Mujiburrahman ('Al Banjari', from Banjarmasin) is for 2 months in Leiden. He will to do research (or rather 'writing') on the 2006 regulations about the building of places of worship. Thanks to Atho Mudzhar he has many documents about the period previous to the official regulation. Notes and comments by religious leaders and politicians about this joint ministerial decree.
Mujib reminded me that I did not yet read the article he had written in the Festschrift for Amin Abdullah. So, last week I took time to read the lucid article Akar-akar Konflik antar Umat Islam Indonesia. Mujib is eminent in designing the general outline of social classifications, without going too much in details, exceptions and other possibilities. From early 20th century Islam he sees three areas where conflicts rise between various Muslim groups. 1. Those who want to give priority to an Indonesian rather than to an Islamic identity; 2. Internal conflicts between Muslim as muda-tua or Reformist versus more lenient position towards practices that have become quite common among many Muslims in Indonesia; 3. the Cultural debate: traditional Indonesian or modern Western society?
The third issue is not always drawn into the religious debate, but Mujib does it in an eloquent and convincing way: Takdir Alisjahbana versus Ki Hajar Dewantara, until the Strategi Kebudayaan by Ali Murtopo (and Pranarka, CSIS) versus Prof. Rasjidi.
Nearly at the same time I received a message from Ardiansyah, Acahnese Ph.D candidate in Leiden who brought a gift from Alyasa Abubakar. Ardiansyah studies the application of adat in Aceh, because not only shari'a is an exception in that region, but in fact also adat or customary regulations now can be applied in this region, although it is not really known and not so much studied. The debate is about the Islamic shari'a law while the interest (also in colonial times) is less for adat.
Alyasa Abubakar stayed in 1987-8 one year in our house in Yogyakarta as a Ph.D. Student. At that time he gave a traditional embroidery of the Baiturrahman mosque of Banda Aceh. Now I received a decorative piece of work from Gayo land. Is this a sign that the general emphasis will shift from shari'a to adat? In the bedroom for our grandchildren they hang side by side.