THE TRADITIONS OF PLURALISM, ACCOMMODATION, AND ANTI-RADICALISM IN THE PESANTREN COMMUNITY

Ronald Lukens-Bull

Abstract


Western media and Western policy makers sometimes perceive traditional Islamic schools throughout the Islamic world as a source of radicalism. The history of pesantren in Indonesia shows that this is not only mistaken but also a perspective that leads the West away from a potential ally in the efforts to create a world of peaceful coexistence. The mystical traditions of pesantren form a strong basis from which most Indonesians have eschewed radical Islamism. These traditions are rooted in the popular Muslim folklore surrounding the foundation of Islam in Indonesia. This paper argues that more recent history shows the foundations of current debates regarding the establishment of shari`ah as the law of the land as well as some actions of the Suharto regime inadvertently encouraged the growth of radical Islamism. Finally, the paper concludes that, in order to fully understand the current situation and the future, more research is needed. A few starting points are discussed in this paper.

Keywords


Walisongo; pesantren; gamelan; wayang

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References


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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2008.2.1.1-15

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