The Politics of Islam in Indonesia
Recorded on April 16, 2007
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
Indonesia is by far the largest Muslim-majority country in the
world, and the world's third largest democracy. It is
generally well-known that Islam in Indonesia is mainstream and
politically moderate. Less well appreciated are the
complexities of Indonesia's politics.
Indonesia is not an "Islamic state." Neither is it,
however, a secular society. In fact, displays of piety and
Islamic consciousness are on the rise, and the political appeal to
Islam has only grown with Indonesia's democracy. But, what
does this mean? How will the debate among traditionalists,
modernists, conservatives, and radicals play out? What are
the trend lines? What do these trends mean for Indonesia's
role in the world? What do the trends mean for U.S.-Indonesia
Indonesia is at the heart of economic and political development
in East Asia. It has assumed a leading role in the battle
against terrorism. And it aspires to global leadership.
How its political environment develops is a matter of serious
interest to American policy makers.