In 1995 Indonesia celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its Independence. It was an enormous feast. At home almost every night for days at a stretch Indonesians could watch films on television depicting the heroic struggle of the Generation of 1945 and the extremely gruesome atrocities committed by Dutch soldiers. But when we compare the atmosphere in 1995 with that of 1970 or 1945 this is not the most striking point about the celebrations. More noteworthy is it that they were a clear testimony to the growing prominence given to Islam in Indonesian society in the last two decades. In the capital Jakarta, for instance, women from all over Indonesia had come to the Senayan Stadium to participate in a mass meeting of religious instruction groups, while a few weeks after August 17th, the Istiqlal Mosque was transformed into the venue for a grand Islamic festival and exhibition. When Indonesia celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of its Independence, the Islamic stamp was much less visible. The country had just embarked on a series of five-year plans and was recovering gradually from the shock of the alleged coup d’état of September 1965, which marked the rise to power of the New Order. Religion was being endorsed by the new authorities as a sign of good citizenship, and consequently an upsurge of religious activities was indeed observable, but these were far less pronounced than they are nowadays. Public celebrations were still mostly secular.