Society and Identity
As Soeharto’s New Order collapsed along with the wave of the 1998 reformasi, Indonesia might be perceived as having escaped from military-based authoritarianism. Democratization and decentralization have commonly been used as two main narratives after two decades of this turning point. Yet one of the results is Indonesia taking the shape of a pseudo-democratic state, that mixes elements of democracy with distinctly authoritarian remnants of previous governance. Among the consequences is a coming to the fore of Ormas (mass organizations) professing to provide for people’s basic needs and security. In this presentation I will be looking at two such organisations. Banser, an Islamic paramilitary group resorting under Nahdlatul Ulama, the nation’s biggest moderate Muslim organization, which presently is three to five times the size of the Indonesian army in terms of personnel. The second group is Jamaah Maiyah, also a moderate Muslim group, which seeks to further security provision in a non-violent way using music, theater, publications, and a unique style of Islamic preaching. In comparing the two, I aim to study the spectrum of securitization and solidarity professed by these groups, in particular as articulated through their discourses of “religiusitas kebangsaan” (nationhood religiosity), by looking at their empirical actions, charismatic leadership, and the power constellations in which they are involved.