Women Shaping Islam
Reading the Qur'an in Indonesia
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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When I asked Ibu Chamama Suratno in the summer of 2001 if she feared any negative consequences from the increasingly loud and visible extremist Islamic groups that had come to dominate the Indonesian press, she responded: “Never! We will never succumb to fundamentalist Islam. It has no place in Indonesia; it is a Middle Eastern import. And we will debate...
PART 1: INDONESIAN ISLAMIC LANDSCAPES
1. Discussing Islam, Discussing Gender
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The work of the women of ‘Aisyiyah and Muslimat NU cannot be separated from their environment; it sustains continual conversation with local cultures, with developments concerning women’s position generated by the state, and with trends within Islam. Islamic opinions concerning the status of women are not static but are influenced by historical conditions and...
2. Competing in Goodness: Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama
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Indonesia is a vast country, and “Indonesian Islam” comprises a variety of interpretations concerning the role of Islamic law, methods of interpreting the holy sources, and opinions about religious pluralism and local cultures. This chapter looks at some of the main representations of Islam in Indonesia. It tries to locate the organizations of Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul...
PART 2: WOMEN OF MUHAMMADIYAH
3. 'Aisyiyah's Jihad
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Ibu Uswatun’s hand was raised in a fist, and many of the thousands of listeners returned the gesture with fervor. As a preacher of ‘Aisyiyah, she was used to addressing large audiences, but not in her wildest dreams had she expected to air her political opinions in front of such a large crowd. In spite of the fact that she was a well-known preacher, her work had mostly been...
4. Nurturing the Future: Nasyiatul 'Aisyiyah
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It was easy to choose Ibu Uswatun as a model to portray her organization, since it was her task in ‘Aisyiyah to “guide researchers.” In the beginning, she was present during all the hours I read the organization’s historical material and visited its projects. My map with notes holds more from and about her than any other ‘Aisyiyah member. Even though I talked with many other...
PART 3: WOMEN OF NAHDLATUL ULAMA
5. Tradition Revisited: The Pesantren
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“Did you notice that not one man was present during the whole graduation ceremony? No man spoke, and all the female teachers used their own names. Not once was a man’s name mentioned!” A female teacher at an Islamic boarding school (pesantren) whispered this observation in my ear around midnight after a graduation ceremony for the women students who...
6. Tradition in Action: Muslimat NU
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Speak to one Muslimat NU woman and you might find the dutiful spouse of an ultraconservative kiai. Engage another in conversation and you might find yourself speaking to a socially active member of Parliament in Jakarta. The first may have initiated the construction of a birthing clinic; the second may teach the Qur’an in her free time. Many Muslimat NU women, barely...
7. Post-Tradition: NU Activists
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The young NU generation practices an amalgam of new trends of thought and interpretation of Islamic texts that have entered the NU discourse since the 1970s. These ideas, many of them proposed by Abdurrahman Wahid, were converted into action when P3M and the think tank Lakpesdam arose from the folds of established NU leadership. The young generation that...
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The women introduced in this book have to be extraordinarily creative in juggling the many demands emerging from their families, careers, society, and the Muslim organizations they belong to. I came to know them at a time when the Suharto regime was still firmly in power. Indonesian society and trends in Islamic discourse have since undergone seismic changes. ...
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2006