Although Indonesia’s presidential election is still more than a year away, with the vote scheduled for April 17, 2019, the rising noise of political Islam is taking on ominous overtones for the incumbent, President Joko Widodo. It is uncertain how real the whole phenomenon of fundamentalist Islam is in Indonesia, a country known as the Islamic world’s most tolerant, where women are as likely to be in miniskirts as hijabs and where niqabs, or full-face veils, are rarely seen. Many Muslims here also openly drink beer and live largely secular lives even as the outward signs of religiosity have grown in the past decade.

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