Religious Diversity in Muslim-majority States in Southeast Asia: Areas of Toleration and Conflict (s

Bernhard Platzdasch and Johan Saravanamuttu, eds.


"This book examines in great detail the extent and nature of the toleration for non-Muslim minorities in the two large Muslimmajority states of Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Set against the backdrop of increasing religious segregation and intolerance in recent years, Indonesia has witnessed an uneasy fluctuation in its traditional devotion to pluralist religious ideals and a tendency toward religious bigotry and state meddling in religious affairs. The book features studies on the track record of the country’s two main Islamic organizations in their perceptions on religious minorities, liberal Islamic views on Indonesia’s infamous Blasphemy law, discourses on the Islamic Ahmadiyah sect, the aftermath of Indonesia’s equally infamous pornography law, the disputes between religious communities over Church-building permits, the role of Pentecostalism in the struggle over the religious identity of a Javanese city, Christian-Muslim relations in post-war Ambon, the diversity of cultural identities of Indonesian Chinese Muslims, the perseverance of animist-mystical folk beliefs in Far East Java, and the blater – a distinct mystical-syncretist Islamic minority community home to the island of Madura. In Malaysia, religious conflicts have continued to afflict society but the political engagement of religious minorities with the Malaysian state has been evident and has taken various forms. What evident is that this engagement has been made possible through the mediation and agency of civil society organisations. The Malaysian chapters deal with religious pluralism in Kuala Lumpur; Christian and Buddhist responses to perceived Muslim encroachment in their affairs; localized Christian minorities resisting and also accommodating hegemonic Muslim or Islamic presence and the intolerance of a dominant Sunni Islamic practice."

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