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Reading: The Dialectics of Islamophobia and Radicalism in Indonesia


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The Dialectics of Islamophobia and Radicalism in Indonesia


Etin Anwar

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
About Etin
Etin Anwar is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She is the author of Gender and Self in Islam (Routledge Curzon, 2006). Her interests include gender and sexuality in Asian societies, Sufi philosophy, as well as the role of women in Muslim societies through Islamic philosophy and theology.
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The world economic crises in 1998 and the subsequent political terrorism on September 11, 2001 vastly impacted the social, political, and cultural landscapes of Islam in Indonesia. The earlier political changes from the authoritarian New Order to the reformation era in 1998 had sparked not only democracy, but also the arrival of Islam as a political power that promised an instant solution to social, cultural, political, and economic decadence. Islamist movements, however, gained momentum after 9/11. Islamists interpreted “war on terror” and the use of terms like “Islamofascism” as a threat against Islam and Muslims. In response, they mobilized what the United State perceived as anti-Americanism. This anti-Americanism is, of course, concretely fueled by the Islamist views of US foreign policy and Western domination. But the Islamist perception of American Islamophobia plays a role as well.
How to Cite: Anwar, E., 2009. The Dialectics of Islamophobia and Radicalism in Indonesia. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 16(2), pp.53–67. DOI:
Published on 01 Apr 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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