Los musulmanes moderados de Indonesia

El islam en Indonesia, en donde 200 millones de personas conforman la comunidad más grande de musulmanes en el mundo, se percibe cada vez más como distinto del islam que se practica en las viejas comunidades musulmanas de Medio Oriente. En efecto, un reconocido estudioso de la Universidad de Gottingen, Bassam Tibi, describió Indonesia como "un modelo para que las comunidades con diferencias religiosas y étnico-culturales convivan en paz y con respeto mutuo".

Algunos historiadores argumentan que la forma moderada del islam refleja la manera en que los comerciantes extranjeros lo introdujeron desde el siglo XIV. En ese entonces, la cultura costera ya había incorporado el igualitarismo, el dinamismo y la interdependencia, que afectaron la idelogía y práctica del islam. Adicionalmente, el islam indonesio tenía fuertes influencias sufíes, que enfatizaban los elementos espirituales de la fe sobre los jurídicos.

De igual manera, Giora Eliraz de la Universidad Hebrea argumenta que las ideas islámicas que llegaron a Indonesia desde Medio Oriente cambiaron y adquirieron un carácter más incluyente y pluralista debido a la influencia del gran reformador egipcio del siglo XIX, Muhammad Abduh. En Egipto, las ideas progresistas de Abduh sólo ganaron apoyo de un pequeño grupo de reformistas. En Indonesia, sin embargo, la visión de Abduh sobre la modernidad islámica dio origen a la creación de la organización islámica modernista más grande del país, la Muhammadiyah, que representa la corriente moderada del islam en Indonesia.

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