Sharia cooperatives and mosque ecosystems: The devolution of halal entrepreneurship in Indonesia

Amalinda Savirani, Devananta Rafiq, Emma Baulch

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This article analyses the recent evolution of street-level, small-scale Muslim economies in Java, Indonesia, and the role they have been playing as cultural and material infrastructure for Islamic morality discourses in the wake of the pivotal Aksi Bela Islam 212 (Defend Islam Action 212) rally in Jakarta on 2 December 2016. These small-scale economies are instances of the devolution of halal consumerism in Indonesia, which flows in turn from changes in the landscape of political Islam. These street-level economies provide political Islam with the solidarity of a Muslim cooperative structure, commodifying symbols associated with the rally. Three case studies are presented in support of these arguments. The first is the 212 Cooperative, a chain of minimarts known as ‘212 Marts’ designed as a Muslim alternative to the ubiquitous market forerunners such as Indomaret and Alfamart. Second, we describe an ecosystem of exchange that has evolved around new mosque-based programmes that have invigorated human traffic in and around mosques in Bandung and Yogyakarta. Our third case study is the small-scale lapak traders who follow particular celebrity preachers as they tour, and who operate after Friday prayers. These cases reveal the growing importance of low-end economies (involving low-priced commodities, consumers with relatively low buying capacity, and small-scale traders) in the development of halal consumerism in Indonesia and point to their role in perpetuating morality discourses associated with the 212 rally.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Studies Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Ahok
  • Aksi Bela Islam 212 (Defend Islam Action 212)
  • Halal consumerism
  • Indonesia
  • Java

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