Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feeling Threatened: Muslim-Christian Relations in Indonesia's New Order

Feeling Threatened: Muslim-Christian Relations in Indonesia's New Order / Mujiburrahman - [S.l.] : [s.n.], 2006 - Doctoral thesis Utrecht University


Muslim-Christian relations have been an important element of the social and political dynamics of Indonesia during the New Order period (1966-1998), and an ever sensitive object of Government policy. The relations between Muslims and Christians have been tense because of mutual suspicions existing between them. These mutual suspicions have been reflected in, and exacerbated by, the antagonistic discourses in which the Muslim and Christian leaders perceived each other as a threat against their respective religious communities. Among the Muslims, the Christian threat has been called 'Kristenisasi' (Christianisation). In the Muslim discourse, Christianisation meant unfair and aggressive efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity. The Muslim fear of Christianisation sometimes led several Muslims to violent action, by attacking church buildings and Christian schools. They also demanded that the Government control and restrict Christian missions by (1) making strict requirements for obtaining permission to erect a new place of worship; (2) restricting religious propagation only to those outside the five recognised religions; and (3) controlling foreign aid for religious institutions; (4) prohibiting inter-religious marriage; (5) requiring that religion classes given at schools should be taught by a teacher whose religious background was the same as that of students. The Government generally responded ambiguously to these demands: they were materialised into regulations, but were loosely implemented. Whereas the Muslims felt insecure and threatened by Christianisation, the Christians were afraid of the threat of an Islamic State. For the Christians, to have to live under an Islamic state in which the shar?'a law was implemented would mean that they would be turned into second-class citizens. To protect themselves from the threat of the Muslim ideological ambition, the Christians decided to ally with the emerging power of the army. This political choice was apparently natural for the Christians because, like the politically secular-oriented Muslims among the civilians, the army was known as the strongest proponent of the nationalist ideological outlook (as opposed the Islamic ideology). One of the consequences of this alliance was that the Christians became less critical if not totally supportive to the New Order authoritarianism. Worse than that, in their protest against certain Government policies, it was not uncommon that the Muslims blamed the Christians as the brain behind those policies. This was typically true when Muslims opposed certain Government policies clearly or allegedly came from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank established by an important group of Catholic activists in cooperation with two important army generals. Despite its ambiguous responses to the Muslim-Christian conflicts, since early 1970s, the Government sponsored inter-religious dialogue events in which religious leaders were invited to talk about a common discourse on development. Not all Muslim and Christian intellectuals, however, agreed with the Government imposed discourse. Some of them developed a counter discourse on social justice by developing a theology of liberation. In 1990s, some private institutions were established to promote dialogue. It was in this period that some Muslim and Christian intellectuals developed a common discourse on democracy and pluralism.

keywords: Indonesia, New Order, christianisation, Islamic State, inter-religious dialogue, Muslims, Christians, relations

Muslim-Christian relations in the New Order Indonesia: the exclusivist and inclusivist Muslims' perspectives

Husein, F. (2003). Muslim-Christian relations in the New Order Indonesia: the exclusivist and inclusivist Muslims' perspectives. PhD thesis, Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages and Societies, University of Melbourne.


The relationship between Muslims and Christian in Indonesia is and important subject. Apart from a few investigations on certain conflicts in different areas of Indonesia, little effort has been devoted to thoroughly examining the complexity of the relationship between the two religious groups. This study is an attempt to investigate the perspectives of the exclusivist and inclusivist Muslims on Muslim-Christian relations in Indonesia, especially during the New Order period (1965-1998).

In dealing with this subject, the theological and legal precepts on the ‘religious’ other as developed in some classical texts are explored briefly. In order to provide the historical background of current Muslim-Christian relations, the study then investigates policies of the Dutch, Old Order, and New Order governments on Muslims and Christians. During the Dutch regime, Christians received better treatment as compared to Muslims. This was deeply resented by some Muslims, who identified the Dutch as Christians and Christians as colonists. By the time Indonesians were approaching independence, Muslim, Christian and other religious groups were preoccupied with deciding the philosophical basis of the state, and the Sukarno government paid scant attention to the hidden tense relations between Muslims and Christians. With the shift to the New Order period, Muslim-Christian relations changed dramatically because Soeharto intentionally and carefully controlled Indonesians based on the policy of SARA. The study found that some elements of SARA policy caused tensions between Muslims and Christians.

