Religion In Indonesia

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Indonesia has been a land of religious diversity. In the ancient era it has witnessed Hindu-dominated empires and influence of Hinduism was evident there in Srivijaya-kingdom. Gradually Indonesia became a country with majority muslim citizens but it retained its secular pluralistic approach. But politicization of religion and vote-bank centric politics made the religion in Indonesian internal politics a point of maliciousness. But external policies remained predominantly secular. All these developments show an intricate combination of religious and secular motives in the politics. This article focused on the sheer external and internal intricate dynamics of Indonesia’s politics

Religion as a boost to the anti-colonial upheavals
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Malaysia was a muslim majority state but for national interest Indonesia had taken up “crash Malaysia” policy. But the enmity ended to face the Chinese domination .It has been very clear that Indonesia’s external relations are guided by secular motives. Recently as member of ASEAN Indonesia is playing its regional role thus transcending the religious beliefs. Moreover international terrorism and continuous attack in Indonesia made the Indonesian leaders much more pragmatic and secular in foreign policy choices. Indonesia started its foreign relations with a bit anti western approach but from the Suharto era it started drifting from the anti Western path. So it is very clear that economic and political need made Indonesia pro-western and pro-secular. Indonesia was even enthusiastic about pro-west liberal trade system through ASEAN economic community. Western influence was increasing gradually and for sure internal politics and economics decisions are not isolated from…show more content…
One of the hotspots of the communal violence has been Aceh, the northeast province of Sumatra. Aceh-Dar-Al-Salam was an independent entity before the Dutch colonization and after the independence Sukarno promised them to grant autonomy for the region and rule by the sharia law. From 1953 rebellion started on the basis of religion against Jakarta. The greatest consequence of this Darul Islam Movement was religious fanatism. During Suharto era serious threat from the religious extremists struck the political stability. In 1976 under the leadershio of Hasan di Tiro, Free Aceh Movement (GAM) was set up officially. In the post-reform era 1998 onwards Habibie and Wahid eras advocated decentralization in order to accommodate Acehnese demands thus reducing the degree of confrontation. Basically Wahid administration embarked on peace talks with GAM in1999 and the peace accord was signed in Geneva in December, 2002. But this agreement ended in futility inMay,2003 after Tokyo negotiations. As soon as Megawati Sukarnoputri took office the administration responded with martial law and military campaign which undoubtedly added fuel to the fire of ethnic strife. General EndriatronoSutarto launched a “Security Restoration Operation” aimed at “destroying the GAM forces down to their roots”. General Sutarto actually wanted his men killing the GAM rebels who were actively engaged in extremism. In 2005 further negotiations concluded. In

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