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Jakarta Post

Going beyond tolerance: Accepting diversity

  • Jourdan Hussein

Stanford, California   /   Sat, February 25 2017   /  01:09 am

Growing up Muslim in Indonesia is a privilege. It is not hard to live as a member of the majority, and this can lead us to have a narrowed worldview, usually at the expense of minorities.

Are Muslims and Javanese the majority in Indonesia? Probably. What about Chinese and Christians? Probably the minority. Shiites or Ahmadi? Probably marginalized.

With privilege comes a responsibility to speak up for fairness, against injustice.

Despite being the country with the world’s biggest Muslim population, Indonesia is also home to many religions, tribes, languages and ethnicities. It is not surprising that our wise founding fathers bequeathed us the Pancasila state ideology, and that most of us subsequently learned about tolerance and diversity in our civics textbooks.

Yet, in the 1998-2001 period, Indonesia experienced one of its darkest chapters, with anti-Chin...