Radical Islamism is a challenging new phenoÂmenon in the modern world, including Indonesia. Solo presents an especially interesting case because of the disproporÂtionate nature of the radical Islamic groups that have emerged here especially that of the Front Pemuda Islam Surakarta (FPIS) as well as other vigilante groups in the city. This paper will explore and map out the nature of Islam in Solo and asks what triggers the the emergence of the radical groups here. Dramatic changes at the national level have made Solo more politically conducive for radical Islamic groups, but this is not the only reason why they have flourished. In addition, historical and sociological factors may help such groups to emerge. Hence, the dominance of the abangan group (the nominal Muslims) and the intensity of dakwah (preaching) conducted by some Islamic groups has given rise to the â€˜instantâ€™ Muslims who see Islam as the ultimate solution to their problems. The call for jihÄd and the application of sharÄ«â€˜ah laws are among the contentious political style that the groups propagated. It is these issues that the paper is interested to investigate.
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