Islam, Travel, and Learning

A Case Study on Indonesian Muslim Student Diasporas in Saudi Arabia

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  • 1 Dept. of Global and Social Studies, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia alqurtuby@kfupm.edu.sa
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Abstract

This article focuses on the study of the relationship between Islam, travel, and learning by conducting a case study on Indonesian Muslim students who studied (or are studying) in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, it examines the changing dynamics of these students who traveled, immigrated to, and studied in Saudi Arabia in search of knowledge from previous centuries to the contemporary era. This article shows that Indonesian students in this peninsula are deeply plural and complex, far from being a monolithic group in terms of social background, religious affiliation, political orientation, major field of study, and motive of their study, among other factors. Thus, the present article aims at demystifying and challenging the common beliefs and narratives which hold that Saudi Arabia–trained Indonesian students have been exporters of Islamist intolerance, radicalism, or even terrorism.

Contributor Notes

Sumanto Al Qurtuby is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Global and Social Studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. He holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from Boston University. He has written numerous scholarly articles and authored several books, both in English and Indonesian languages, including Religious Violence and Conciliation in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia and Indonesian Networks: Migration, Education and Islam. E-mail: alqurtuby@kfupm.edu.sa; squrtuby@gmail.com

Journeys

The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing

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