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- Routledge Handbook of Political Islam by Shahram Akbarzadeh (ebook)
- CHAPTER: Islamophobia – Routledge Handbook on Christian-Muslim Relations
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She starts from the observation that no one of the IR theoretical paradigms can fully capture the multiple and complex political manifestations of religion, and suggests possible compatibilities between the realist, liberal, constructivist and critical security theories. Wellman, Jr. The third section of the handbook includes five case studies which illustrate specific aspects of the religion-security nexus in some of the most conflict torn areas of the world: Nigeria John Campbell , India Ainslie T.
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Mojzes and Iraq Micheal A. This leads to revisiting those often taken for granted assessments that consider religion as a key ideology lying at the root of the bloodiest conflicts between societal groups. The chapter written by Waxman, for instance, highlights the fact that, from a historical perspective, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is actually a struggle for land, and the role played by religion in it is only secondary.
Similarly, most of these chapters make it clear that, firstly, none of these conflicts can be properly understood without taking religion into consideration and secondly that, although religion may sometimes be part of the problem, it may also be part of the solution. In India, for instance, Ainslie T. Embree shows that although religious commitments often serve as sources of conflict, they also have the ability to contribute to conflict de-escalation and reconciliation.
The author recalls the example of two religious leaders in Banaras, whose efforts to advance interfaith dialogues in the s, after severe communal riots, contributed to finding the path to communal peace in Banaras. Such examples could serve as models for all India as well as for other conflictual areas.
Routledge Handbook of Political Islam by Shahram Akbarzadeh (ebook)
Moreover, even when religion itself is not part of the problem, it may become so if religious actors are not involved in peace efforts and negotiations, since most radical movements have the ability to instrumentalize religion in order to mobilize support for their otherwise political agendas. Engaging religious actors in peace negotiations and dialogue would therefore be an important step for the discrediting of such instrumentalization of religion.
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Get access to the full version of this article. View access options below. You previously purchased this article through ReadCube. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Relative economic independence translated into greater female autonomy in relations with men, for although In the second place, the nature of kinship and marital customs meant that the birth of a daughter could represent a valuable asset because of the widespread custom of obtaining a wife through bridewealth jujur.
Though certainly not universal in Indonesia, these traditions were most frequently referenced in Sumatra, Maluku, and Nusa Tenggara but were also found in other areas as well. In societies where mortality was high, a third reason for female status was the fact that women often acted as healers because of their familiarity with the botanical products used in indigenous pharmacology.
Further, because supernatural forces were believed to be a primary cause of illness or unexpected death, women as healers and midwives were familiar with the rituals that would ensure benevolent influences, especially in childbirth. This was especially true of older women who had themselves survived the dangers of labor and delivery and through their longevity had acquired the knowledge and experience that enabled them to become conduits to the spirit world. Yet this very power was itself ambiguous, because in certain contexts, such a woman could be accused of marshaling the malevolent forces that caused illness, misfortune, impotency, and even death.
The perceived powers of older women were directly connected to the various ways in which individuals could be located along the gender spectrum.
Beyond the age of fertility, senior women had moved into a liminal zone where they occupied a female body but lacked the reproductive capacities that lay at the core of femaleness. In this respect, they resembled the ritually transgendered groups whose clothing and appurtenances combined male and female elements. While symbolizing the wholeness of the sexual union on which life depended, this blurring of gender boundaries also imparted a unique facility to mediate with the spirit world. Scholarly literature has focused on the sacred bissu of South Sulawesi Graham, this volume , who are commonly seen as transgendered males, although in indigenous sources, they are also identified as older women.
The warok of east Java, whose origins reportedly date from the fifteenth century, may have filled a somewhat similar role. Prohibited from sexual intercourse with women because this would sap their spiritual vitality, warok were assisted by young boys known as gemblak who were chosen for their beauty Andaya 89; Wilson In this context, Aceh presents a puzzling case.
It is not clear, however, whether they were castrated men as in Ottoman Turkey, much admired in Aceh , or whether they were transgender bissu-like figures thought to possess powers far beyond those of ordinary mortals Khan While transgender priests were said to live with men as if they were married, the sources provide only glimpses of the nature of same-sex relationships. From the indigenous perspective, the greatest sexual crimes were adultery and incest, and, for the most part, homosexuality was not a matter of concern as long as a man fathered children and maintained his family obligations.
At the court level, however, lack of interest in women could cause a diplomatic crisis because of the high stakes associated with succession and legitimacy. The nineteenth-century text, the Serat Centhini, is often cited for its extensive and apparently tolerant descriptions of same-sex eroticism, but it also displays tensions between warok and pious Muslims santri.
CHAPTER: Islamophobia – Routledge Handbook on Christian-Muslim Relations
While it is not difficult to imagine that sexual relationships occurred among royal concubines, a rare mention of their fate comes from a Makassar chronicle, which notes that two palace women found guilty of lesbianism were drowned Cummings The most significant development was the advance of Islam across the archipelago and its contested relationship with Christianity.
Religious texts produced in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries often employed images that women could appreciate, comparing, for instance, the acquisition of mystical knowledge to steps in the weaving process and likening devotees to a batik cloth that Allah waxes and paints in colors chosen according to the divine plan. Rich women could sponsor Islamic teachers, become learned in their own right, and gain a reputation for piety and religious commitment. Nonetheless, there were also contradictions.
