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Today's Headlines Islam

  • Sharia Tourism: Indonesia's Kagum Group to Invest in Sharia Hotels

    Sharia Tourism: Indonesia's Kagum Group to Invest in Sharia Hotels

    The Kagum Group, a hospitality management company in Indonesia, is eager to expand into the sharia tourism sector by establishing a chain of sharia hotels across Indonesia. Sharia hotels are hotels that follow Islamic principles such as offering separated indoor (protected from public view) swimming pools for men and women or serving halal food and beverages (excluding pork and alcoholic drinks). Through sharia-compliant hotels, the group targets to welcome more tourists from the Middle East.

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  • Using Islamic Bonds to Boost Infrastructure Development in Indonesia

    Using Islamic Bonds to Boost Infrastructure Development in Indonesia

    In 2016 investors will be able to purchase about IDR 13.7 trillion (approx. USD $1.4 billion) worth of Islamic bonds (known as sukuk) to be issued by the Indonesian government. This amount is nearly double the amount of planned sharia-compliant sovereign debt paper this year (IDR 7.14 trillion). Indonesia will use proceeds from next year's bond sales to boost the nation’s infrastructure development (such as roads, ports, power plants, rail lines, bridges and Islamic universities).

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  • Ramadan & Infrastructure in Indonesia: Idul Fitri Exodus Estimated at 20 Million

    Ramadan & Infrastructure in Indonesia: Idul Fitri Exodus Estimated at 20 Million

    It is estimated that about 20 million Indonesians will travel back to their hometowns during the Idul Fitri (also known as Lebaran) celebrations that mark the end of the Ramadan (the Islamic holy fasting month) next month. This homeward bound traveling is locally known as mudik. The annual mudik tradition involves millions of Indonesians taking time off from work, leaving their urban residences and travel back to their places of birth in the rural areas for a few days. During these days cities become empty.

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  • Islamic Banking in Indonesia: ‘I Love Sharia Finance Program’

    Islamic Banking in Indonesia: ‘I Love Sharia Finance Program’

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo stated during the launch of the “I Love Sharia Finance Program” that Indonesia should become the global center for Islamic finance (also known as sharia banking). The program, initiated by the country’s Financial Services Authority (OJK), was launched in Jakarta on Sunday (14/06). Islamic finance is a form of banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia (Islamic law). In recent years, the global market for sharia-compliant financial instruments has risen robustly.

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  • Rohingya Refugees Rescued at Seas near Indonesia’s Aceh Province

    Rohingya Refugees Rescued at Seas near Indonesia’s Aceh Province

    Over the past two days more than 900 migrants (believed to be Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladesh) have been rescued from overcrowded wooden boats near the coastal area of Indonesia’s Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra. After being spotted by local fishermen, these boats were towed to Acehnese shore. Meanwhile, in Malaysia more than 1,000 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh were found in shallow waters near Langkawi after being abandoned by human traffickers.

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  • Islamic Finance in Indonesia: Sale of Sukuk Retail Bonds

    Islamic Finance in Indonesia: Sale of Sukuk Retail Bonds

    Indonesia eyes to raise IDR 20 trillion (USD $1.6 billion) from the sale of sukuk, Islamic bonds, to Indonesian citizens between 23 February and 6 March 2015. These three-year Sharia-compliant retail bonds (SR-007 retail sukuk) offer an 8.25 percent coupon rate, the highest premium over existing securities in two years. The minimum order for these bonds starts at IDR 5 million and the maximum is IDR 5 billion. The Indonesian Finance Ministry said that proceeds of the debt sales will be used to finance the country’s state-budget deficit.

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  • What are the Official National Public Holidays in Indonesia in 2015?

    What are the Official National Public Holidays in Indonesia in 2015?

    Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago. Due to the country's sheer size (implying diversity) it contains a variety of different religions and traditional beliefs. The Constitution of Indonesia, a secular democratic country containing a Muslim-majority population, guarantees all Indonesian citizens the freedom of worship, each according to his or her own religion or belief. This also means that Indonesia contains many, mostly religion-inspired, public holidays on which financial markets are closed.

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  • Terror Threat Indonesia: Islamic State in Indonesia?

    Terror Threat Indonesia: Islamic State in Indonesia?

    In the past few days, American and Australian authorities announced to detect a high degree of potential terrorist attacks in Indonesia, reportedly related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) movement. ISIS is an outlawed movement in Indonesia but does have sympathizers in the world’s largest archipelago containing the world’s largest Muslim population (about 210 million Muslims). Last Saturday (03/01), the US embassy issued a security warning for US-associated hotels and banks in the city of Surabaya (East Java).

