Opinion: Punks are not dead in Indonesia, they’ve turned to Islam

March 27, 2018

Punk Muslim: Indonesia's punk scene has swung towards Islamic teachings.

The pendulum of the punk scene in Indonesia has moved from left to predominantly right, and, according to experts, is increasingly driven by conservative Islamic teachings.

Murdoch University PhD student Hikmawan Saefullah discusses the emergence of Islamic punks in Indonesia in a recent article in The Conversation.

Saefullah, who is a lecturer in International Relations at Universitas Padjadjaran and a former punk rock musician in the Bandung underground music scene, is completing a PhD at Murdoch University’s Asia Research Centre on the rise of Punk Muslim in Indonesia.

"The emergence of ‘Islamic punks’ in Indonesia’s post-authoritarian era is the result of a combination of state repression, commercialism and increasing religious conservatism," Saefullah writes.

"Punk Muslim works to empower street kids in the slum areas of Jakarta by providing religious education and social protection, and making them participate in social activism.

"The punk movement is notable for its anti-establishment stance and distinct music and fashion style. Starting in the 1970s in the UK and US, the subculture became global and took different forms in each local setting.

"In Indonesia, punk bands started to emerge in the 1990s. They were central in nurturing leftist activism during the years leading up to the fall of Soeharto.

"But, interestingly, in the years following the fall of the New Order regime, some of these “bad boys” have transformed into a group of pious people. They’ve built a new generation of punk subculture they call ‘Islamic punk.’

"However, the term ‘Islamic punk’ or ‘punk Islam’ is considered by others, particularly those from the leftist political stream, as ‘not punk at all’ for the religious subculture supports repression against Left ideology, LGBT communities, and minorities such as Shia and Ahmadiyya communities."

The full article is available to read here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!