Panel: Islam, state and religious pluralism in Southeast Asia

Zeitplan

Raum: F 1, 1. OG, Fürstenberghaus
Tag Zeit    
Di 09:00-10:00 Azra Indonesian Islam: The Middle Path and Cultural Pluralism - Geänderter Vortragstitel
Di 10:00-10:30 Bruckmayr Pulled from all sides: Islamic transnationalism, belonging and participation after two decades of Cambodian hyper-globalization
Di 10:30-11:00 Pause
Di 11:00-11:30 Derichs Staat und religiöser Pluralismus im indonesisch-malaysischen Vergleich
Di 11:30-12:00 Franke Is Ash’arism true Sunnism? – An emerging transnational debate and its potential effects on inter-faith relations in Indonesia
Di 12:00-12:30 Hasyim Rejecting Religious Pluralism in Southeast Asia: A Study of Fatwa in Indonesia and Malaysia
Di 12:30-13:30 Mittagspause
Di 13:30-14:00 Warnk Islamic Institutions in Malaysia: between Religious Tolerance and Fundamentalism
Di 14:00-14:30 Ikhwan Reformulating Religious and Secular Spheres: The Qur’an, State and Civic Pluralism
Di 14:30-15:00 Schäfer Creating ‘Mainstream Islam’: Opposition against and framing of smaller Muslim sects in Indonesia and Malaysia - Abgesagt
Di 14:30-15:00 Schröter Antipluralismus durch Demokratisierung? Veränderungen der normativen Ordnung in Indonesien nach dem Sturz Suhartos
Di 15:00-15:30 Schulze Indonesischer Islam hinter den “-ismen”
Di 15:30-16:00 Tschacher ‘Malayization’ and ‘Hindu Baggage’: Negotiating Religious and Ethnic Difference in Singapore

Panelleiter:

Patrick Franke, Fritz Schulze

Beschreibung des Panels:

Aimed at bringing together German and international researchers working on Islam and religious pluralism in Southeast Asia, the panel explores the role of state actors, non governmental organizations and individuals in shaping or obstructing pluralistic visions of Islam in Indonesia, Malaysia and the neighbouring countries. What are the religious and political factors contributing to either the societal acceptance or marginalization and persecution of religious communities in these countries? Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra, former rector of the UIN Jakarta and this year’s guest of honour of the section of Islamic studies, is expected to open up the panel with a keynote lecture on “Indonesian Islam: The Middle Path and Cultural Pluralism”.

Sektion:

Islamwissenschaft

Abstracts der individuellen Vorträge:

Azra, Azyumardi: Islam, State and religious pluralism in Southeast Asia

There is a lot of diversity within Islam and Muslims, not least in Southeast Asia; in fact they live in multicultural societies. Muslims are majority in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam; but they are minority in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. With the same token, there are substantive segments of non-Muslims in Southeast Asia in general.

The diversity among Muslims is true not only in terms of Islamic religious doctrines and understanding, but also in cultural, economic, and political lives. Therefore, it is very misleading indeed to view Islam or Muslims as monolithic entity. There are universal fundamental aspects of Islamic teachings that are believed and practised by Muslims—including those of Southeast Asia, but these do not conceal a much greater diversity and multiculturalism within Islam and Muslims.

In addition to Muslims there are significant numbers of minority groups in Southeast Asia, Christians (Catholics and Protestants), Hindus, Buddhist, Confucianists, animists, atheists and others. Southeast Asia is indeed an area that is very rich in religious pluralism.

The position of Islam in each nation-state of plural Southeast Asia is  different from one country to another. In Indonesia, Islam is not the official religioun of the state. While in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam is. Like Indonesia, Singapore is not based on certain religion—therefore can be called as a secular state.

This paper attempts to discuss the relation and interplay between Islam and state within religious pluralism at levels of a particular state and of Southeast Asia in general. The paper will also delineate the Indonesian Islamic experience in the nation-state that are rich in pluralism and multiculturalism.

