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Life is Local in the Imagined Global Community: Islam and Politics in the Indonesian Blogosphere

The rapid expansion of the Internet, marked by a storm of blogs and social networking platforms, is perceived as an enabling instrument for Muslims to be engaged globally. In this regard, the blogosphere can be a vehicle for worldwide interactions and the formation of global Muslim community, the ummah. While this idea is enchanting, this article shows that such an idea needs judicious scrutiny. Using three prominent cases from Indonesia, this article tries to explore the ways in which Muslim bloggers in Indonesia use this new flexible form to be engaged in conversations that are related to Islam and to answer the following questions: How do the features of the blogosphere influence discussions on Islam related issues? Does the promise of a “global village” change the dynamics of Muslim communities in Indonesia? Does the blogosphere perpetuate a sense of ummah consciousness or does it reinforce nationalism? Does the blogosphere offer promising possibilities for new types of Muslim communities to emerge in the form of a globalized community?

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