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Ethno-religious Conflict and Citizenship in Indonesia

Ethno-religious Conflict and Citizenship in Indonesia

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Published by Fahmi Mubarok
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Published by: Fahmi Mubarok on Jun 09, 2010
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Muhamad Fahmi MubarokW0473245
Instructor: Dr. Teena Gabrielson
December 2007
Ethnoreligious Conflicts in Indonesiaand Their Impacts to Citizenship(SECOND DRAFT)Introduction
This paper will discuss the conditions under which ethnoreligious conflictsrise in Indonesia and how these conflicts influence the citizenship model in thiscountry. To be more specific, I limit my discussion to some of the ethnoreligiousconflicts happening after the Independence of Indonesia up to the year 2001. Itake the examples of conflicts in those years which are more related to minorities’rights to live and participate within the larger society of Indonesia; not about theminorities’ demands for separating from the Indonesian nationality.Indonesia is a country that comprises five big islands (Java,Sumatra/Andalas, Kalimantan/Borneo, Celebes/Sulawesi, and Irian/Papua) andtens of thousands of small islands. It lies between two continents (Asia andAustralia), and two oceans (Indian and Pacific). Indonesia has been a peacefulcountry to live despite its people’s various backgrounds of ethnicity, language,and religion. Based on the 2000 census of Indonesian population, the percentage1
of the ethnic groups shows Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%,Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9%. Meanwhile, the percentage of religion in this country isMuslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4%.
Figure 1. Map of Republic of Indonesia
Having various blended backgrounds, Indonesia has adopted whatKymlicka in Shafir’s
the Citizenship Debates
(1998) says as
multicultural citizenship
differentiated citizenship
. This model seems to be the most realisticmodel for Indonesia because it can accommodate the whole population who vary
in many aspects. However, ethnic and religious backgrounds have been moreprone to conflicts than other aspects of diversity, such as language.
Multicultural Citizenship
To understand the condition of citizenship in Indonesia, it is better to takeKymlicka’s notion about what he calls as
multicultural citizenship
differentiated citizenship.
Since Indonesia is a country with various elements of ethnicities,races and religions, the citizenship model that it should apply has acknowledgeall those differences.Kymlicka in Shafir (1998) divides the notion of differentiated citizenshipinto three categories: 1) polyethnic rights, 2) representation rights, and 3) self-government rights. The former two are dealing with inclusion to the larger society.Meanwhile, the last is dealing with exclusion or withdrawal from the larger community.He then explains that
demand shows that the minority groupswant to take part in the larger society. He takes a case of Sikhs in RoyalCanadian Mounted Police as an example. In the Sikhs case here, they wanted to join the Police, but it is hard for them because their religious belief requires themto wear turban, their typical headgear. Whereas, turban is not part of the RoyalCanadian Police uniform. Many people opposed the idea of the Sikhs to wear turban because they think this a sign of disrespect for “national symbols.”(Kymlicka in Shafir 1998, p.170). Whereas, Kymlicka adds that the special rightsthat they want is promoting rather than discouraging their integration.3

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