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Today's Headlines Islam

  • Idul Fitri Celebrations and Mudik Tradition in Indonesia Relatively Smooth

    The Idul Fitri celebrations (also known as Lebaran) in Indonesia appear to take place in a safe and orderly manner. Idul Fitri is an important religious holiday for Muslims as it stresses the importance of unity for the Islamic community, and marks the end of the holy fasting month (Ramadan). Business comes to a near stand-still in Indonesia during these days, and Jakarta, the political and economic center of Indonesia, has become empty after millions of people went back to their hometowns ahead of Idul Fitri (this is known as the annual mudik tradition).

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  • Indonesian Culture: Annual Mudik Tradition ahead of Lebaran Has Begun

    The annual mudik tradition has started in Indonesia. The term mudik refers to the exodus of Indonesian workers from the cities back to their hometowns ahead of Lebaran (the Indonesian name for Idul Fitri) which starts on 28 July 2014. Lebaran, a national holiday (from 28 July to 1 August), marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and is usually celebrated at people’s places of origin, implying that Indonesian cities become more-or-less deserted for one week. In the week up to Lebaran people start to mudik.

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  • Start of the Ramadan in Indonesia? Government vs Muhammadiyah

    The Indonesian government announced that the holy fasting month of Ramadan (1435 Hijrah) will start on 29 June 2014. This decision was made after the Ministry for Religious Affairs held an isbat (confirmation) meeting on Friday evening joined by various Muslim organizations. However, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, the Muhammadiyah, previously determined 28 June as the starting point of the Ramadan. This difference is due to a different method of determining the location of the moon.

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  • Higher Domestic Consumption and Inflation during Ramadan and Lebaran

    Bayu Krisnamurthi, Indonesian Deputy Trade Minister, expects that domestic consumption will rise by approximately 40 percent during the holy Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on 28 June 2014, and subsequent Idul Fitri (Lebaran) celebrations. Traditionally, this period of festivities brings along inflationary pressures as consumers spend more money on food, transportation, clothes and souvenirs. Moreover, Krisnamurthi stated that the center of consumption will shift to the regions.

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  • What are the Official National Public Holidays in Indonesia in 2014?

    What are the Official National Public Holidays in Indonesia in 2014?

    Indonesia is a large and diverse country. One of the implications of this diverse context is that the country 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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  • Indonesia's Idul Fitri Traffic Causes many Accidents, Casualties and Injuries

    Indonesia's Idul Fitri Traffic Causes many Accidents, Casualties and Injuries

    According to Indonesia's police department, heavy traffic caused by the Idul Fitri celebrations resulted in the deaths of more than 471 people as well as 740 seriously injured people in over 2000 traffic accidents. Most accidents are caused by drivers that fall asleep during the journey. Idul Fitri marks the end of the holy fasting month (Ramadan) and is one of the major national holidays in Indonesia. This year Idul Fitri fell on Thursday 8 August and, as usual, is accompanied by the tradition that Indonesians travel back to their places of birth.

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  • Indonesia's Annual Mudik Tradition Turns Jakarta into an 'Empty' City

    The city center streets of Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, which are normally characterized by heavy traffic jams, are becoming quiet. As the holy Islamic fasting month (Ramadan) is getting towards the end, people are traveling back to their places of origin for the Lebaran celebrations. This annual tradition is known as 'mudik'. Usually, the people spend a few days at their hometowns before traveling back to their places of work. This period also means that businesses (including the stock exchange) are mostly closed until 12 August 2013.

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  • Ramadan and Lebaran Result in Higher Consumer Spending in Indonesia

    The holy fasting month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calender, and subsequent Idul Fitri (or Lebaran) festivities, when many Indonesians go back to their home towns for several days, will arrive soon (on or around 9 July 2013). This annual recurring tradition has some big economic implications as Indonesia's Muslim community increases spending prior and during this period to buy new clothes, shoes, food and drinks as well as transportation fares to travel back to their places of birth.

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  • Anti Terror-Raids in Indonesia Leave 7 Suspected Muslim Radicals Dead

    Seven suspected terrorists have been shot dead and 20 more have been arrested by Densus 88, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism squad, on Wednesday (08/05/13) during raids in Kendal (Central Java), Sumedang (West Java), Bandung and Banten. The suspects are believed to be part of a terrorist network that imported weaponry from the Philippines and engaged in violent robberies on bank branches of Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) to fund various terrorist activities in Poso (Sulawesi).

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  • Indonesian Voters Increasingly Turn Away from Islamic Parties

    According to research conducted by Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI), a leading Indonesian public opinion research institute, Indonesia's population increasingly prefers nationalist-oriented political parties (these parties stress the importance of a religious pluralist and harmonious society) over Islamic parties, which aim for a more dominant role of Islam in society. In 2014, Indonesia will organize its next legislative and presidential elections.

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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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  • Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.

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