Understanding Violence Against Muslim Minorities in Indonesia
This talk explores why violence against Indonesia’s Muslim minority sects—specifically the Ahmadiyah sect and the Shi’a sect—unexpectedly emerged and escalated over the past two decades. Demonstrating how the occupation of public space by Muslim minorities were perceived as a challenge to Sunni Muslim dominance and how decentralization reforms incentivized political actors to engage in conflict, this talk identifies factors driving Indonesia’s shift towards illiberalism. In doing so, it speaks to broader concerns about the state of democracy in the world today.
Jessica Soedirgo is a postdoctoral fellow at the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Studies, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto. Her research is motivated by an interest in ethnic and religious conflict, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia.
John L. Esposito is University Professor, Professor of Religion and International Affairs, and Professor of Islamic Studies and Founding Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Past President of the American Academy of Religion and Middle East Studies Association . His publications include: Asian Islam in the 21st Century and Islam in Asia Today.