Challenging a Home Country: A Preliminary Account of Indonesian Student Activism in Berlin, Germany


  • Syafiq Hasyim



Anti-Suharto Protests, Berlin, Indonesian Student Activism, Indonesian Student Associations, Religious-Based Activism


This article gives an overview on Indonesian student activism in Berlin, Germany. Based on documents (published and unpublished), interviews, and conversations with former and current student activists, the paper scrutinizes the trajectory of activism of Indonesian students in the capital of Germany since the 1960s and asks about the evolution of specific student organizations, the issues and topics they tackled, and their media and networking strategies. The article illustrates the activities of the PPI Berlin as a dominant example of Indonesian students’ political activism abroad and the activities of Indonesian Muslim students as a prominent example of religious-based activism which has gained significance since the fall of Suharto. These examples indicate the diversity of Indonesian student activists in Berlin that are nevertheless united in their aspirations to challenge politics back home.

Author Biography

Syafiq Hasyim

Syafiq Hasyim is the director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism and a senior research fellow at PUSAD (Pusat Studi Agama dan Demokrasi, Center for the Studies of Religion and Demoracy), Jakarta. He obtained his doctorate from Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, with a dissertation on the Council of Indonesian Ulama (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) and its role in the ‘shariatization’ of Indonesia. Contact:




How to Cite

Hasyim, S. (2014). Challenging a Home Country: A Preliminary Account of Indonesian Student Activism in Berlin, Germany. Advances in Southeast Asian Studies, 7(2), 183–198.



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