The 2016 Australia-Indonesia Centre Perceptions Report shows that a vast majority of Australians (75 per cent) associate Indonesians with their religion, which demonstrates the importance of deeper understanding of the country’s majority religion, namely Islam. Recent developments in Indonesian Islam have shown worrying undemocratic signs, most recently the mass mobilisations of lower- as well as middle-class Muslims directed against the ethnic-Chinese Christian governor of Jakarta popularly known as Ahok. These developments appear to challenge notions that Indonesia could readily serve as a model of liberalisation and democratisation for other Muslim-majority societies.
Understanding such developments is important to Australia because they relate to the forging of attitudes towards politics, community and Indonesia’s relationship with the rest of the world. This is especially so because Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world and is widely regarded as its third largest democracy.
The projects aims to investigate: