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Indonesia's backlash against Saudi-style Islam

Indonesia's backlash against Saudi-style Islam Categories: Asia, Saudi Arabia, Updates     Author: Michael Shannon

The beheading of Ruyati binti Satubi - an Indonesian maid executed by Saudi authorities in June for the killing of an allegedly abusive Saudi employer - has stirred such revulsion in Indonesia that Islamic leaders there are openly challenging the harsh, Wahhabist creed of Islam that has gained a foo

Asia Watch: The Old Bogeyman

Asia Watch: The Old Bogeyman Categories: Antisemitism, Asia     Author: Michael Shannon

One of the most reliable indices of political heat in Malaysia is when the spectre of Jews or Israel is invoked to discredit domestic political enemies. That no instance seems too far-fetched is an interesting indicator of how Jews are perceived in a country with no Jewish population of its own - a

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Asia Watch: New Broom Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Michael Shannon

With Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim still detained by a farcical trial and Prime Minister Najib Razak's sclerotic UMNO-led coalition firmly in control, the entrenched political stalemate could yet be upset from a surprising direction. Long viewed as a promoter of fundamentalist Islam in p

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From Pyongyang with love

From Pyongyang with love Categories: Asia, International Security, Iran, Middle East, Syria     Author: Allon Lee

North Korean cooperation is a linchpin in Iran's development of ballistic missiles, without which progress would be retarded a very great deal. On Iran's nuclear push, the evidence is less conclusive, but North Korean assistance seems likely to be very significant to Iran’s nuclea

Fall of the Teflon Terrorist? Categories: Asia, Islamic Extremism, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

On Aug. 9, 2010, members of Indonesia's elite counter-terrorist police force arrested the militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir as part of their ongoing investigations into a terrorist training camp discovered in February 2010 in Aceh, plots to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and scheme to launch

Asia Watch: Stormy Seas Categories: Asia, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Michael Shannon

As elsewhere, the Israeli military confrontation of activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla's MV Mavi Marmara on May 31 put Israel at the centre of fiery rhetoric in Southeast Asia over recent weeks. In Indonesia, demonstrations were staged in Jakarta and regional cities over several days.

Wahid's Way Categories: Asia     Author: Theodore Friend

The genial complexity of Wahid's character, which drew millions to him, was not adequate to the pressures of the presidency. But his life, career, and elements of caprice contain abundant clues for anyone who would understand modern Sufism, global Islam, and the Republic of Indonesia.

The Great Leap Forward Categories: Asia, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

No country deserves more credit for improving its counter-terrorism operations and capabilities than Indonesia. While terrorism will never be eliminated, Indonesia has developed a strong and effective counter-terrorist force, while at the same time consolidating its democratic transition.

The legacy of a true friend Categories: Asia, Israel, Op-eds     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Almost uniquely among Muslim leaders and the heads of Muslim states, Wahid was not reticent about his friendship for Israel and his close ties and desire for even closer ones with the Jewish people.

Asia Watch: Business Interests Categories: Asia, Israel     Author: Michael Shannon

While there is no imminent prospect of Indonesia establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, Jakarta's longstanding political stance is no impediment to a burgeoning commercial relationship with the Jewish state.

Indonesia - The Model for Muslim Democracy Categories: Asia     Author: Paul Wolfowitz

Indonesia's success in building democratic institutions in just 10 years is equally remarkable. It is yet another demonstration of the appeal of free institutions, in this case to people with East Asian value systems and in a country with the largest Muslim population in the world.

Essay: The Rebound Categories: Asia, Egypt, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Terrorism     Author: Zachary Abuza

Jemaah Islamiah has for more than 15 years fought to transform Indonesia into an Islamist state. In recent years, its terrorist campaign has suffered setbacks. As Jemaah Islamiah regroups, it builds upon the experience of Middle East terrorist groups.

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Asia Watch: Witness Protection Categories: Asia, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Lebanon, Middle East     Author: Michael Shannon

What was a small news item back in November blew-up in a big way at the height of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza. The Indonesian internet was abuzz for several weeks as Islamist-oriented websites like Hidayatullah.com, Arrahmah.com and Eramuslim.com attacked Muhammadiyah for its supposed tie

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