Chiara Formichi Beginning in April 2000, Indonesian Shi`a communities have been the target of violent attacks, with an escalating increase in reported incidents since 2006. Houses and schools have been burnt down, individuals have had stones thrown at them, and praying sessions have been forcefully disbanded. Across the Muslim world this is hardly news, as sectarian strife has plagued the Middle East and South Asia for decades, if not longer. In Indonesia, however, these attacks are, indeed, a new phenomenon, and one that I am reticent to label as strictly "sectarian" in its origin.1 In an attempt to explain why Indonesia has recently experienced a violent turn in approaches to Shi`a Muslims, I situate the surfacing and increase in these attacks in the wider contexts of international politics, changing national political dynamics, legal provisions regulating religious minorities, and the local environment in which the attacks have occurred. Instead of focusing on the micro-dynamics of the attacks, this article concerns itself with the trajectory of the violent turn, bringing national politics Chiara Formichi is an assistant professor in Southeast Asian Humanities, Department of Asian Studies, Cornell University. 1 I am grateful to the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en
Indonesia – Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]
Published: Nov 26, 2014
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