Post-Islamism what? Sandiaga confused by PKS campaign slogan

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Thu, August 30, 2018  /  11:35 am

Vice presidential contenders Ma'ruf Amin (left) and Sandiaga Uno. (Antara/ Asep Fathulrahman/JP/ Dhoni Setiawan)

Vice presidential candidate and businessman Sandiaga Uno admitted that he had no clue what the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) was talking about when it portrayed him as a santri di era pos-Islamisme (a pious Muslim in the era of post-Islamism).

In an apparent attempt to calm its constituents after presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto unexpectedly picked Sandiaga and not a senior PKS member as his running mate, the Islam-based party was quick to label Sandiaga, who attended a Catholic school, a santri (orthodox Muslim) as opposed to abangan (nominal Muslim).

“That was the first time I heard the term [post-Islamism], as I never attended a pesantren [Islamic boarding school],” he said during a show on Kompas TV on Wednesday night, referring to the night of his nomination.

The term post-Islamism is actually a term coined by Iranian sociologist Asef Bayat to roughly describe a new generation of Muslims, young and affluent, who easily blend Islamic values and popular culture.

The PKS, in a desperate attempt to sell the Prabowo-Sandiaga pair as a nationalist-religious ticket, believes that Sandiaga is the poster boy of post-Islamism in Indonesia. Such a move was probably triggered by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to name Ma’ruf Amin, arguably the most influential cleric in the country, as his running mate.    

But Sandiaga said he was confused by the term, although he claimed that he had worked with pengusaha santri (Muslim businessmen) under Nahdlatul Ulama.

He said: “When [PKS leader] Pak Sohibul Iman mentioned the term, I wondered what it was.” (ahw)