On the island of Madura, various forms of pilgrimage–migration, a fusion of labour migration and pilgrimage, challenge the Indonesian government’s regulation of pilgrims’ and labourers’ mobility to the Gulf. Among the Madurese people, alternative channels of travelling to Mecca are increasingly popular and informal; personal networks appear to be considered more reliable and accountable than the state’s guidance. The Madurese people’s strong desire to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca, local conceptions of migration in search of success and incomprehensible bureaucratic procedures in the official channels of migration and pilgrimage motivate people to circumvent state structures. Moreover, rumours about the ‘Madurese mafia’ in Mecca and the religious elite’s connections to the ‘Holy Land’ strengthen religious and ethnic affiliations. Local loyalties challenge the state’s sovereignty over actual practices of semi-legal approaches to migration and pilgrimage.
For further discussion see Abaza‘More on the Shifting Worlds of Islam’; Schlehe, Judith, and Eva F. Nisa. ‘The Meanings of Moderate Islam in Indonesia: Alignments and Dealignments of Azharites’. Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Freiburg. Occasional Paper Series No. 31(2016) available at: http://www.southeastasianstudies.uni-freiburg.de/publications/op-series (accessed 24 August 2016).