Challenging the Secular State: The Islamization of Law in Modern Indonesia, by Arskal Salim, examines Muslim efforts to incorporate shari’a (religious law) into modern Indonesia’s legal system from the time of independence in 1945 to the present. The author argues that attempts to formally implement shari’a in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, have always been marked by tensions between the political aspirations of proponents and opponents of shari’a and by resistance from the national government. As a result, although pro-shari’a movements have made significant progress in recent years, shari’a remains tightly confined within Indonesia’s secular legal system.
“Challenging the Secular State offers both in-depth description and insightful analysis of some of the most important aspects of modern debates over Islamic law in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It is the kind of sophisticated treatment of local complexities that is long overdue and as such deserves the attention of readers in both Southeast Asian and Islamic studies.” —Michael Feener, National University of Singapore
September 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3237-8 / $52.00 (CLOTH)