Islamic identities on the move

One of the most interesting and dynamic discussions in Indonesia is how to combine Islam with modernity. It is a complicated debate, which would merit a study on its own… It does however influence my research about the mobile phone, Indonesian modernity and identities.

New technologies like the mobile phone lead to new discussions:

from the {belajar-islam} [= “study Islam”] mailinglist:

Antoniobandalem wonders whether muslims are allowed to use products that are made by non-muslims (kafir), such as the handphone. He gets a reply from Chandraleka, an independent IT writer, who says something like (freely translated & abbreviated):

20 May 2006

“Wah! Don’t be too extreme! As long as the product itself is halal, it doesn’t matter who produces it. Extreme ideas like these are caused by ignorance about Islam. This idea would make modern life nearly impossible: you cannot drive a car, cannot use a computer, cannot use light bulbs, cannot use a mobile phone… Muslims are allowed to use ‘kafir’ products, thank God! It makes life much easier!”

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