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Jakarta Post

In culture war, Web 2.0 offers new hope for Indonesia

  • Ary Hermawan

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 25 2011   /  10:58 am

It seems that Indonesia is constantly at a crossroads. As the wind of a Web 2.0-powered revolution is sweeping the Arab-speaking world, Indonesia — home to the world’s largest Muslim population, who mostly do not speak Arabic — is now witnessing what seems to be an open war between the freethinkers and the religionists. While it’s easy for the paranoid among us to cry foul over the rising number of cases of violence committed in the name of religion — or let’s just say Islam — as well as the creeping Islamization in virtually every corner of Indonesia’s public sphere, it is foolish to overlook the resistance waged by freethinkers against any forms of religious bigotry and how their struggle will determine the face of Indonesia in the next few decades. With most clerics in Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah calling for the disbandment of Ahmadiyah for straying from the ...