Travel following religious aims has a long tradition in the Indonesian-Malay Archipelago. Yet mass overseas religious tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon among people in today’s Indonesia. A variety of travel agencies advertise pilgrimage package tours to notable destinations like Mecca and Medina but also to other destinations in the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, and Central Asia. An analytical focus on various images in this context, including their creation and distribution, reveals patterns of prestigious cosmopolitan middle-class imagery among Muslim and Christian Indonesians in the field of religious tourism. This imagery is similar across different religious affiliations and particularly vibrant in online social media. The imagery challenges perceptions of interreligious divisions and hegemonic mappings of the world, ultimately centralizing the local social environment of people and exhibiting national Indonesian pride.
This paper argues that the mainstream Indonesian cosmopolitan Islamic intellectual milieu has not been adequately conceptualized in existing literature. By presenting a political history of the evolution of this cosmopolitan cohort and by engaging with contemporary emic Indonesian debates on the nexus between cosmopolitanism, Islam, and the nation state, the paper finds that in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the archipelago, cosmopolitan Islamic thought has been, and continues to be, significantly driven and shaped by the interplay of international influences dominated by the “West” and Indonesian patriotic politics. More recently, Indonesia’s perceived status as an Islamic periphery and the country’s emerging soft power agenda contribute to furthering a peculiar relationship between cosmopolitanism and patriotism in Indonesian Islamic intellectualism. The paper argues that as a result of the strong impact of patriotism, mainstream Indonesian cosmopolitan Islamic intellectuals are best understood as nationally rooted “cosmopatriots,” representing “cosmopatriotism,” while the “West” remains a central intellectual and cultural reference point.
In recent years a variety of activities have emerged in Indonesia that invite Palestinian shaykhs as figures of religious authority. These practices are a by-product of humanitarian initiatives carried out by Muslim solidarity organizations of the Tarbiyya movement. Analyzing these practices through the lens of Muslim cosmopolitanism, I argue that they reflect a cosmopolitan patriotism, in which the umma and the nation are mutually constitutive frameworks of belonging. Mobilizing Indonesians for the Palestinian cause, while teaching them Qurʾan memorization skills that Gazans are believed to exceptionally possess, serves to create a pious generation as envisioned by the Tarbiyya movement.