Islam is no monolith in Obama speeches to Muslims

November 10, 2010

obama 2When U.S. President Barack Obama first addressed the Muslim world in its traditional heartland last year, his speech was laden with references to the past, to Islam and to the tensions plaguing the Middle East. Updating his speech on Wednesday on the far eastern fringe of that world, his upbeat remarks about Indonesia’s democracy, development and diversity spelled hope for the future.

Word clouds drift apart in Obama’s speeches to the Muslim world

November 10, 2010

obama jakartaWord clouds are graphic games that sometimes tell more than a plain text. Look at the results below for U.S. President Barack Obama’s “speech to the Muslim world” today in Jakarta and his first such address in Cairo last year. I’ve analysed the two in a report here, but word clouds tell the story a different way.

Obama sets Muslim outreach for Indonesia trip

October 29, 2010

istiqlal (Photo: Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, August 18, 2003/Supri)

President Barack Obama will visit Indonesia’s largest mosque and make a major outdoor speech directed at the global Muslim community when he visits Indonesia next month, the White House said on Thursday.

Algerian court clears Christians of charge of flouting Ramadan by eating during day

October 5, 2010

ramadan 1Two Christian men on trial in Algeria for eating during daylight in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan were acquitted on Tuesday, a verdict their supporters said was a triumph for religious freedom.

Indonesian court orders Jakarta Buddha Bar shut after blasphemy complaint

September 1, 2010

buddha bar (Photo: Buddha Bar Restaurant in Jakarta, December 4, 2008/Beawiharta)

The Indonesian branch of the Buddha Bar, an international chain of upmarket bars, has been ordered to close because its name caused distress to Buddhists, local media reported on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Roundup of Ramadan starting in Turkey, Asia, Afghanistan

By Reuters Staff
August 13, 2010

Below is a Reuters video roundup of the start of Ramadan in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Afghanistan:

Indonesia’s Islamist party: hijabs, uniforms and a Hitler tweet

June 21, 2010

Jakarta’s Ritz Carlton hotel this weekend was a sea of brightly coloured Islamic headscarves and the crisp white uniforms of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the third biggest party in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s cabinet. PKS held their national congress at the luxury hotel

Indonesian Islamist PKS party aims for broader support

June 18, 2010

pksIndonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) is holding its second national congress in Jakarta this week where it will discuss key policies.  The Islamist party is the third-biggest in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s coalition, and lifted its share of the vote in the 2009 elections when most Islam-based parties lost support.

Skirts replace jeans as Indonesia’s Aceh enforces sharia

May 27, 2010
aceh 1

A sharia police officer escorts women caught wearing tight pants during a street raid in Aceh province on May 26, 2010/Junaidi Hanafiah

In Indonesia, keeping the religious status quo

By Olivia Rondonuwu
April 20, 2010
indonesia muslim

Youths read the Koran in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province September 5, 2008/Yusuf Ahmad