Indonesian Ulema Council

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Indonesian Ulema Council (Indonesian: Majelis Ulama Indonesia - MUI) is Indonesia's top Muslim clerical body. The council comprises all Indonesian Muslim groups including Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah, and the more subtle name like Persis, Al Irsyad, Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Forum Ulama Umat Islam (FUUI) and the Islamic Defender Front (FPI). The Ahlul Bait Indonesia (Shi'ite) and Jemaat Ahmadiyyah Indonesia (Ahmadiyya) could not be accepted as its member. It was founded by the Indonesian New Order under the Suharto administration in 1975 as a body to produce fatwā and to advise the Muslim community on contemporary issues.

Roles[edit]

The government, at the creation of the MUI stated three broad goals for the MUI:

  1. Strengthening religion in the way the Pancasila describes to ensure national resilience.
  2. Participation of the Ulama in national development.
  3. The maintenance of harmony between the different religions in Indonesia.[1]

The MUI acts as an interface between the Indonesian government, which is secular, and the Islamic community.

The changes in civil society after the fall of Suharto have both widened the role of the MUI and made it more complex. The MUI gives fatwas to the Islamic community; through this they dictate the general direction of Islamic life in Indonesia.[2]

The MUI (particularly since the fall of Suharto) have given opinion and issued fatwas on a large variety of issues, from the role of the Indonesian Army in government to the public acceptability of the dancing of pop star Inul Daratista. [3]

Conflicts[edit]

MUI is a government funded organisation that acts independently but there have been examples of the MUI being asked to legitimise government policy. A particular example of this that caused friction within the MUI was request that the MUI support the government's birth control program. The government needed the support of the MUI and aspects of the program were objected to by many in religious circles. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Islamic state or state Islam? Fifty years of state-Islam relations in Indonesia”, in: Ingrid Wessel (Hrsg.), Indonesien am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Hamburg: Abera-Verlag, 1996, pp. 19-34.
  2. ^ Gillespie, P 2007, "Current Issues in Indonesian Islam: Analysing the 2005 Council of Indonesian Ulama Fatwa N0. 7" Journal of Islamic Studies Vol 18, No. 2 pp. 202-240.
  3. ^ Gillespie, P 2007, "Current Issues in Indonesian Islam: Analysing the 2005 Council of Indonesian Ulama Fatwa N0. 7" Journal of Islamic Studies Vol 18, No. 2 pp. 202-240.
  4. ^ “Islamic state or state Islam? Fifty years of state-Islam relations in Indonesia”, in: Ingrid Wessel (Hrsg.), Indonesien am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts. Hamburg: Abera-Verlag, 1996, pp. 19-34.

External links[edit]