1st Edition

The State and Religious Violence in Indonesia Minority Faiths and Vigilantism

By A’an Suryana Copyright 2020
    184 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book analyses the response of the Indonesian state to violence against Ahmadiyah and Shi’a minority communities by foregrounding the close connections between state officials and vigilante groups, which influenced the way the post-Soeharto democratic Indonesian governments addressed the problem of violence against religious minorities.

    Arguing that the violence stemmed in part from the state officials’ close connection with vigilante groups, and a general tendency for the authorities to forge mutual and material interests with such groups, the author demonstrates that vigilante groups were able to perpetrate violence against the minority congregations with a significant degree of impunity. While the Indonesian state has become far more democratic, accountable, and decentralized since 1998, the violence against Ahmadiyah and Shi’a communities shows a state that is still unwilling in assisting or allowing minority groups to practice their religion. The research undertaken for this book draws upon a lengthy period of ethnographic fieldwork in the communities of West Java and East Java. Research material includes in-depth interviews with community and religious leaders, state officials and security forces, and other prominent politicians.

    A novel approach to the problem of Islam, violence, and the state in Indonesia, the book will be of interest to researchers studying Southeast Asian Politics, Islam and Politics, Conflict Resolution, State and Violence, and Terrorism and Political Violence.

    1 Introduction; 2 Escalating heresy campaigns against Ahmadiyah and Shi’a communities; 3 State officials' entanglement with vigilante groups; 4 The judiciary and the law; 5 Local bureaucrats; 6 The president; 7 Conclusion: state capacity and communal violence against minority faiths


    A’an Suryana is a lecturer at the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP), Indonesia.