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Making Modern MuslimsThe Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia$
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Robert W. Hefner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832803

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832803.001.0001

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Islamic Schools, Social Movements, and Democracy in Indonesia

Islamic Schools, Social Movements, and Democracy in Indonesia

(p.55) 2 Islamic Schools, Social Movements, and Democracy in Indonesia
Making Modern Muslims

Robert W. Hefner

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines several trends in Indonesia's Islamic schools, focusing on the country's 11,000 Islamic boarding schools (pesantrens) and its 36,000 modern Islamic day schools (madrasas). The madrasa wing of the network educates some 5.7 million students or 13 percent of Indonesia's primary and secondary school student body while the pesantren wing educates an additional 2.9 million students, most after they have completed primary or middle school. The chapter addresses the question of how one of the most forward-looking Islamic educational systems in the world has also given rise to a small but militant fringe. More generally, it asks what developments in the Islamic educational system imply for Indonesia's continuing transition from thirty-two years of authoritarian rule. It concludes that the primary question with which mainstream Muslim educators will grapple in years to come is not radicalization, but how to balance the ideals of democracy with the ethical imperatives of God's law.

Keywords:   Indonesia, Islamic schools, Islamic education, educational system, militancy, democracy, Muslim educators

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