Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia
2. Claims of Authenticity
“An extreme and perverse ideology in the minds of fanatics is what directly threatens us (specifically, Wahhabi/Salafi ideology—a minority fundamentalist religious cult fueled by petrodollars)”.(p. 5) (brackets in original)
3. The Fields and the Films
4. Gendered Moralities and Religious Authenticity
4.1. Representations of Arab Muslim Men
“At the time of prayer, all shops will close and everyone heads immediately to the mosque for prayer. In Saudi Arabia people do pray on time, and will stop all other activities.”9
“We are concerned because after reformasi, we tend to be Arabized. We are the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, why do we have to emulate the Arabs? It is they who have to emulate us.”10
“They like to shout. They enjoy being harsh. In Indonesia we don’t do that. We keep our anger inside. They pointed at me, when accidentally my skirt was lifted a bit, shouting “haram, haram,” but it was not on purpose. They are so rude.”11
“(…) The person who does the call to prayer in our local mosque here is a graduate from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) with the best grades. He got cum laude in almost everything. Then he went to Saudi Arabia for two years and became a driver. Even though he is a technical engineer, he became a driver there. I asked him why he did not get a work permit as an architect. Why? Because the Arabs said: ‘Sorry brother, the work permits for architects and technical engineers are only given to Arabs, French people or Russians,’ that’s what they said, no work permits for Indonesians.”14
“But really, the Arab people are just crazy, aren’t they? The Arabs are harsh. It’s not me saying that the Arabs are crazy; it’s the holy book. The holy book says that al-Arabīyūn, the Arabs, are people that really like to argue and are hypocrites. It’s the holy book that states that. That’s why all the prophets were sent there, because they need that there. Here we do not need a prophet, you know. Because we are just good.”15
4.2. Representations of Arab Muslim Women
“There, they [the Arab women] do not take care of themselves; the women there, they just sleep and eat, so their physical appearance isn’t good. They never work, so they become loose and slack. They never do sports. They are just at home. Men do the shopping and everything, the daily needs. There is nothing that the women do. Just sleep and bear children.”16
“In the film Ketika Cinta Bertasbih, women are represented as holding high status in Islam and are liberated. They have the liberty to choose whom to marry and set conditions to be fulfilled by their future husbands in order for the marriage to take place, as long as the conditions guarantee the wellbeing of the women, her families and their future husbands.”(Habiburrahman El Shirazy in an interview with (Nuh 2008))
4.3. Arab Style
4.4. Images of Femininity and Claims of Authenticity
“For example, in many Middle Eastern countries, women have less freedom. They can’t drive; they can’t go anywhere on their own, they are not even admitted in religious sites. In Indonesia, they have more freedom.”
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We combined insights from our individual PhD projects in the framework of the Go8-DAAD Joint Research Cooperation Scheme.
Ummah refers to all people united by the Islamic faith. It encapsulates the global Islamic community.
This film is a duology: Ketika Cinta Bertasbih 1 and Ketika Cinta Bertasbih 2. Both were made by the same principal crew of filmmakers and were produced by the same film company. They were released in March and September 2009 respectively. Since they constitute a single plot, this article refers to them as a single entity with the name Ketika Cinta Bertasbih (KCB).
Islamic match-making process, in which a man (with his family) meets a woman through a religious teacher or family member and in the presence of the woman’s family.
Pseudonyms are used to name the interlocutors, except the filmmakers. The interviews were conducted in Bahasa Indonesia. For the purpose of this article, the excerpts from the interview are presented in English translation. Lücking translated the fieldwork interviews with labor migrants and pilgrims, and Eliyanah translated those with the filmmakers.
“Ibu” literally means “mother” and is the common address for married women in Indonesia, comparable to Mrs.
“Pak,” an abbreviation of “Bapak,” literally means “father” and is the common Indonesian address for men, comparable to Mr. or Sir.
TKW is an abbreviation for Tenaga Kerja Wanita (female labor migrant).
Pilgrimage preparation course at Hasuna Tour Yogyakarta, 2 March 2013, translation by Lücking.
Personal communication with Faozan Rizal, 22 May 2014.
Personal communication with Dewi, 25 January 2013.
Personal communication with Ibu Anwar, 3 July 2014.
Personal communication with Dewi, 25 January 2013.
Personal communication with Pak Mariadi, 1 March 2013.
Personal communication with Pak Mariadi, 1 March 2013.
Personal communication with Ibu Anisa, 21 March 2014.
Personal communication with Imam Tantowi, 14 April 2014.
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Lücking, M.; Eliyanah, E. Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030103
Lücking M, Eliyanah E. Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia. Social Sciences. 2017; 6(3):103. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030103Chicago/Turabian Style
Lücking, Mirjam, and Evi Eliyanah. 2017. "Images of Authentic Muslim Selves: Gendered Moralities and Constructions of Arab Others in Contemporary Indonesia" Social Sciences 6, no. 3: 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6030103