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The Islamic Defenders Front: Demonization, Violence and the State in Indonesia

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  1. For general discussions of FPI see: Jahroni (2008), Rossadi (2008) and (Woodward et al. 2012).

  2. We use the terms deviant and deviance in ways that reflect FPI and some other Indonesian usage, not in a normative sense.

  3. On JI see: Barton (2005)

  4. On Ahmadiyah history and teachings see: Friedman (1989), Glasse and Ahmadiyya (2008) and Lavan (1974).

  5. On anti-homosexual violence, see, for example: Bernardi et al. (2012) and Boellstroff (2007). Boellstroff’s analysis of homosexuality and Islam is instructive, including a case of the MUI issuing a level 2 condemnation of a meeting of a gay group in Surabaya, and how it spurred the FPI and other groups to level 3 and 4 reactions.

  6. On MUI prior to the 1998 democratic transition see: van Bruinessen (1996).

  7. This extends to areas such as Ambon in eastern Indonesia, where the proportion of Christians is higher than in Java. Although there was a brief separatist insurgency—supported by both Christians and Muslims allied with the Dutch—there in 1950, there has been no serious threat to Indonesian sovereignty there in decades. Yet whenever interfaith tensions rise, Islamists portray Christians as separatists and crusaders, and as an existential threat to the state.

  8. See, for example: Fealy (2004); Daniels (2007).

  9. This video can be viewed at: (accessed 20 March 2013).

  10. Suara Islam Online, 14 July 2010 (accessed 13 July 2012)

  11. Jakarta Globe 2 August 2012 (accessed 2 August 2012). Era Muslim July 19, 2012. (accessed August 3, 2012)

  12. Jakarta Globe 5 December 2011. (accessed 2 August 2012)

  13. Jakarta Post 8 September 2011, (accessed 1 August 2012)

  14. Jakarta Post, 7 October 2010, (accessed 15 July 2012)

  15. Jakarta Post, 16 March 2013, (Accessed 20 March 2013)

  16. Jakarta Globe, 6 February 2012, (accessed 2 August 2012).


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Woodward, M., Yahya, M., Rohmaniyah, I. et al. The Islamic Defenders Front: Demonization, Violence and the State in Indonesia. Cont Islam 8, 153–171 (2014).

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