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ICRS Yogyakarta - Theses Information: Shi'a Social Identity Formation and the Anti-Shi'ism in Post-Reformation Indonesia

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Shi'a Social Identity Formation and the Anti-Shi'ism in Post-Reformation Indonesia

This dissertation studies intra faith relation among Muslim groups in post Reformasi Indonesia. The Indonesian political shift from the New Order regime towards democracy opened up spaces for various religious groups to emerge in public. In a democratic sphere, political and religious power spread more widely to new actors outside the established structures of authority. Reformasi provides opportunity for different religious actors and groups to articulate their views, interests and political orientations. Within this situation, the identity contestation occurred. To some extents, the emergence of religious identity in public becomes problematic. Intra and inter faith group identity with keen contestation in the public arena often sparks religious conflict. Focusing on micro dynamic within Shi'a identity from concealed to socio-religious identity, this study shows that the transformation of Shia identity as a struggle to overcome the escalation of anti-Shia sentiment in post Reformasi Indonesia. In advance this process contributes to the dynamic of intra faith relation between Sunni and Shia. Data reveals that Shia and anti-Shia tension has developed in contemporary Indonesia to be more systematic and organized way. Established in July 2000, the Indonesian Association of Congregations of the People of the Prophet Shia Household (Ikatan Jamaah Ahlul Bayt Indonesia, or IJABI), is the first Shia organization to be officially registered in Indonesia. Since then, members of this minority Muslim community no longer hide their identity in the way they were compelled to previously. In response, the long standing anti-Shia supporters unite into more organized group called Aliansi Nasional Anti-Syiah (National Alliance of Anti-Shia). This dissertation finds that anti-Shia sentiments emerge as dynamic process on both sides: the victim and the perpetrators. Had been living in along pressure, the Shia organization, IJABI, present to overstep this intra faith friction. In fact, this attempt experiences challenges from inside and outside responses. The dissertation concludes that the study on identity in Indonesia should address religious dimension in addition to social dimension as developed in Social Identity theory. Focusing on Shia identity transformation, this study shows that religious dimension have a significant role to shape socio-religious identity of Shia. Therefore, the future of intra faith relation in Indonesia depends on how each groups negotiate and acknowledge their different identity in public sphere. Not pretending to solve the 1400 years of Sunni-Shia tension, this dissertation has offered a new insight in understanding intra faith relation in the lens of reciprocal identity transformation.

Key Words: Shia, anti-Shia, socio-religious identity, reform, identity transformation.