- アジア・アフリカ地域研究 (ISSN:13462466)
- vol.19, no.1, pp.28-48, 2019-09-30 (Released:2019-11-02)
Indonesia’s largest Sunni Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has embraced moderation and tolerance of religious minorities, under the leadership of religious pluralists. Academic works on Indonesia’s Islam have often attributed hostile and exclusive attitudes toward religious minorities, especially toward Shi’a, to groups under influence of Wahhabism. Observers of Indonesia’s Islam in the past decade, however, have witnessed increasing violence against religious minorities by NU members using similar rhetoric to that deployed by Wahhabi-inspired groups. What accounts for the emerging trend of intolerance? Specifically, what motivates certain NU members to engage in persecution of minorities? This paper shows that the power struggle within the organization primarily motivates rank-and-file individuals to mobilize the masses by using anti-minority rhetoric with the aim of jeopardizing the moderate leadership and advancing their own standing. Among the emerging opponents of the pluralist leadership are disciples of Sayyid Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki (1944–2004) in Mecca. Despite the moderate teaching of al-Maliki, some disciples who seek influence beyond the organization are increasingly using anti-Shi’a rhetoric to mobilize the masses in this electoral democracy. The paper explores their historical trajectory, and then analyzes development after the democratization as well as the limitations that prevent them from expanding their influence at the national level.