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Recruiting and Branding The Making of Television Dai in Contemporary Indonesia

Sun, June 26, 8:30 to 10:20am, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 2F, 203


Dakwah (‘Islamic proselytising’) is the core of the activity of Muslim society in disseminating Islamic theological teachings, ideas, and interpretation of actual events within a particular Muslim community. It contains messages and advices to perform Islamic teachings in life and sometime is used to persuade non-Muslims to convert to Islam. Generally, dakwah is conducted in a group of gathering Muslims led by a dai, a Muslim person who performs dakwah, in a certain place such as mosque, house and so forth. In modern era, dakwah is produced and reproduced in books, cassettes, radio, and television. In this respect, dai plays an important role in determining the content of dakwah and (in) directing it to his goals in persuading the audiences. This study examines the phenomenon of the increase of television dai in the aftermath of Indonesian reformation in which it seeks to answer the research question of how the background of television dai tells us about the nature of the screening dakwah on Indonesian television. Focusing on dai on national television, the result of the study shows that socio-political changes and cultural globalization in the aftermath of Indonesian reformation have significantly influenced the increase of television dai and shifted the recruitment of television dai from dais who are affiliated to Muslim and government organisations to those who are not (lay Muslims). New television dais have shared a common criteria with celebrities and used branding strategy in maintaining their popularity.

Keywords: dakwah, dai, branding, television, Islam