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Islam in Indonesia?

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Islam in Indonesia?
    Posted: 18-Jun-2011 at 09:26
Before the arrival of Islam, Malaya and Indonesia were pagan or Buddhist societies. In modern times Indonesia has the largest Muslim population outside the Middle East. How long did the conversion of the people take, and why was Islam so successful?
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2011 at 14:54
Interesting subject. We know that the first Muslim community in Indonesia first appeared around the 12th century yet trade with Arabs had already started in the 8th century. Apparently it took from the 12th to the 16th century for Islam to become the major religion of Indonesia.

Obviously, Islam only spread through means of trade but it's still quite interesting to see how it caught on so well. As far as I know, maritime and especially island dwelling peoples tend to be quite tolerant towards foreign ideologies. But then that's not enough as an explanation.

I think that many of the Arab traders must have settled in Indonesia and married with influencial people. If a ruler was Muslim, then it would make sense that the population felt inclined to convert and also, as far as I know there was no religious opression caused by this difference.

a little bit more on the subject
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Indonesia
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jun-2011 at 22:00
Originally posted by Baal Melqart

Interesting subject. We know that the first Muslim community in Indonesia first appeared around the 12th century yet trade with Arabs had already started in the 8th century.
 
I think the Achenese coverted to orthodox Islam much earlier, maybe as early as the 7th century.  The Achenese were among the forst non local Islamic people identified as having an early presence in Mecca (houses of study, religous represenatives etc) 
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2012 at 08:29
Hinduism also thrived in parts of Indonesia, and Bali is still majority Hindu.

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-May-2012 at 20:57
Originally posted by Cywr

Hinduism also thrived in parts of Indonesia, and Bali is still majority Hindu.



My uncle owns a mask from Indonesia similar to this one. What was its purpose? I understand Muslims are forbidden to create images of God, so these masks must now have another, secular function
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2012 at 13:24
Originally posted by Nick1986

My uncle owns a mask from Indonesia similar to this one. What was its purpose? I understand Muslims are forbidden to create images of God, so these masks must now have another, secular function
 
They might still be from a Muslim culture.  Historically, many Indonesians practiced a syncrestic religion that while being mostly Islamic, combined influences from Hindusim and indigenous folk beliefs. Other Indonesian groups such as the (Ambonese, however, fully to coverted to Orthodox Islam very early (AD 650?). 
 
Since the 1970s, however, Orthodox Islam has been gaining rapidly and folk traditions from earlier religions have been suppressed.  The masks might also be from a Christian ethnic group.


Edited by Cryptic - 13-May-2012 at 13:26
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2012 at 19:51
It doesn't look much like a Christian angel or saint, unless it's supposed to a representation of the devil
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2012 at 07:57
Originally posted by Nick1986

It doesn't look much like a Christian angel or saint, unless it's supposed to a representation of the devil
 
It might be a Abrahamic devil representation, but my guess is it is either Hindu or, if Christian or Muslim, it represents a folk religious belief or mythological figure.  Christian Indonesians were pretty syncrestic as well until the last generation or two.
 
  


Edited by Cryptic - 14-May-2012 at 07:59
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2012 at 19:50
Perhaps it was used for secular dances or theatre productions?
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2012 at 00:59
Originally posted by Nick1986

Perhaps it was used for secular dances or theatre productions?
There may not be purely secular dance or theatre productions in traditional Indoesian culture. In a traditional culture, even "secular" stories have a religous spin. 
 
Though it is highly unlikley that the mask were used by Christians or Muslims in formal religous worship, I think it is entirely possible that the masks were used, as you alluded to, in telling folk stories or stories from  Indonesian mythology.   Since Muslim and Christian Indonesians were syncrestic until recently, both groups would have tolerated theatrical performances containing references to Hindu or folk gods, demons etc.
 
Just out of curiosity,
 
-Do the masks show patinas?  ie are there wear marks showing that the masks were actually used, or do they look un-used?
 
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2012 at 19:23
The one from my uncle's house was a souvenir, probably made for the tourist trade. It is quite old, but not very worn
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2012 at 15:56
It looks like a Balinese mask, though it could also be Dayak (I'm guessing its from Bali). Muslim restrictions don't reply there. They were traditionally used during temple dances, but most made these days probably end up being bought by tourists.

Trivia: even though the Dayaks mostly follow their indigenous animist beliefs, due to the weird way religion is integrated into law in Indonesia, they are classified as Hindus.
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  Quote Abudhar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2012 at 09:58

Very interesting article and high profile feed backs from the active members regarding the Largest Muslim Country in the World with more than 200 million Inhabitants....

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2012 at 19:06
It's interesting the Dayaks are tolerated. Islamic societies usually try to get the pagans to convert, either by promoting the benefits of Islam, or taxing other religions. Perhaps the Dayaks' paganism survived due to their remoteness and formidable warriors?
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-May-2012 at 13:32
Well Dayaks are mostly found in Borneo (Kalimantan), Islam in Indonesia was for a long time based mainly around the more cosmopolitan trading ports and spread from there (Sumatra, Java and Ternate in the east). Current law is sort of Malaysia-light, but minority religions are protected so long as they can be classified.

Edited by Cywr - 29-May-2012 at 13:34
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  Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2012 at 11:29
There is no history of Islam in "Indonesia" strictly speaking, unless you limit it to the period after independence. The history of Islam in Southeast Asia properly belongs to the Malay and Malay-Polynesian peoples. I.e., the Malay sultanates and states.  IIRC, the Cambridge History of Southeast Asia covered it fairly well. Also, one must not limit the list of those who introduced Islam to the Malay peoples to Arabs. Muslim Indians were likewise active in the region.

The Cham states in what is today Central Vietnam, were in the process of conversion when the armies of the Nguyen Lords reduced them to vassal status, perhaps explaining the popularity of a new and more militant religion among the Cham. When the Vietnamese expelled the Cham, many fled overseas to Muslim sultanates, which suggests continuing connections through which religious conversion could have spread. If I can find my history on it, I'll post a laundry list of the locations in Malaysia and Indonesia where Cham communities exist today. 
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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2012 at 13:02
Austronesian != Malay
Or are you referring to Malayo-Polenesian language group?
If so that's an odd way to be pedantic as Indonesian probably has the largest number of languages from that group.
Its a bit of a stretch to claim that the Sultates that sprung up all over the Indonesian archipeligo from the 1400s were Malay, as most of them didn't even speak that language (which was ironicly promoted by the Dutch as they felt Dutch was too hard for the locals).



Edited by Cywr - 30-May-2012 at 13:10
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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2012 at 23:16
Originally posted by Nick1986

It's interesting the Dayaks are tolerated. Islamic societies usually try to get the pagans to convert, either by promoting the benefits of Islam, or taxing other religions. Perhaps the Dayaks' paganism survived due to their remoteness and formidable warriors?
 
I think so. In addition, Dayaks and other tribal groups who converted to Christianity would have been generally protected by Dutch authorities.


Edited by Cryptic - 10-Jun-2012 at 23:17
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  Quote sharwina_7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2012 at 12:12
Originally posted by Nick1986

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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2012 at 12:32
Done.
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