Tuesday, April 08, 2014
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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Prejudice at the Polling Booth

Tim Mann*

When 121 million Indonesians went to the polls to vote in the country's first direct presidential elections in 2004, Wahyu Adi Nugroho was not among them. It was not apathy that kept him away. It was 15 kilograms of steel and rubber. Nugroho, 35, is from Pundong in Bantul, Yogyakarta. He used to use a wheelchair, and he could not vote because his local…

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Javanese-Inspired Recitation

DURING the fasting month, conflicts and controversies are put aside. But one dispute, which reflects the two expressions of Islam—one oriented to the Middle East and the other identifying itself with the Indonesian Archipelago (Nusantara)—did not stop. The performance of Muhammad Yasser Arafat, a lecturer at the Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University, who recited the first 15 verses of Chapter 23 of the Qur'an in the style of a Javanese song during a commemoration of the the Isra Mir'aj (the Prophet's Night Journey) at the State Palace on May 15, has led to a public debate full of political nuance.