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The hijab in Indonesia: From oppression to high fashion

4 21 0
13.09.2017

Some observers of the dynamics of religiosity in Indonesia have argued that there has been a conservative turn in Indonesian Islam.

What is defined as Islamic conservatism is a type of religiosity closely associated with Wahhabism, Salafism or even radicalism. It is akin to bringing back dated Islamic culture and practising it in the contemporary era.

What is often neglected in understanding this kind of conservatism, which is different from other forms of conservatism, is its association with capitalism, market forces and global trends.

In fact, this kind of association allows religious conservatism to manifest itself in pop-cultural forms. Adopting it does not make one feel old-fashioned; instead, it allows one to experience a sense of religious piety and being trendy at the same time.

Conservatism, packaged and marketed through global capitalist channels, is no longer shrouded in a veil of backwardness, but brandishes the face of a new modern culture. One salient example of this trend is the donning of the Islamic headscarf, commonly known as the hijab.

Previously, the hijab was seen as a symbol of oppression, an........

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