Indonesia has witnessed the mushrooming of communal violence during the early stages of its transition towards electoral democracy after the fall of Suharto’s authoritarian regime in 1998.
- The future of Indonesian Islam, and with it that of the entire nation, involves the issue of addressing social justice. The 82-year-old Muslim leader Ahmad Syafii Maarif, is convinced of this.
- Are Indonesian democracy and pluralism being endangered by the revitalization of radicalism and the increasingly invasive presence of extremist Islamic groups?
- In persistently developing a model for coexistence able to peacefully contain social unrest and radical Islamism, Indonesia has been able to emerge headstrong from years of difficult dictatorship and positively react to the late-nineties financial crisis. Although Indonesia has painted a bright and prosperous image of itself, it carries behind it a thick and oppressive shadow.
- “In the very strict sense, explains Professor Alfred Stepan from Columbia University, there is not one democracy in the world that has strict separation between Church and state. For example, 100% of the 27 members of the European Union give money for religious education, one third of them have established churches.