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In: Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia
Authors: Monika Arnez and Eva F. Nisa

Based on ethnographic fieldwork and literary analysis, this article analyses the Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP), the largest transnational writers’ collective for Muslim readers, writers, and publishers in Indonesia. In the light of the different FLP ‘subcultures’ embedded within the local framework of the respective branches, we examine moral solidarity as a unifying element of the forum’s divisions. We presume that the FLP is characterized by moral solidarity, which is to be understood here to mean responding to the moral needs of other people by means of sympathetic understanding. This essay depicts the ways in which moral solidarity functions in the FLP, and how it opens up new perspectives for people who have a less privileged position in society. Moreover, it demonstrates that to better understand this writers’ collective and the wider FLP family, the concept of moral solidarity needs to be complemented by a consideration of individual moral agency.