The Ties that Bind: Law, Islamisation and Indonesia's Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)

Shihab, Najwa; Nugroho, Yanuar
December 2008
Australian Journal of Asian Law (Federation Press Pty Limited);Dec2008, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p233
Academic Journal
There are clear indications that Indonesia's Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera or PKS) has shifted from being a hardline (garis keras) Islamist party, to take a more moderate stance, with significant changes to its platform. Prominent among these are decisions to step back from earlier demands for the enforcement of Islamic law and the creation of an Islamic state in Indonesia, as well as major modifications to doctrinal positions relating to the legal status of women as leaders, and formal relations with non-Muslims. This article investigates the factors that have contributed to this shift, and argues that it is a result of political processes in Indonesia that compel PKS to moderate its platform to expand its constituency. It is also argued that an ideological transformation has taken place within PKS, that the transformation is genuine, albeit contested internally, and that it is probably necessary for electoral success.


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