In separate chapters, the study then explores the backgrounds and concerns of the exclusivists and inclusivists in relations to Muslim Christian relations. It found that among both exclusivists and inclusivists the degree of ‘exclusiveness’ or ‘inclusiveness’ varied, as they were influenced by their different backgrounds. In addition, within each groups or among individuals, the concerns on issues related to Muslim-Christian relations differed. Four main exclusivist institutions are discussed in the study: the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII), the Komite Indonesia untuk Solidaritas Dunia Islam (KISDI), the Forum Pembela Islam (FPI), and the Laskar Jihad. Key issues discussed by the exclusivists include the Christian ‘other’, relations between religion and the state, Christianisation, and the Ambon conflicts. The relations between the exclusivists and the Christians have been coloured largely by disharmony. Exclusivists believe that Christianity underwent alteration and that the God of Muslims is different from the Christian God, who is described as having offspring. In addition, all exclusivist groups in the study stated the view that it was the Christianisation activities that tore apart the relationship between Muslims and Christians.

In contrast, the relationships between inclusivists Muslims and Christians are coloured largely by harmony. The inclusivists chose to work within the New Order system for changes beneficial to Indonesian Muslims by avoiding direct conflict with the government and occupying themselves with intellectual endeavours. Against such a backdrop, the renewal of Islamic thought, characterised mainly by inclusivism, was introduced and developed. Moreover, the inclusivists hold the view that plurality is a law of nature (sunnatullah). Within this view, all religions are seen to adhere to the same principle of One Truth; and will therefore gradually find their ‘common platform’ or kalimatun sawa. As a reflection of their perspective on religious pluralism, most inclusivists admit the existence and rights of other religious believers, especially the ahl al-kitab.

The study found that it was the exclusivists who were more adamant in criticising the inclusivists through articles in their media or sermons in their mosques. Three of their important critiques are the belief that the inclusivists have established a link with Jews and Christians, that inclusivism weakens Muslim faith by giving new interpretations to the Islamic foundation texts that deviate from the accepted views, and that inclusivists lack concern about Christianisation. In contrast, the inclusivists tend not to criticise or respond to critiques directed at them by the exclusivists, as they consider these to be emotional or personal.

The Study of Comparative Religion by Indonesian Muslims: A Survey

Steenbrink, Karel A. 1990. "The Study of Comparative Religion by Indonesian Muslims: A Survey". Numen. 37 (2): 141-167.

Religious studies were always highly estimated in Islam. Perhaps there is, besides the Jewish religion, no religion so concentrated on the holy book neither is there any religion, that keeps religious scholars in such a high esteem, as the islamic community. Seeking knowledge itself is a meritorious action. This knowledge, however, was usually confined to the common subjects of mysticism and ethics, law and dogmatics. A more philosophical or empirical approach in the field of religious studies was usually not stimulated before the 20th century and the interest in other religious tradi- tions, outside the islamic, was seldom elaborated. - "The comparative history of religions is a Muslim creation" is quoted as a saying of Henry Laoust. After a glorious start with Shahrastani this creation was not always fostered and developed in the curriculum of religious studies in the Muslim world.' This article wants to present the major results of this study by Indonesian Muslims.

Phenomenologi Agama

Al-Jami'ah No. 23 Th. 1980

Jurnal/Journal from digilib-uinsuka / 2008-07-03 14:53:11
By : HARITH ABDOUSSALAM, Perpustakaan UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
Created : 2008-07-03, with 1 files

Keyword : Phenomenologi, Agama

Phenomenologi agama, dalam bahasa Inggris Phenomenology of Religion, dalam bahasa Jerman Religionsphanomenologie, dan dalam bahasa Belanda Godsdienstfenomenologie. Nama ini sering dipakai oleh para sarjana Continental, dalam artian benua Eropa, dalam studi yang disebut Perbandingan Agama atau yang secara semantik Studi Perbandingan Agama.

