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Sunday, May 21, 2017
Muhammadiyah vs. Mammon: The Economic Trials and Tribulations of an Islamic Modernist Mass Organization in Indonesia (1990s–2000s)
The emergence of Commercialized Islam is seen as a significant development that illustrates how Muslim societies adapt to modern capitalism. This chapter examines a seldom-studied side of this process through the case of one of Indonesia’s oldest and largest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiyah. In the 2000s, this modernist organization that until then was mainly concerned with education, health and charitable activities, attempted to develop a business sector. The chapter illustrates how the organization faced severe conflict between ethical values stemming from the socio-religious sphere and instrumental rationality implied by business practices. It is argued that these axiological tensions were amplified by the organizational dynamics of Muhammadiyah. This process shows the various ways through which an Islamic moral economy is emerging in the Muslim world.