JIHAD FOR WHOM? The Radicalization of Religion as a Response to Political Oppression: From Turkish to Indonesian Islam

Olaf Schumann


The confrontation with Western colonialism has become part of the Islamic history since the nineteenth century.  This paper is an attempt to investigate the radicalization of religion in several parts of the Islamic world.  It focuses, however, on the review of the history of the caliphate and its adjunct notions like “pan-Islamism” or rule over all Muslims, and jihād to fight for it. Having assessed the attempts made by Muslim in several parts of the Islamic world in dealing with Western colonialism, the paper then reflects the manifestation of Islamic politics in Indonesia. The paper argues that the majority of Muslims whenever they have a chance to voice their aspirations, do not support a radicalization or even militarization of their religion. Muslims in Indonesia, in particular, had this chance to opt for their political or societal aspirations in several general elections, and the large majority of them voted for politicians and parties who pursue an inclusive policy, reflecting the plural composition of their society.


Jihad; Pan-Islamism; radicalization of religion; inclusive politics

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2008.2.2.240-266


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