Digital Santri: The Traditionalist Response to the Religious Populism Wave in Indonesian Islam | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online


This study examines the ongoing disputes among Indonesian Muslim schools and communities. Previously, the long-lasting contest occurred offline but is currently being expressed through digital medium such as the social media. In the Indonesian context, the popularity of digital technology used for religious purposes was initially utilized by modern communities. While modernist feels "at home" in the digital realm for religious purposes, their traditionalist counterpart are not yet fully prepared for the advent of this technology. Some traditional elites still reject secular technology because it can undermine religious purity. Therefore, the religious populism trend is the new face of the country's cyber-Islamic environment. With newer dynamics where development is inevitable, traditionalists are more open to experiencing technology exposure. The santri community, a segment of Indonesian traditionalist Muslims, are among those making noticeable efforts to respond to the populism wave by taking benefit of the digital media to proselytize their religious arguments and identity. As a continuation phase of the ongoing offline competition, the cyber contest is also a forum for santri community to build a moderate understanding of Islam.


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