RELIGION AS A POLITICAL TOOL: Secular and Islamist Roles in Indonesian Elections

Luthfi Assyaukanie


This article analyses the use of religion in Indonesian elections. It fundamentally argues that religion has been utilized by both secular and religious politicians to boost their electoral gain. Focusing on national and local elections in the past five years of Indonesian politics, this study suggests that religion is a significant instrument in the electoral decision-making process, both from the perspective of voters and candidates. Much of the data in writing this article derive from my current research project funded by the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. Other data come from leading survey institutes, particularly Lembaga Survey Indonesia (LSI), Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) and Indikator Politik Indonesia.


Election; democracy; political Islam; intolerance; Indonesia

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2019.13.2.454-479


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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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