Forum Lingkar Pena

Resources / Organization

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The Indonesian reading forum Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP), established in 1997, has become an important producer of Islamic texts, in particular proselytizing (dakwah) literature, which serves to propagate Islamic faith. It has become prominent in a time, when the literary and media landscape changed drastically after the fall of President Suharto, providing more freedom for authors and journalists (Garcia 2004). In the face of this liberalization, in addition to an increasing number of authors raising sexual topics in their literary works, FLP, which has ties with the Islamist party PKS, serves as a counter model, placing emphasis on personal piety, morality, and education. The works of art produced are meant to worship God (Hermawan 2008). The great number of different branches in Indonesia, especially on Java, as well as its numerous activities, such as founding and organizing reading rooms, writing schools, and holding discussion forums, serve the declared aim of the forum, dakwah, which has gained importance in the Muslim world over the last years. FLP, which coordinates its activities through the mass media, addresses teenagers as its main target group, who are meant to become writers upholding and disseminating Islamic norms.1