Tales of the Unexpected: Contesting Syari'ah Law in Aceh, Indonesia
CitationIdria, Reza. 2020. Tales of the Unexpected: Contesting Syari'ah Law in Aceh, Indonesia. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractMy dissertation examines a wide range of social and political impacts that have emerged from the state implementation of Syari’ah (Sharia) in the Indonesian province of Aceh within the last two-decades. Syari’ah is Islamic way of belief and practice but in Aceh it was initially imposed by the central government as a political move to undercut popular support for the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). After the peace settlement, its political characters intensified. Seeing the current implementation of Syari’ah as a state-directed project, my research investigates the everyday workings and Acehnese popular perceptions of the Syari’ah law. Despite the government’s enormous efforts to strengthen its enforcement, my study found that the enforcement of Syari’ah law has become the subject of popular resistance among many groups in Aceh. Various groups ranging from local Muslim intellectuals, women’s rights activists, to punk communities have come forward to contest the state Syari’ah project. Drawing upon a timely picture of internal contestations in Acehnese Muslim society I demonstrate the unexpected outcomes of enforcing Syari’ah through a modern state bureaucracy. This complex scenario offers its own valuable lessons for our understanding of the relationship between religious law and the modern state.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366008
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