Understanding Violence Against Muslim Minorities in Indonesia

November 11, 2020
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Jessica Soedirgo is a postdoctoral fellow at the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Studies, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto and her research is motivated by an interest in ethnic and religious conflict, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia.

Soedirgo joined John L. Esposito, founding director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, to discuss why violence against Indonesia’s Muslim minority sects—specifically the Ahmadiyah sect and the Shia sect—unexpectedly emerged and escalated over the past two decades. Demonstrating how the occupation of public space by Muslim minorities was perceived as a challenge to Sunni Muslim dominance and how decentralization reforms incentivized political actors to engage in conflict, this talk identified factors driving Indonesia’s shift towards illiberalism. In doing so, Soedirgo and Esposito spoke to broader concerns about the state of democracy in the world today. Dr. Yuhki Tajima, associate professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, offered his reflections and response to Soedirgo's presentation. 

This event was hosted by Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and co-sponsored by its Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Asian Studies Program.

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