Irfan L. Sarhindi
University College London

Irrespective of the fact that Indonesia is not ruled by Sharia (Islamic Law), it can be argued that the Muslim society as the majority enjoys privilege. Its interests and aspirations are highly accommodated. In terms of education, for instance, Quranic verses are the only scriptural source cited in the latest National Curriculum (Parker, 2016). Moreover, there is only Islamic education which is specifically maintained by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Asia Development Bank, 2015; Raihani, 2014). For Bourdieu (in Schubert, 2008), such privilege could only result in social domination or hegemony. For Gramsci (in Mayo, 1999), hegemony provokes social hierarchy which could trigger symbolic violence. Simply put, symbolic violence can be indicated by inequality and the normalization of social hierarchy, reproduced by the inability of the society to acknowledge the minority’s voice (Schubert, 2008). This alone is threatening. Notwithstanding this, Islamic radicalisation produces the self-righteous and judgmental Muslims who seems incapable of considering others’ perspectives, exacerbated by their close-mindedness and literal interpretation of Quran (Van Bruinessen, 2013). On the other hand, the strong effort on religiosity of Indonesian Muslims (Hassan, 2007) appears to be less equipped by sufficient basic understanding of Islam, yet they are commonly less critical (Madjid, 2003) and less literate (Miller & McKenna, 2016). Therefore, they will be easily manipulated and radicalized. Drawing on this assumption, two approaches can be taken. First is the strengthening of Islamic education in the interest of producing a moderate and critical Muslims. Second is the encouragement of inter-religious dialogue within, and outside, the schools.


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