Politics, Local Governments, and Sharia By-Laws in Indonesia: Revisiting A Common Assumption

Dani Muhtada


After the fall of Suharto regime, some local governments in Indonesia have adopted Shari’a by-laws. Several studies suggest that this adoption of Shari’a by-laws was influenced mostly by the political motives of the local elites. They used such by-laws as a strategy to gain political supports from Muslim voters. They also used the by-laws to facilitate bribery and electoral corruption using social and religious instruments and to distract people’s attention from ongoing corruption. Although it confirms the political motives behind the adoption of the Shari’a by-laws, this paper suggests that such political motives may not the only factors leading to the introduction of Shari’a by-laws. Based on the study of the political and religious backgrounds of the district heads, who were elected in the local elections between 2008 and 2013, in the six major provinces, this paper indicates that political motives do not play alone. The district heads’ religious backgrounds can be the other important factors contributing to the adoption of Shari’a by-laws by some local governments in Indonesia.

Key words: Shari’a by-laws, politics, local governments, Indonesia.



Setelah jatuhnya rezim Suharto, beberapa pemerintah daerah di Indonesia menerapkan peraturan daerah bernuansa Syariah (perda Syariah). Beberapa kajian berpendapat bahwa pengadopsian perda Syariah ini banyak dipengaruhi oleh motif politik dari para elit daerah. Mereka menggungaka perda tersebut sebagai strategi untuk mendapatkan dukungan politik dari para pemilih Muslim. Mereka pula menggunakan perda tersebut sebagai transaksi suap dan kecurangan elektoral untuk mengalihkan perhatian masyarakat dari korupsi yang tengah berlangsung di Indonesia. Meskipun artikel ini menegaskan adanya motif politik di balik penerapan perda Syariah, artikel ini berpendapat bahwa motif politik tersebut bukanlah satu-satunya factor yang mengarahkan pada permulaan diterapkannya perda Syariah. Berdasarkan kajian pada latar belakang politik dan keagamaan dari para Bupati, yang mana terpilih pada pemilihan umum dari tahun 2008-2013 di enam provinsi besar, artikel ini menunjukkan bahwa motif politik tidak bermain sendiri. Latar belakang keagamaan para Bupati dapat menjadi factor penting lainnya yang berkontribusi pada penerapan perda Syariah oleh beberapa pemerintahan daerah di Indonesia.

Kata Kunci: perda Syariah, politik, pemerintah daerah, Indonesia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21093/mj.v17i2.1347


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