Keywords: Islam, Renaissance, Sufism, Orientalist myths, misrepresentation, diversity, pluralism, Indonesia, congregational spaces, cultural expressions, cultural influence, cultural exchange, literature, readable gesture.
Abstract: This article seeks to provide a broad perspective from which to approach Islam. Through contemporary examples, it demonstrates that far from being a homogenous, monolithic edifice, the Muslim world has always been and remains a kaleidoscopic pattern of diverse geographic, cultural, religious and political elements. These elements are glued together by principles to form a rich mosaic. The treatment of such a mosaic merits, it is argued, a civilisational approach.