02 February 2017
Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama is up for re-election in two weeks, but he is also on trial for blasphemy in a case filed by conservative Muslim groups.
The outcry against the Chinese and Christian governor, also known as Ahok, is the latest manifestation of longstanding tensions between religion and nation, and the sway that faith holds on politics in Indonesia, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) dean Joseph Liow said at a conference yesterday.
Professor Liow traced this dynamic back to the 1970s, when Christians were seen to be on the rise politically with endorsement from then President Suharto. This triggered resistance from Muslims, who believed their rights as a dominant group were being undermined.
… In his keynote lecture at the symposium, organised by RSIS’ Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme, Prof Liow outlined how religion and concepts of nationhood are intricately linked in South-east Asian nations like Myanmar and Thailand, where the Buddhist Sangha – or clergy – underpin the foundations of the state.
… Professor Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, began his opening address at the two-day symposium by exploring the various factors that may motivate violence commonly associated with religious groups.
RSIS / SRP / Online / Print
Last updated on 02/02/2017