PBS – America At A Crossroads: Struggle For The Soul Of Islam (2007)

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Can Islam and Democracy coexist?

In the Muslim world, Indonesia is unique.

The majority practice their religion with a devotion deeply felt. But compared to the stereotypes carried in the minds of most Westerners, Islam in Indonesia is very different.

Muslim shamans pray five times a day, and then commune with mystical spirits while performing rites on other Muslims to cast or remove spells.

Provincial kings and sultans, also Muslim, place offerings to the Four Guardians of the Earth on their palace grounds, and preside over ancient rituals, like the elaborate annual pageant of sacred objects in the city of Solo, where albino water buffalos, believed to possess supernatural powers, lead the procession.

Muslim cross-dressers compete to be crowned Miss Indonesian Transvestite of the year, and also pray in the women’s section of the mosque while wearing the traditional headscarf.

Can you believe this?