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  • OJK Sets New Rules in Indonesia’s Islamic Financial Services Industry

    OJK Sets New Rules in Indonesia’s Islamic Financial Services Market

    In a bid to enhance monitoring on Indonesia’s financial services sector, to deepen financial markets, and to widen people’s access to financial services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has introduced 20 new rules ranging from corporate governance to microfinance. The institution also revised Islamic banking rules involving asset quality and capital adequacy in an effort to increase the role of Islamic banking (sharia banking) in Indonesia’s financial system. Authorities target that Islamic banks hold more than 15 percent of the market by 2023.

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  • Islamic Finance in Indonesia: Sharia Banking is Large Untapped Potential

    Islamic Finance in Indonesia: Sharia Banking is Large Untapped Potential

    Having the world’s largest Muslim population and experiencing sustained economic growth at a pace of +5 percent implies that Indonesia harbours great potential for Islamic finance (sharia banking). However, Indonesia is yet to tap the full potential of the Islamic financial services market. As an illustration, with a figure of USD $24 billion, Indonesia’s Islamic banks only held 4.9 percent of the country’s total banking assets in 2013. This is small compared to Malaysia (where Islamic banking holds a 20 percent market share).

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Latest Columns Islam

  • Islamic Banking & Finance: What is Holding Back Sharia Finance in Indonesia?

    Islamic Banking & Finance: What is Holding Back Sharia Finance in Indonesia?

    Indonesia is known for being home to the world’s largest Muslim population. More than 230 million Indonesians – which is about 88 percent of Indonesia’s total population – are categorized as Muslim. In fact, nearly 13 percent of all Muslims in the world, today, live in Indonesia. These are very impressive numbers and surely impact heavily on Indonesian society, the economy, and politics.

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  • Civil Society’s Increasing Autonomy and Political Development

    Civil Society’s Increasing Autonomy and Political Development

    The recent elections in Indonesia reinforced the durability of many historical trends in political and social conflict and development—specifically, the paramount importance of Islamic civil society organizations in the structuring of political conflict. Although often used to denote violent or rogue activity, ‘political conflict’ is a term used here to broadly characterize the oppositional dynamics within the formal political society sphere—the arena in which parties and politicians contend.

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  • Multi Bintang Indonesia Holds ‘2019 Star Serve Competition’ in Four Major Cities

    Multi Bintang Indonesia Holds ‘2019 Star Serve Competition’ in Four Major Cities

    Those companies that make money through sales of alcoholic beverages in Indonesia have been experiencing challenging times in recent years. It is a fact that Indonesian society has become more conservative over the years (this is actually a process that has been ongoing for centuries), and Indonesia’s 2019 presidential and legislative elections showed how the political influence of conservative Muslim clerics has grown.

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  • Thriving Modest Fashion: Can Indonesia Become the Mecca of Islamic Fashion?

    Thriving Modest Fashion: Can Indonesia Become the Mecca of Islamic Fashion?

    Indonesia is in a great position to become the world’s leading nation in terms of Islamic fashion. Why? Well, with a population of around 265 million people (with nearly 90 percent adhering to Islam) Indonesia has a (potentially) huge customer base. Secondly, prosperity in Southeast Asia’s largest economy is rising as evidenced by growing per capita income and the expanding middle class. As more and more Indonesians escape poverty and rise in the ranks of the middle class, they have less need to focus solely on basic needs and have (more) money to spend on non-basic needs, such as fashion.

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  • Constitutional Court of Indonesia Embraces Religious Freedom

    Constitutional Court of Indonesia Embraces Religious Freedom

    The Constitutional Court of Indonesia (in Indonesian: Mahkamah Konstitusi), whose tasks involve the reviewing of constitutionality under the Indonesian Constitution, issued a recommendation that can be regarded a landmark ruling in Indonesia where - so far - the state only recognizes six official religions.

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  • Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.

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  • Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    After having carefully followed the 2017 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, there are a couple of worrying signs. One, the rising influence of hardline Islam on Indonesian politics (and prosecution). Two, the rising influence of a handful of Indonesian "billionaire" businessmen, led by controversial Prabowo Subianto, who seek the highest political power within Southeast Asia's largest economy. Three, the cooperation between the two aforementioned forces as they each strive to fulfill their (separate) ambitions.

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  • Politics Indonesia: Update Jakarta Gubernatorial Election

    Politics Indonesia: Update 2nd Round Jakarta Gubernatorial Election

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared Wednesday 19 April 2017 a public holiday for citizens in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta. This decision, made through a presidential decree, will make it easier for locals to cast their votes in the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

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