Where is Islamic Media Heading To?

In the last five years, Islamic media, especially those in the form of websites, podcasts, or social media pages, have mushroomed. The trigger is none other than the Internet, both signal infrastructure or the level of public literacy that is getting better.

The Islamic media spring actually happened two decades ago, around the 2000s, after the collapse of the New Order regime. Then, magazines, newspapers, billboards, and so on blossomed. Which is nothing but the aftermath of the emergence of new Islamic organizations, such as Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), and so on, and the like.

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Social changes began to be felt in the next five to ten years, or around 2005-2010. Since the emergence of Islamic media, Islamic values ​​have emerged into modern, capitalistic, industrialist, and pop culture styles and values. Then there are various expressions of Islam, such as the Hajj-Umrah program with a celebrity cleric, the Prophet’s herbal business, the SMS service for worship reminders, and investment programs labelled as alms or sharia.

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At that time, there was a lot of fuss about who was Pancasila and who was Islamist. However, this kind of commotion has been going on since Mbah Hasyim’s time, although in a different form and continues to evolve. However, the fuss over this matter was less raging. Because, at that time, the hot issue was about Ahmadiyyah and about false prophets named Ahmad Moshaddeq and Lia Eden.

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So, there was more fuss about the issue of pluralism but in the inter-religious dimension, along with the theological or social debates surrounding it, “similar” religions such as Islam, Ahmadiyya, Bahai, etc. Or, something completely different like Islam vis a vis Christianity, sometimes fanned by conservative-modernist Islamists. Discourses of this type become a discourse among Islamic media: magazines, bulletins, and so on, with all the pros and cons.

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