Like other parts of the muslim world, Indonesia has experienced an Islamic revival since the 1970s (cf. Hefner 1997; Jones 1980; Liddle 1996, 622–25; Muzaffar 1986; Schwarz 1994, 173–76; Tessler and Jesse 1996). To date, representations of Indonesia's Islamic revival have featured forms of religious practice and political activity concerned with what in the Sufi tradition is called the “outer” (lahir) expression of Islam: support for and observance of religious law (I. syariah, A. syari'at), including the practice of obligatory rituals. Thus commonly mentioned as evidence of a revival in Indonesia are such things as the growing numbers of mosques and prayer houses, the increasing popularity of head coverings (kerudung, jilbab) among Muslim women and school girls, the increasing usage of Islamic greetings, the more common sight of Muslims excusing themselves for daily prayers and attending services at their workplaces, the appearance of new forms of Islamic student activity on university campuses, strong popular agitation against government actions seen as prejudicial to the Muslim community, and the establishment in 1991 of an Islamic bank.

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