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Muslim piety in Southeast Asia mirrors increased religious traditionalism in the Middle East

in the mirror image of Recent polls in the Middle East, Recently Published Survey of Southeast Asian Muslims It suggests the central role of Islam in people’s daily lives and choices.

The survey comes days after former Indonesian Minister of Social Affairs Habib Salim Segaf Al-Juhri was announced. Appointed Executive Director of the Qatar-based International Federation of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was founded by the controversial Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qala Dawi, one of the world’s leading Islamic theologians associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qala Dawi died in Doha on Monday at the age of 96.

Interestingly, Al-Jufri said, Senior member of Indonesian Brotherhood-affiliated Prosperous Justice Party (PKS)Also On behalf of the World Conference of Muslim Youth in East and Southeast Asia (WAMY), A Saudi government-funded organization established in the 1970s to promote Saudi religious hyperconservatism worldwide. Since 2016, the group has been redirected to promote Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a reformer pushing the kingdom towards a more moderate and tolerant interpretation of Islam.

The publication also said that Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim civil society organization in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country and democratic country, has a probable alliance with Saudi Arabia’s Muslim World League. It was also issued when forging no alliances.

Alliances, like WAMY, which were once the main means of spreading Wahhabism around the world, have allowed Mr. bin Salman to gain religious soft power and become socially liberal yet imperious to rulers. It became a major vehicle in his efforts to spread an authoritarian Islam that demanded strict obedience. .

Neither event affected responses from the 1,000 surveyed Muslims in Southeast Asia. However, this event has shown that Islamic organizations, whether state-owned or not, have promoted various notions of moderate interpretations of Islam, and the legitimacy or illegitimacy of political Islam as one of their main drivers. The public opinion poll puts it in the situation that it is one.

Bin Salman, who pushes social reforms against a backdrop of a history of promoting ultraconservative rule, may be concerned about the growing importance of traditional Islam over governments in Southeast Asia. do not have. Culture, tradition and mysticism.

Still, political and business leaders in Southeast Asia, home to 276.5 million Muslims, who make up 40% of the region’s population, may take note of the Southeast Asia survey and recent Middle East polls. Their country’s religious conservatism is not only in line with trends elsewhere in the Islamic world, but also with major non-Muslim faith groups around the world.

Malaysia and Indonesia emerged as the top four halal markets this year, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. World Islamic Economic Indicators Compiled by US-based research and consulting firm DigiStandard.

The indicator considers different areas such as halal food, Islamic finance, Muslim travel, recreation and media. Malaysia maintained its top spot for many years thanks to his 20% increase in investment in Shariah-compliant funds and the success of Islamic cartoons for children.

In a survey in Southeast Asia conducted by Muslim Intel Lab, founded last year by two New York-based consultancies, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence and YMLY&R, 91% of respondents said a strong relationship with Allah is very important. I’m here.

Lagging behind is wealth, which is important to just 34% of those surveyed, 28% care about their passions and 12% care about fame.

In Malaysia and Indonesia, 84% of respondents said they pray five times a day. 33% were more careful than their parents, 45% were as careful, and 21% were less careful than their parents.

Religion gains importance Polls in the Middle East 41% of 3,400 young Arabs aged 18-24 and living in 17 Arab countries say religion is the most important factor in their identity, with nationality, family and/or tribe, Arab tradition, and sex is far behind. That’s 7% more for her than in a survey a year ago.

Polls in the Middle East also show that a majority of people oppose the idea that we should listen to those who are trying to interpret Islam in a more moderate, tolerant and modern way. was shown.

In many ways, the Southeast Asian study was more detailed because it focused on Muslim consumer behavior.

The poll comes in anticipation of a March decision by Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, led by prominent Nahdatul Ulama figure, to strip Indonesia’s once-powerful Ulema (Islamic scholars) council of its de facto monopoly. I put it in. Halal certification By opening the sector to competition.

Halal certification is big business. Halal Product Assistance Agency issues certificates under council-issued fatwas to companies in food, fashion, education, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tourism, media, travel, medical, health, arts, culture and finance To do.

An overwhelming majority (91%) of South East Asian survey respondents said whether a product is halal is very important in their purchasing decisions. At the same time, 83% identified halal through certification by Islamic organizations.

61% factor Halal into their banking and investment preferences. 77% said that the availability of halal facilities is important when choosing a travel destination. 85% wanted a metaverse specifically for Muslims, and 53% used prayer and Quran apps.

Overall, a comparison of polls shows that religion is playing a growing role in the lives of people in the Muslim world outside the Middle East.

In Southeast Asia, the research highlights the importance of the efforts of groups like Nahdatul Ulama to promote a tolerant, pluralistic, and humane interpretation of Islam that respects human rights and the rights of minorities.

In the Middle East, the concept of moderate Islam is the social reform necessary to meet the aspirations of youth, enable economic diversification, and religiously justify absolute power as part of regime survival strategies. An investigation is challenging the autocratic leader.

As a result, Southeast Asia, rather than the Middle East, may emerge as the cradle of the Reformation in the Islamic world.

Nahdlatul Ulama seems to believe that it can be achieved if it convinces people like the Muslim World Federation that reforms must be genuine and holistic rather than selfish. It’s a capital I if in a strategy that’s as risky as it is daring.

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