Dr. Giora Eliraz is an associate fellow at the Truman Institute, Hebrew University. He is the author of Islam in Indonesia: Modernism, Radicalism and the Middle East Dimension (Brighton & Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 2004) and The Intellectual Discourse of Interwar Egypt: Globalization of Ideas Amidst Winds of Change (New York: Israel Academic Press, 2018).
Though often considered peripheral to the Islamic world, the huge Muslim population of Indonesia has for centuries been affiliated with the Sunni Middle East. Wide concern over rising extremism originating in the Middle East can be noticed in democratic Indonesia, which has encouraged democratic transition in the Arab world and launched initiatives to promote moderate voices of Islam globally. In this way Indonesia challenges the centuries-old “order” of center-periphery relations.