Mysticism as Deviant Religion

Case Name: Selong District Court Criminal Case of Amaq Bakri

Case Synopsis: An unexpected effect of post-1998 Indonesian democratization efforts is the sharp rise in accusations and persecutions of blasphemy. This module examines the dynamics of religious regulation through “lawfare,” or contestation among groups played out in the arena of courts. Taking the 2010 case of Amaq Bakri, a 70-year old Muslim farmer from East Lombok who claimed to have received revelations from the Angel Gabriel and to have visited heaven on several occasions, this modules explores the politics of “religion-making” that result when law inspires citizens to persecute perceived religious deviance. This case module originated in the work of Kari Telle.

Image of bird cages in Indonesia, courtesy of Kari Telle

Sources

Fatwa (Islamic Legal Opinion)

Surat Keputusan Fatwa Dewan Pimpinan Majelis Ulama Indonesia, Kabupaten Lombok Timur, No. 11/DPK/
MUI-KLT/X/2009
Analyses

Faith on Trial: Blasphemy and ‘Lawfare’ in Indonesia

Kari Telle, “Faith on Trial: Blasphemy and ‘Lawfare’ in Indonesia,” Ethnos 83:2 (2018), 371-391.

Context

Constitutionality and Blasphemy Law

Melissa A. Crouch, “Law and Religion in Indonesia: The Constitutional Court and the Blasphemy Law: Asian Journal of Comparative Law,” Asian Journal of Comparative Law 7, no. 1 (April 29, 2012): 1–46.

Religious Pluralism in Indonesia

Julia D. Howell, “Muslims, the New Age and Marginal Religions in Indonesia: Changing Meanings of Religious Pluralism,” Social Compass 52, no. 4 (December 1, 2005): 473–93.

Survey of Theories about Secularism and "Making Religion"

Arvind-Pal S. Mandair and Markus Dressler, “Introduction: Modernity, Religion-Making, and the Postsecular,” in Secularism and Religion-Making, eds. Markus Dressler & Arvind-Pal S. Mandair (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011): 3-36.