Tschacher, Torsten: Malayization’ and ‘Hindu Baggage’: Negotiating Religious and Ethnic Difference in Singapore

Abstract: This paper aims to explore the intersection between religious pluralism, official and scholarly discourses concerning religion and ethnicity, and the organization of religious practice among Indian Muslims in Singapore. Indian Muslim religious life in Singapore has generally been understood in terms of a process of ‘Malayization’ by which Indian Muslims become progressively more ‘Islamic’ and less ‘Hindu’ by adopting cultural practices identified as ‘Malay’. As the paper will argue, this idea actually masks the real constraints put on Indian Muslims in contemporary Singapore as a result of the privileging of ‘Malay’ identities in the Islamic domain and of ‘Hindu’ religion among Indians. While the reactions of Singaporean Indian Muslims to this discourse and the policies that it masks have oscillated from wholesale acceptance to resistance, the contradictions that are created by it produce tensions in the very framework for religious harmony and pluralism that the Singaporean state professes to foster.

Bruckmayr, Philipp: Pulled from all sides: Islamic transnationalism, belonging and participation after two decades of Cambodian hyper-globalization

Since the UN-brokered elections of 1992, Cambodia witnessed a sudden kind of hyper-globalization, following decades of unrest and isolation. As part of this process also numerous transnational Islamic NGOs and socio-religious movements as well as the governments of different Muslim majority states came to involve themselves in local Muslim minority affairs. Since then inter alia Salafism, the Tablighi Jama’at, the Gülen movement, the Ahmadiyya, Shiism and a missionizing Naqshbandi lineage established themselves in the country.

Needless to say, such Islamic foreign intervention has worried observers not only for fears over the loss of traditional Muslim culture, but also because of the postulated threats of Islamic radicalism and deteriorating relations with the Buddhist majority and the state. Yet, the Muslim file in Cambodia is highly complex and exhibiting a number of paradoxes: Under Hun Sen’s regime (since 1985), Muslim political participation is greater than ever since independence. Contrary to present European experience, outward symbols of the minority religion (e.g. headscarves, impressive mosques) are not discouraged by state policies. A distinctively local expression of Islam has received sanction as a second officially recognized Islamic community. Islamic radicalism is a negligible phenomenon in the country, the present two generations of local Salafis would hardly be recognized as such in Europe or the Middle East, and even the activities of the Tablighis currently appear to be contributing to making the local Muslims more Cambodian and less diasporic. It is, however, questionable whether things will stay as rosy as they are at the moment.

The present paper will analyze the historical trajectories and present dynamics conditioning this current state of affairs.  

Derichs, Claudia: Staat und religiöser Pluralismus im indonesisch-malaysischen Vergleich

Die Rolle religiöser Akteure in Prozessen von Demokratisierung und politischer Transition wird in den mehrheitlich muslimischen Staaten Indonesien und Malaysia besonders virulent, weil das Thema eines „islamischen Staates“, seiner Verankerung in der Verfassung und seiner Ausgestaltung auf der konkreten alltagspolitischen Ebene ein „Dauerbrenner“ des politischen Diskurses ist. Die Rolle des Staates in diesem diskursiven Gefüge ist dabei in beiden Staaten recht ambivalent. Der Panel-Beitrag diskutiert aus komparativer Perspektive und anhand empirische Beispiele und aus dem letzten Jahrzehnt die staatliche (sprich: Regierungs-) Haltung gegenüber den Forderungen nach inter-/intra-religiösem Dialog und nach Toleranz gegenüber religiösem Pluralismus.

Während Malaysia als semi-autoritärer Staat gilt und die Auslegung dessen, was „islamisch korrekt“ ist, von staatlicher Seite definiert wird, gilt Indonesien als Demokratie, in der religiöse Toleranz qua Regimetyp gewährleistet sein sollte. Die empirischen Befunde bestätigen zunächst die konventionelle demokratietheoretische Annahme, der zufolge gerade auch Dezentralisierungsmaßnahmen – in Indonesien umgesetzt seit 2004 – eine höhere Repräsentanz von unterschiedlichen Interessen erlauben. Sie bestätigen indes auch eine Kehrseite der Medaille, wenn der Zentralstaat seine Kontrolle zugunsten der Stärkung lokaler Autonomie reduziert und in der Konsequenz die egalitäre Repräsentation von Interessen zunehmend durch nicht-staatliche Akteure und selbsternannte Hüter von Moral und Ordnung behindert wird. Dies wirft unwillkürlich die Frage nach dem Nexus von Regimetyp und religiöser Toleranz auf. Die These des Beitrags lautet, dass genau dieser Nexus ein Mythos ist, weil religiöser Pluralismus und religiöse Toleranz weder in Demokratien noch in Autokratien begünstigt werden, sondern Religion unabhängig vom Regimetyp für politische Zwecke instrumentalisiert wird, wenn die Staatsführung dies als vorteilhaft ansieht.

Franke, Edith: Was macht die Akzeptanz einer religiösen Minderheit aus? – Probleme und Grenzen religiöser Pluralität im islamisch geprägten Indonesien

Die indonesische Verfassung protegiert den Glauben an Gott bzw. eine höchste Göttlichkeit als zentrales Prinzip der Staatsbürgerschaft. Damit steht die Mehrheitsreligion Islam und stehen auch andere monotheistisch ausgerichtete Religionen unter dem Schutz des Staates und gelten als Träger von Fortschritt und staatlicher Loyalität.

Lia Eden, Gründerin einer kleinen religiösen Gemeinschaft auf Java, die sich u.a. als Inkarnation des Erzengel Gabriel sowie der Jungfrau Maria versteht, wurde seit 2006 mehrmals zu Haftstrafen verurteilt. Ihr wird vorgeworfen, häretische, vom Islam abweichende Lehren zu verbreiten und die öffentliche Ordnung zu stören.

Während das indonesische Religionsministerium neben dem Islam seit seiner Gründung auch das Christentum zu den staatlich akzeptierten Religionen zählt, zeigt sich an der sehr viel späteren Akzeptanz anderer religiöser Minderheiten (Hinduismus und Buddhismus seit 1965, Konfuzianismus seit 2006) und zeigen Vorfälle wie das Geschehen um Lia Eden, dass historische und politische Entwicklungen und Rahmenbedingungen einen großen Einfluss darauf haben, welche Religionen staatliche Anerkennung erhalten. In diesem Beitrag werden religiöse, soziale und politische Aspekte untersucht, die dazu führen, dass religiöse Gemeinschaften gesellschaftliche Anerkennung erfahren oder aber Diskriminierungen und Marginalisierungen ausgesetzt sind. Dabei steht die Frage nach Faktoren im Mittelpunkt, die religiöse Pluralität in der islamisch dominierten Kultur Indonesiens ermöglichen oder behindern.

Franke, Patrick: Is Ash’arism true Sunnism? – An emerging transnational debate and its potential effects on inter-faith relations in Indonesia

Ash’arism, being the official doctrine of several Islamic universities like the Egyptian Azhar and the Tunisian Zaytuna, is often described as the mainstream and most orthodox version of Islam. In the last decade, however, the orthodoxy of this theological current, has increasingly been questioned. Muslims of the Middle East, calling themselves Salafis or Atharis, have revived an old debate harking back to the Medieval period and revolving around the question whether Ash’aris, with their specific creed and affirmation of dialectical theology (kalām), can be considered true Sunni Muslims. The spilling over of this debate to Indonesia also threatens the legitimacy of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), since this organization, from its very beginning, has adopted Ash’arism as its doctrinal orientation. Consequently, NU members have started to defend the orthodoxy of Ash’arism in booklets and on websites. In my presentation I will reflect upon the potential effects of this emerging debate on the inter-faith relations in Indonesia. My argument will be that an affirmative stance towards kalām is of paramount importance for the readiness to engage in inter-faith dialogue and the upkeep of peaceful relations with other denominations and faiths. Therefore a loss of reputation of Ash’arism in the Islamic public sphere will be detrimental to pluralistic views of religion in Indonesia.

Hasyim, Syafiq: Rejecting Religious Pluralism in Southeast Asia: A Study of Fatwa in Indonesia and Malaysia

Pluralism is a controversial issue since the last decade of Indonesian and Malaysian Islamic discourse. There is a common tendency among the mainstream Muslim groups of both countries as promoted by their fatwa bodies to reject pluralism because it is just associated with religious syncretism and liberalism. This paper is aimed at answering some questions such as; how pluralism is defined, discussed and then contested; why do the mainstream groups of Islam reject it; and what arguments are used and also what are impacts to the legal discourse and practice of the both countries can be seen? With regard to the given questions, the writing will be particularly focused to investigate fatwa issued firstly by Council of Indonesian Ulama (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) and secondly by National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, JAKIM) such as the MUI fatwa on the banning of secularism, liberalism and pluralism published in 2005 and the JAKIM fatwa on the banning of liberalism decided in 2006.  A special attention will be also paid to the incorporation of the Islamic legal edicts into the state policy of Indonesia and Malaysia on the one hand and social and political disputes and contestation over the fatwa on the other hand. Last but not least, this writing turns to illustrate a mutual discursive influence and relation on the issue of pluralism between Indonesia and Malaysia. The analytical frameworks will be used in this examination are taken from the theoretical discourse of Islamic legal theory such as on public interest (maṣlaḥa), legal pluralism and also the theories of sociology especially regarding public sphere.

Ikhwan, Munirul: Reformulating Religious and Secular Spheres: The Qur’an, State and Civic Pluralism

Qur’anic exegesis has become a major intellectual trend since the last decade of Indonesian intellectual history. With the intention to fill the gap between religion and modernity, several approaches to the Qur’an enriched with Western theories of hermeneutics have been introduced, but they fail to obtain public acceptance, since such approaches are seen as “heretic” by the larger segments of Muslims, who tend to be more “orthodox”. Approaches internally rooted from the Islamic scholarly tradition, however, are unable to offer satisfying interpretation with regard to modern issues, such as nation-state and civic pluralism as constitutionally embraced by the state. This paper will highlight a civilising project of “indigenising the Qur’an within a heterogeneous society” by an Indonesian exegete, Muhammad Quraish Shihab (b. 1944), whose interpretation of the Qur’an offers a constructive answer with regard to the relation between religion and state politics of civic pluralism. His distance from Western scholarship and his educational background at the ulamatic institution of al-Azhar, on the one hand, constitute part of the reason that enables him to freely address a wider Muslim public. On the other hand, his strategy of Qur’anic staging virtue that respects the state ideology even allows him to operate within a more secular sphere. This study will elaborate Shihab’s rearticulation of religion in an era of nation-states by developing an analysis on his theological stance about a notion of differentiation between the autonomous domain of religion and that of people’s deliberation (shūrā) and expertise, where religion only provides general principles and moral considerations.

Schröter, Susanne: Antipluralismus durch Demokratisierung? Veränderungen der normativen Ordnung in Indonesien nach dem Sturz Suhartos

Das Konzept des religiösen Pluralismus war in Indonesien immer umstritten. Schon bei der Konstituierung des postkolonialen Staaten mussten sich seine Verfechter gegen einflussreiche politische Akteure durchsetzen, die einen islamischen Staat (Negara Islam Indonesia) favorisierten. Nur durch staatliche Repression ließ sich die Idee des multireligiösen Staates als Grundlage der normativen Ordnung aufrechterhalten. Seit dem Ende der Diktatur steht sie erneut zur Diskussion. Islamische und islamistische Akteure, die seit den 1980er Jahren mit großem Erfolg ihr Projekt der kulturellen Re-Islamisierung des Archipels verfolgen, nutzten die Spielräume der jungen Demokratie, um politische Veränderungen einzuleiten. Diese manifestieren sich nicht primär in Wahlerfolgen islamistischer Parteien, sondern darin, dass auch in den nationalistischen, bislang von westlichen Beobachtern stets als „säkular“ bezeichneten Parteien Mehrheiten entstehen, die das Projekt des islamischen Staates Indonesien mittragen. Signifikant sind Reformen des Rechts, das auf kommunaler und nationaler Ebene zunehmend an die „Syariat Islam“ angepasst wird. Nicht-Muslime und muslimische Minderheiten wie die Ahmadiyya geraten unter Druck und verlieren das Recht auf freie Religionsausübung, das ihnen von der Verfassung garantiert – allerdings auch in Vergangenheit nur mit Einschränkungen. Flankiert werden diese Entwicklungen durch antipluralistische Statements von Politikern oder dem Indonesischen Islamrat sowie durch gewalttätige Aktionen islamistischer Mobs, die in jüngster Zeit unter den Augen der Polizei Lynchmorde begehen konnten, ohne dafür zur Rechenschaft gezogen zu werden.

Im Rahmen des Vortrags soll erörtert werden, wie neue Freiräume seit der Demokratisierung genutzt werden, um eine der wichtigsten normativen Grundlagen des indonesischen Staates, den religiösen Pluralismus Schritt für Schritt zu verabschieden und durch eine dominante islamische Orientierung zu ersetzen. Ein besonderes Augenmerk wird dabei auf den Interdependenzen von Kultur, Recht und Politik liegen.

Schulze, Fritz: Indonesischer Islam hinter den “-ismen”

Der Diskurs um den modernen indonesischen Islam ist geprägt von einer verwirrenden Terminologie. Bei den zahlreichen “-ismen” (z.B. radikaler Islam, liberaler Islam, moderater Islam, Salafismus, Wahhabismus,  Islamismus etc.) handelt es sich um ontologische Kategorien, die je nach Diskutant inhaltlich unterschiedlich belegt sind. Ein abendländischer Sozialwissenschaftler meint bei identischer Begrifflichkeit möglicherweise etwas ganz anderes als ein Anhänger der Front Pembela Islam oder ein Mitglied der Nahdlatul Ulama. Analoges gilt im Übrigen auch für andere Kategorien, die ganz unterschiedlich textualisiert sind, wie z.B. Demokratie, Freiheit usw. Der Vortrag versucht den indonesischen Kontext der “-ismen” zu bestimmen und auf diese Weise unter anderem zu einer Praktikabilität der diskursiven Praxis beizutragen.

Tschacher, Torsten: ‘Malayization’ and ‘Hindu Baggage’: Negotiating Religious and Ethnic Difference in Singapore

This paper aims to explore the intersection between religious pluralism, official and scholarly discourses concerning religion and ethnicity, and the organization of religious practice among Indian Muslims in Singapore. Indian Muslim religious life in Singapore has generally been understood in terms of a process of ‘Malayization’ by which Indian Muslims become progressively more ‘Islamic’ and less ‘Hindu’ by adopting cultural practices identified as ‘Malay’. As the paper will argue, this idea actually masks the real constraints put on Indian Muslims in contemporary Singapore as a result of the privileging of ‘Malay’ identities in the Islamic domain and of ‘Hindu’ religion among Indians. While the reactions of Singaporean Indian Muslims to this discourse and the policies that it masks have oscillated from wholesale acceptance to resistance, the contradictions that are created by it produce tensions in the very framework for religious harmony and pluralism that the Singaporean state professes to foster.

Warnk, Holger: Islamic Institutions in Malaysia: between Religious Tolerance and Fundamentalism

This paper deals with the development and structures of several Malaysian Islamic institu­tions. In a state where about 1/3 of the population are non-Muslims these institutions play a pivotal role in religio-political debates and disputes. Since the early 1980s the Malaysian state actively promoted the expansion of several already existing as well as newly founded Islamic Institutions who became powerful actors in the Malaysian religious and political scene. The Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (YADIM, Malaysian Islamic Dakwah Foundation) and the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM, Department of Islamic Development, placed under direct control of a cabinet minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) received an enormous financial support to run its programs and to employ a great number of civil servants with an Islamic training background, mainly former students at Middle Eastern, Pakistan as well as Malaysian Islamic universities, madrasahs and pondok schools). Academic elitist think tanks (such as the well-known Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, ISTAC) or political think tanks (such as the Malaysian Institute for the Understanding of Islam, Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia, IKIM) are part of a deep Islamization process in the Malaysian political and societal scene.