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Home » Salafi Activism and the Promotion of a Modern Muslim Identity: Evolving mediums of Da’wa amongst Yogyakartan University Students

Salafi Activism and the Promotion of a Modern Muslim Identity: Evolving mediums of Da’wa amongst Yogyakartan University Students

Chris Chaplin

Indonesia has witnessed the emergence of a market of Islamic goods, services and media platforms that have catalysed a qualitative shift in the ways individuals come to express their religious convictions. Salafi Islam is no exception to this transformation, and this paper provides a case study of contemporary Salafi propagation amongst Yogyakarta’s students and graduates. Through description and analysis of campus based religious lectures, websites, magazines and fashion outlets linked to the al-Atsary Islamic Education Foundation, this paper explores the intricacies of campus affiliated da’wa. Linked to a ‘literalist’ interpretation of Islam reliant on scholars in Saudi Arabia, Salafism is frequently denounced as foreign to Indonesian norms.Yet, while activists do indeed promote a rigid adherence to Islamic tenets, they also align Islamic values to concerns with a modern Muslim identity. By framing Salafism as sensitive to ideas of professional employment, while juxtaposing it against images of a less-well educated rural Islam, they have thus have created a unique strand of urban Salafi propagation.

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