Selanjutnya Perbandingan Agama atau studi Perbandingan Agama ini di kalangan sarjana yang berminat mempelajari agama-agama Bernama Sejarah Agama-Agama. Dalam hal ini ada dua dasar pertimbangan nama Sejarah Agama-Agama ini. Pertimbangan pertama adalah merupakan hasil keputusan salah satu kongresnya yang membentuk sebuah perhimpunan internasional dengan nama "International Association for the History of Reigion" yang dalam bahasa Indonesia lebih kurang "Perhimpunan Sejarah Agama-Agama Internasional". Pertimbangan lain tidak adalah begitu mudah menterjemahkan ungkapan bahasa Jerman Reiligionswissenschaft ke dalam Bahasa Inggris. Para sarjana memaksakan penggunaan ungkapan History of Religions, Sejarah Agama-Agama, dalam artian yang paling luas. Dalam ungkapan atau istilah ini mencakup bukan saja sejarah tetapi juga studi perbandingan agama, morphologi agama dan phenomenologi agama.

Oleh karena itu dalam proses perkembangannya kemudian Sejarah Agama-Agama ini telah diakui sebagai salah satu cabang ilmu pengetahuan.

Copyrights : Copyright (c) 2008 by Perpustakaan Digital UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted by author in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Studi Agama-agama di Negeri Belanda (Suatu Gambaran Singkat)

Al-Jami'ah No. 22 Th. XV-1980

Jurnal/Journal from digilib-uinsuka / 2008-07-02 15:52:10

By : HARITH ABDOUSSALAM, Perpustakaan UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
Created : 2008-07-02, with 1 files

Keyword : Studi Agama, Negeri Belanda

Suatu undang-undang (peraturan) Perguruan Tinggi di negeri Belanda yang dikeluarkan pada tahun 1876, telah menawarkan kemungkinan-kemungkinan membina jabatab Guru Besar dalam bidang Sejarah Agama pada Fakultas Theologi di seluruh Universitas-Universitas di Negeri Belanda.

Segera sesudah keluarnya undang-undang Perguruan Tinggi itu, jabatab Guru Besar ini mulai dibina di Universitas-Universitas Negeri di Leiden, Amsterdam, Groningen, dan Utrecht. Demikian juga selanjutnya di Universitas-Universitas swasta yang berdasarkan agama, seperti Universitas Roma Katholik di Nijmegen dan "Vrije Universiteit" dari aliran Reformasi di Amsterdam.

Kemudian sejak tahun 1945 jabatan Guru Besar dalam Sejarah Agama di Universitas-Universitas Negeri telah di bagi dalam dua kategori, yaitu satu bagian mengenai agama-agama Antik di sekitar wilayah Mediterania dan bagian lain mengenai agama-agama yang masih hidup (berkembang).

Dalam pengaturan statuta akademi yang telah memperlakukan (menganggap) agama Kristen sebagai suatu disiplin ilmu, maka agama Kristen dikeluaran (dipisahkan) dari sejarah Agama-Agama. Dan selanjutnya studi tentang agama Kristen ini dibagi lagi dalam studi tentang bible, Sejarah Gereja, Ethik dan Sejarah Doktrin Kristen ; yang sudah barang tentu semua ini dikuliahkan pada fakultas-fakultas Theologia.

Dalam periode sepuluh tahun terakhir ini juga telah memasukkan Phenomenologi Agama ke dalam term of reference jabatan Guru Besar dalam Sejarah Agama. Dan sebagai tambahan bagi jabatan ini dalam beberapa tahun terakhir telah dibentuk staf pengajar dan kedudukan peneliti dalam bidang spesialisasi Sejarah Agama dan Phenomenologi Agama. Adalah menarik perhatian bahwa sejak Perang Dunia Kedua juga telah menjadi memungkinkan adanya spesialisasi studi-studi agama tertentu, yaitu Sosiologi Agama dan Anthropologi Agama. Sehingga dewasa ini terdapat staf pengajar bagi Sosiologi Agama dan Anthropologi Agama di sementara fakultas-fakultas Ilmu-ilmu sosial. Sedangkan sebelumnya di sementara Fakultas-fakultas Sastra telah terdapat jabatan Guru Besar bagi sejarah kebudayaan daerah-daerah tertentu, dimana Sejarah Agama (sejarah agama-agama) daerah itu adalah merupakan salah satu bagian.

Copyrights : Copyright (c) 2008 by Perpustakaan Digital UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted by author in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

References: Islam in Religious Studies

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Monday, November 1, 2010

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