Muslim World > Indonesia


Land of Ancient Empires and Breathtaking Biodiversity

Indonesia Map

The archipelago of Indonesia, boasting over 17,000 islands, is a place steeped in ancient history and abounding with natural beauty. Indonesia's rich cultural tapestry dates back millennia, with early Austronesian people arriving around 2000 BC. The archipelago was a nexus for trade, drawing merchants from India, China, and Arabia. The influential Hindu-Buddhist empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit, along with the Islamic Sultanate of Malacca, left indelible marks on Indonesia's cultural landscape, fostering an environment of religious and ethnic diversity that remains today.

The Archipelago Today

Padar Island

Modern-day Indonesia is home to over 270 million people, making it the world's fourth most populous country. It is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, with over 1300 distinct ethnic groups and more than 700 languages spoken. Despite this diversity, the country is unified under the national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" which means "Unity in Diversity."

Indonesia's geography presents a stunning array of biodiversity, hosting some of the world's most unique ecosystems. From the lush rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo, the enchanting coral reefs of Raja Ampat, to the Komodo dragons inhabiting Komodo Island, the country is an unparalleled haven for nature enthusiasts.

The Economy and Infrastructure


Indonesia's economy, the largest in Southeast Asia, is as diverse as its landscape and culture. While it has considerable agricultural, petroleum, and natural gas sectors, Indonesia has seen significant growth in manufacturing and services industries in recent years. It is one of the world's top producers of palm oil, coffee, cocoa, and rubber. At the same time, it's becoming a vital player in the technology and digital economy, with successful startups like Gojek and Tokopedia turning into multi-billion dollar enterprises.

Education and Innovation

Education is a high priority in Indonesia, with an emphasis on improving quality and accessibility. Higher education institutions, such as the University of Indonesia and Bandung Institute of Technology, are increasingly gaining international recognition. The government's "Making Indonesia 4.0" initiative aims to foster innovation and boost the country's competitiveness in key sectors such as food and beverage, textiles, automotive, electronics, and chemical industries. With a large and youthful population, Indonesia is well-positioned to drive the region's digital economy and innovation.

Culture and Religion

Mosque in Indonesia

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, with Islam being the religion of about 87% of the population. In fact, it is the world's largest Muslim country by population. Arab Muslim traders first arrived in Indonesia as early as the 8th century, and along with growing trade came cultural exchange that caused Indonesians to embrace Islam over time. By the 13th century, Islamic kingdoms started to appear, gradually growing in size and power until Islam became the main religion of the Indonesian people. During the colonial period, Islam was the common identity that Indonesians rallied around to resist the occupation and eventually gain independence.

The principle of religious freedom is enshrined in the Pancasila, the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state. Indonesia has large minorities that practice Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, and Catholicism in certain regions.

Indonesia's cultural heritage, derived from indigenous traditions and foreign influences, is rich and varied. Traditional Javanese and Balinese gamelan music, vibrant dances, and the intricate art of batik are among Indonesia's cultural treasures recognized by UNESCO. The influence of Islam on Indonesian culture is evident. For example, Indonesian batik incorporates Islamic designs and calligraphy. Also, the architecture of Indonesia is influenced by Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic elements.

Politics and Human Rights

Indonesia Flag

Indonesia is a democratic republic, and has made great strides in political reform since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998. While the country continues to grapple with challenges related to corruption, human rights, and regional conflicts, it has shown progress in democratic consolidation, economic development, and increased regional autonomy.

The spirit of Indonesia is captured in its national emblem, the Garuda Pancasila. Symbolizing strength and power, it carries a scroll bearing the national motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika." Like the Garuda, Indonesia is soaring into the future, striving to bring prosperity and unity to its diverse populace, while proudly carrying its rich history.