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The End of Innocence

Indonesian Islam and the Temptations of Radicalism

Malaisie contemporaineAndrée Feillard & Rémy Madinier
National University of Singapore, Singapour
2011, 336 p.
ISBN : 978-9971-69-512-5
English Language English text


Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, is often cited as a model of harmony among different religions. Home to an apparently peaceful version of Islam, Indonesia occupied a spécial place in the Western imagination, a reassuring counter-model to a rowdy and accusatory Arab Islam. Events since 1999, including confrontations between Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas and Sulawesi, excesses of vigilantism, and bombings in Bali and Jakarta, hâve shattered these simplistic stéréotypés. Forterrorism experts — many of them self-proclaimed — Indonesia’s mutation confirmed a hackneyed thesis that equated obscurantism with Islam, and saw violent outbreaks as an inévitable corollary.

The End of Innocence is far removed from the hollow interprétations derived from this essentialist thesis. Andrée Feillard and Rémy Madinier position the évolution of Indonesian Islam within the broader context of the recent history of the archipelago and develop a rigorous analysis of the origins and causes of the ‘radical temptation’, deciphering its ideology and showing how it has been nourished by political manipulation. Their account explains the appeal of religious extremism and also the strong résistance it provokes in a country that has quickly become a key participant in the struggle and upheavals taking place throughout the Muslim world.




1 – History of Islam in Indonesia : Between Acculturation and Rigour
2 – An Archipelago Adrift : Radical Islam and Opportunities amidst Chaos (1996 – 2004)
3 – The Islamist Cluster : Organisation and Functioning
4 – Blackmail with the Sacred : The Ideology of Radical Islam
5 – Religious Revival or Intolerance ? The Hold of Radicalism on Indonesian Society




This is one of the most important books available on the origins and development of radical Islamism — including its terrorist offshoots — in Indonesia. The authors are among the best- informed, most soundly analytieal and balancée ! ever to write on this subject. Their book is authoritative, wide-ranging and persuasive. Its appearance in an English translation is a boon for anyone seeking to understand the social, political and religious dynamics of Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world.

M.C. Ricklefs
Professor of History, National University of Singapore Adjunct Professor, Austmlian National University, and Monash University 


This work présents a rich and nuanced examination of the rise of Islande radiealism over the course of the New Order period and beyond. The authors provide insightful and historically contextualized analyses of complex permutations across a whole range of Islande institutions and organizations in relation to the political and broader social dynamics of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary Indonesia.

R. Michael Feener
Associate Professor, National University of Singapore

There hâve been several books on Islam and politics in Indonesia in the post-Suharto period, but Feillard and Madinier’s work is by far the best. Engagingly written and comprehensive in its coverage, this brilliant book will be of interest to both specialists and the general reader interested in understanding the conundrum of politics in the world’s most populous Muslim- majority country.

Robert Hefner
Director, Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs, Boston University