The Dark Side of Reformasi: The Rise of Intolerant Civil Society

The Dark Side of Reformasi: The Rise of Intolerant Civil Society

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Nurcholish Madjid worked all his life to promote religious harmony. His view of Islam was one of a religion open to change and reform, an inclusive approach in which the similarities among faiths were more important than differences. When I think of the debates we are having today, I am reminded of how much we lack anyone with the stature of a Cak Nur or Gus Dur to make the case for tolerance. But I think we should all be grateful to Paramadina for undertaking the research and providing the venues for discussions that honor Cak Nur’s legacy and keep the notion of inclusive Islam alive as a principle for our time.

The idea for this lecture came in the course of my research on terrorism, when I began to come across more cases of young men who started off in local anti-vice campaigns turning to more extreme forms of violence. They started off using sticks and stones in the name of morality or curbing deviance, and ended up trying to use bombs.

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