The Muslimah Intimate Public: Re-Considering Contemporary Daʾwa Activists in Indonesia

In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
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  • 1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

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Abstract

This article reconsiders contemporary digital activism in an increasingly pious Indonesia and responds to Eva F. Nisa’s 2018 paper on young Muslim women as daʾwa (proselytization) activists published in this journal. This paper asks: How have today’s socially mediated publics in Indonesia influenced the figure of the daʾwa activist? How are these daʾwa activists different from those in the past? I argue that the daʾwa activists are the products of a Muslimah intimate public, part of a networked public within which young women discuss, engage with, and express how they ‘feel’ about issues that interest them, and celebrate self-improvement and self-enterprise, combined with religious self-cultivation. Within this public daʾwa activists have two key characteristics. First, market logics and commercial interests are fundamental to their daʾwa. Second, the daʾwa accounts frame controversial and political issues through specific visual ethics that engender a sense of intimacy with their followers.

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