Islamic treatises stressed male authority in the household and insisted on premarital chastity, wifely obedience, and complete fidelity.
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In the Islamic heartlands, seclusion had already become a signifier of respectability and high breeding, since it distinguished elite women from their social inferiors. While lower-class women performed outside work and sold goods in the markets, their well-born sisters demonstrated their Muslim piety by remaining essentially house bound.
Behind the scenes, such women might still exercise considerable influence in court politics, but their public space was extremely restricted. Emblematic of this retreat was a fatwa from Mecca that forbade governance by women and ended a long period of female rule in Aceh. Independent queens did not completely disappear, but it was always assumed that they were acting under the guidance of some male. Upper-class women may also have been expected to demonstrate their adherence to Islam in other ways.
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Our knowledge of the ways in which the adoption of Islam changed village life is similarly limited. Women would certainly have been affected by the prohibition forbidding the eating of pork, a ritual food in much of eastern Indonesia, especially since oversight for domestic animals, including pigs, was a female responsibility. In some instances, a misunderstanding of Islamic teaching led some men to think that they were required to take another wife, an idea that they roundly rejected as tantamount to adultery Andaya From the early sixteenth century, Islam also faced opposition from the Catholic Portuguese.
Intent on dominating the spice trade, they saw the missionizing project as a means of recruiting support and countering the economic and religious influence of Muslims. A second feature of the early modern period was the expansion of maritime trade and the rise of new port cities. In the Indonesian archipelago, the most important of these was Dutch-controlled Batavia modern Jakarta , which from became the nerve center of VOC operations.
Its expanding population included thousands of slaves brought annually from Bali, Lombok, Buton, Timor, and other non-Muslim areas to the east. There was always a good market for healthy young women capable of maintaining a household, helping in business, and satisfying sexual needs, with Chinese traders among the most eager buyers.
Legally the property of their owners, the lot of most was not happy, even if they were able to negotiate a degree of independence. Slave women bought Those without resources could be eligible for poor relief from the church, but older women also slipped into penury or became procurers for prostitution. The feminization of urban poverty in this period is one of the darker sides of Indonesian history. Expanding Dutch control in the nineteenth century Though full-fledged colonialism was not a reality until around , the nineteenth century witnessed the gradual expansion of Dutch territorial control through the archipelago.
This exacerbates rather than alleviates the difficulties of generalization, for Java and the main Dutch centers are far better documented than remote areas where many communities never saw a white face. A full study of gender relations during this period has yet to be written, but we can safely assume that for women, many aspects of life were unchanged.
They continued to dominate local markets and to play a central role in agriculture; they were involved in incomegenerating activities, such as pottery, weaving, or spinning cotton thread; they were responsible for time-consuming domestic chores — washing, gathering firewood and water, and preparing food. Above all, they bore and reared children. Among elite households and in royal palaces, attitudes toward gender relations also showed little change.
In deference to Western ideas about monogamy, Muslim rulers were typically photographed with their chief wife, but the belief that plural wives and concubines were a necessary demonstration of superiority persisted. Well into the nineteenth century, Javanese and Balinese texts continued to depict the conjugal bed as a battleground where a man forcefully conquers his reluctant bride.
Indonesians had heard the voices of reformist Muslims before, but they could not compare with the strident Wahhabi condemnation of localized Islam. In the Indonesian archipelago, the repercussions were soon apparent. Attention has focused on Minangkabau in Sumatra, where the conflict between local and reformist Islam resulted in prolonged warfare, but moves to impose shariah law by veiling women and restricting male-female interaction were also found in neighboring areas.
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Women themselves embraced the new reformism, and on the island of Riau, they became active agents in its promotion, producing texts that provided advice on matters such as the duties of a good wife and the application of Islamic law to male-female relations. Ripples spread as far as Ternate, where the sultan issued a proclamation banning un-Islamic funeral customs. Women mourning for a husband or male relative were no longer allowed to wear traditional skirts of sago leaves, perform the customary lego-lego circle dance, or accompany the body to the graveyard. Christian missionizing was also reenergized, especially with the arrival of female evangelists from Europe, and in outlying mission stations, the availability of schools and teachers opened up new opportunities for women.
The Rhenish mission working among the Batak prioritized female education, and by the s, local women were being trained as teachers. In other areas, nuns in charge of convent schools acted as marriage brokers, cooperating with priests to help find husbands for their pupils and thus lay the basis for a good Catholic family. Unlike missionaries, the colonial government was reluctant to tackle the sensitive issue of polygamy or to oppose pre-Christian spirit veneration.
The Dutch administration was, however, concerned with public health, especially the spread of venereal diseases in the colonial army and navy. Such oversight proved impossible, given that registering hundreds of prostitutes in a port like Surabaya made no allowance for clandestine operations. Homosexual prostitutes were largely ignored, although European sources make occasional references to effeminate men known as banci in coastal trading centers. Nor was this uncommon, for at the end of the century, half the European men in the Netherlands Indies were still living with Indonesian concubines Ingleson On the one hand, they could be seen as assisting European men to understand the dynamics of local cultures; on the other, their low status, lack of education, and the racist and sexist manner with which they were treated means it would have been difficult for them to transmit specific knowledge about cultural values in a meaningful way van Bemmelen et al.