Religious Regulations in Indonesia: Failing Vulnerable Groups?
Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2009
51 Pages Posted: 8 May 2010 Last revised: 5 Jun 2010
Date Written: 2009
Since 1998 and the downfall of Suharto, local governments across Indonesia have passed a range of religious regulations, commonly known as perda syariah. This paper is based on analysis of over 160 religious regulations from 26 provinces in Indonesia. It will examine how the transition to decentralisation has facilitated the growth of religious regulations and will outline the behaviour these regulations seek to control. It will analyse how these religious regulations are being implemented and enforced. Overall, it will demonstrate that religious regulations have discriminated against vulnerable groups such as women, children, the poor and religious minorities. The national government has failed to intervene because of the perceived need to maintain the support of the majority Muslim-voter base in a competitive political environment.
Keywords: Indonesia, religious regulations, Islam, minorities
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