Lecture 14

lslam and Covid-19: Muslims Responses in lndonesia and The Netherlands

Leiden University

The pandemic covid-19 in the world has challenged social, cultural, and political aspects of human lives. It has changed the way world leaders, governments, policy makers, and religious leaders look at challenges and problems that they are facing in the future. They strive to adapt to the new situations as a result of the spread of covid-19 and its variants to deal with current problems and plan in the coming years. All the efforts to this adaptation often lead to blame one another. Religious leaders and communities are no exemptions. For example, Jamaah Tabligh (JT), a transnational Sunni Islamic missionary movement, was blamed for the spread of covid-19 in Indonesia because its members attended the gatherings in Malaysia and India. They were tested positive for covid-19 and infected others after they returned to the country. In The Netherlands, some Muslims were accused of spreading covid-19 after they illegally did congregations in the mosques that were not fit to covid19 measures. This paper attempts to investigate how Indonesian and Dutch Muslim communities respond to the pandemic covid-19 and what are the consequences of their responses to their social and cultural lives. The data of this paper are drawn from observations, interviews, and websites of Indonesian and Dutch Muslim communities, newspapers, articles, and comments in social media on the pandemic covid-19. With the pandemic covid-19, Muslims communities in Indonesia and The Netherlands adapt to the new situations by online congregations and re-think about their religiosity. Many still consider digitalisation of worship and others rituals during the pandemic as incomplete in terms of their religiosity. On the other hand, some communities are facing financial problems since the mosques are closed and gatherings are forbidden or only limited number of Muslim can attend.

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