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Historiography of Islamic Radicals in Indonesia

Friday, October 28, 2011
12:00 AM
1636 SSWB/International Institute, 1080 S. University, Ann Arbor MI

Fuad Jabali, State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta Visiting Scholar, Islamic Studies Program, University of Michigan This talk addresses the contest for the Islamic past that is currently taking place among Indonesia’s Muslims. While radicals view the 7th-century past of Islam’s first century as presenting fixed principles that hold absolute authority over the present, the moderates and progressives see the past as a set of dynamic and negotiable realities. The struggle between radical and progressive Islam in Indonesia is thus part of an internal epistemological contest within Islamic historiography that requires an internal solution. The success – or failure -- of the progressives and moderates will be determined by their ability to creatively engage and challenge the radicals’ interpretation of the first-century Islamic past and to do so within traditions of recognizably Islamic methodologies of knowledge.