis; Kyai; religious authority

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2012.6.2.245-264


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