Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia

1st Edition

Edited by Andrew N. Weintraub


280 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Home to approximately one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population, Indonesia and Malaysia are often overlooked or misrepresented in media discourses about Islam. Islam is a religion but there is also a popular culture, or popular cultures of Islam that are mass mediated, commercialized, pleasure-filled, humorous, and representative of large segments of society. During the last forty years, popular forms of Islam, targeted largely towards urbanized youth, have played a key role in the Islamisation of Indonesia and Malaysia. This book focuses on these forms and the accompanying practices of production, circulation, marketing, and consumption of Islam. Dispelling the notion that Islam is monolithic, militaristic, and primarily Middle Eastern, the book emphasizes its dynamic, contested, and performative nature in contemporary South East Asia. Written by leading scholars alongside media figures, such as Rhoma Irama and Ishadi SK, the case studies although not focused on theology per se, illuminate how Muslims (and non-Muslims) in Indonesia and Malaysia make sense of their lives within an increasingly pervasive culture of Islamic images, texts, film, songs, and narratives.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Contributors List of Figures Conventions and Orthography 1. Introduction - Andrew N. Weintraub Part I: Commercial, educational, government, and religious institutions 2. Negotiating Mass Media Interests and Heterogeneous Muslim Audiences in the Contemporary Social-Political Environment of Indonesia - Ishadi S.K. 3. Multiple Islams, Multiple Modernities: Art Cinema in between Nationhood and Everyday Islam in Bangladesh and Malaysia - Zakir Hossain Raju 4. Upgraded Piety and Pleasure: The New Middle Class and Islam in Indonesian Popular Culture - Ariel Heryanto Part II: Social processes of media production, circulation, and reception 5. Music, Islam, and the Commercial Media in Contemporary Indonesia - R. Anderson Sutton 6. The Internet, Cyber-Religion, and Authority: The Case of the Indonesian Liberal Islam Network - Muhamad Ali 7. "Sex Sells, or Does It?" Discourses of Sex and Sexuality in Popular Women’s Magazines in Contemporary Indonesia - Sarah Krier Part III: Islamic perspectives on film, music, and literature 8. (Un)framing Muslim Sexuality in Dina Zaman’s I Am Muslim - Washima Che Dan 9. Sexing Islam: Religion and Contemporary Malaysian Cinema - Noritah Omar 10. Musical Modernity, Islamic Identity, and Arab Aesthetics in Arab-Indonesian Orkes Gambus - Birgit Berg 11. Music as a Medium for Communication, Unity, Education, and Dakwah - Rhoma Irama (translated by Andrew N. Weintraub) Part IV: Representations, values, and meanings 12. Taking Liberties: Independent Filmmakers Representing the Tudung in Malaysia - Gaik Cheng Khoo 13. Holy Matrimony? The Print Politics of Polygamy in Indonesia - Suzanne Brenner 14. Pop, Politics, and Piety: Nasyid Boy Band Music in Muslim Southeast Asia - Bart Barendregt Index

About the Editor

Andrew N. Weintraub is Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. He is the author of Dangdut Stories: A Social and Musical History of Indonesia’s Most Popular Music; Power Plays: Wayang Golek Puppet Theater of West Java and co-editor of Music and Cultural Rights.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture