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Disciplining the Accepted and Amputating the Deviants: Religious Nationalism and Segregated Citizenship in Indonesia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2021

Deasy Simandjuntak
Affiliation:
ISEAS—Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

T. H. Marshall’s 1950 seminal work shows that the granting of civil, political, and social rights leads to the institutionalization of rules binding the state and its citizens. In practice, however, citizenship goes beyond these unproblematized paternalistic relations. It is political, involving connection, competition, and conflicts. Isin and Turner (2002) propose that “citizenship” should be examined through its extent (norms of inclusion and exclusion), content (rights and responsibility), and depth (citizens’ perceived relation to their political community). In Indonesia, the discrimination against members of minority religions by Islamic conservative groups is among the main issues in politics. This article therefore examines the ambiguity between the constitutionally embraced “religious freedom” and the everyday discriminatory practices of conservative groups. Taking the case-studies of the sectarian campaign against a Chinese-Christian governor, the blasphemy sentence of a Chinese-Buddhist woman, and the persecution of the Ahmadiyah and Syiah, I argue that conservative groups have practised a “segregated citizenship” that prioritizes the values and interests of the majority religion against those of both the “accepted” and the “unaccepted” minority religions.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2021

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