Although located on the geographical peripheries of the Muslim world and home to vastly different cultures, a survey of the Turkish and Indonesian experiences with religion in the public sphere, or more specifically: the accommodation of Islam in secularized constitutional contexts, shows nevertheless some remarkable parallels. The significance of these findings extends beyond the countries concerned. There are lessons to be learned for the Muslim world at large from the commonalities detected in the developments in two such diverse Islamic countries.
The ways in which Indonesia and Turkey have managed to integrate religion in the public sphere; creating a civil Islam or Muslim civil society and finding new ways of accommodating religion in culturally very Islamic contexts, provide the rest of the Muslim world with potential trajectories for new strategies and scenarios to work towards similar objectives.
This talk examines Turkey and Indonesia’s parallel journeys in the last twenty-five years or so, identifying both similarities and differences in two countries which are also of growing importance on a global level given the magnitude of their economies and increasingly active stance in international diplomacy.