Pop preachers and counter-terror culture: contesting terrorism through social media and popular culture in Indonesia


In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and a key front in the global ‘war on terror’, an Islamic ‘counter-terror culture’ has emerged that negotiates, contests and potentially limits Islamic radicalisation and terrorism. In response to the threat of domestic, regional and global terrorism, Indonesian pop prophets, Islamic self-help gurus, blockbuster movies and catchy pop tunes preach religious moderation. They complement the counter-terror media campaigns of Indonesian Twitter-savvy moderate Islamic organisations and other civil society actors. This project aims to analyse how in Indonesia social media and popular culture function as tools of governmentality (Foucault 2007 [1977-1978]) that can help to limit, negotiate, and contest Islamic radicalisation and terrorism. Through analysing the institutional, textual, and consumption practices of Indonesian ‘counter-terror culture’ with a multi-method approach, this Veni-project investigates the potential and position of popular culture and social media in the on-going struggle against militant Islam and its virulent offshoot – terrorism. Through scrutinising the tactics and workings of Indonesian counter-terror culture, this project will formulate a model of cultural counter terrorism strategies that will be highly relevant to Indonesia, but also to other cultural contexts.


Wetenschappelijk artikel

Publicatie bedoeld voor een breed publiek


  • L. K. Schmidt(2017): Cyber Warriors and Counter Stars
  • L. K. Schmidt(2017): Pop preachers and counter-terror culture
  • B. Barendregt, D. Kloos, M. Westmoreland, L.K. Schmidt(2017): Islamic Visualities and In/Visibilities
  • L. K. Schmidt(2017): ‘Allahu Akbar Cats’ and Kyai’s as Instagrammable Counter-stars





Dr. L.K. Schmidt

Verbonden aan

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Mediastudies


Dr. L.K. Schmidt


01/09/2016 tot 01/09/2019