Islam, Identity, and the Organizational Roots of Political Tolerance

30 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2018

See all articles by Jeremy Menchik

Jeremy Menchik

Boston University - Pardee School of Global Studies

Thomas B. Pepinsky

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: August 15, 2018

Abstract

The growing literature on tolerance has struggled to understand its social foundations. In this paper we argue theoretically, and show empirically, that religious organizations play a central role in shaping tolerance towards religious minorities. Drawing on a rich survey of 1000 elites from three large Muslim organizations in Indonesia, we demonstrate that Muslims elites’ willingness to tolerate Christians depends on the social situation, and we identify distinct patterns of tolerance in the domains of politics, the public sphere, residential segregation, demonstration, education, and religion. We then demonstrate that organizational membership, in and of itself, does not explain attitudes of political tolerance; instead, organizational identification does. Among those elites whose organizational ties are weak relative to their identification with their faith or with Indonesia, organizational membership does not explain tolerance. Our argument provides structure to the complex interactions among organizations, identities, and tolerance in the Muslim world.

Keywords: Islam, tolerance, religion, identity, Indonesia

Suggested Citation

Menchik, Jeremy and Pepinsky, Thomas B., Islam, Identity, and the Organizational Roots of Political Tolerance (August 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3232834 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3232834

Jeremy Menchik

Boston University - Pardee School of Global Studies ( email )

152 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jeremymenchik.com

Thomas B. Pepinsky (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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