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Understanding the Oppressed: a Study of the Ahmadiyah and Their Strategies for Overcoming Adversity in Contemporary Indonesia

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Connley, Aleah

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Abstract The Ahmadiyah is a highly controversial Islamic reformist movement that is persecuted throughout the Muslim world. In Indonesia, the movement’s situation has become increasingly precarious with the growth of conservative Islam. This article examines the everyday experiences of oppression suffered by individual Ahmadis at the hands of the state and their Muslim opponents in Indonesia, and looks at their responses to these experiences. I found that Ahmadis employ six diverse strategies to emotionally, socially, and spiritually withstand adversity. These strategies are conceptualised under the following labels: ‘Fortitude through faith and spirituality’, ‘Rationalising oppression’, ‘Ideological manoeuvring’, ‘Acts of resistance’, ‘Harmonising identity’, and ‘Satisfying the need to belong’. I argue that the agency of Indonesian Ahmadis is embedded in these strategies, which mitigate their suffering, and at times seek to change oppressive social environments. (author's abstract)
Keywords Indonesia; Islam; Islamic society; religious group; religious movement; oppression; discrimination; human rights; rights of personal liberty; civil rights; exclusion; social integration; minority; minority rights; Southeast Asia
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Sociology of Religion
Free Keywords Ahmadiyah; Ahmadiyya
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
Page/Pages p. 29-58
Journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 35 (2016) 1
ISSN 1868-4882
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs