Ulama, State, and Politics in Myanmar

Naw Lily Kadoe,1* Fatimah Husein2

   1 ICRS (Indonesian Consortium of Religious Studies) Yogyakarta, Indonesia
   2 Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN) Yogyakarta, Indonesia
   * Corresponding Author

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14421/ajis.2015.531.131-158


Issues related to Islam and Myanmar have become world’s attention, especially in relation to the Rohingya refugees who fled the country in the past few months. The 2010 government census stated that Muslim constitutes 3.9% of  the total 53 million population, who are mainly Theravada Buddhists; but some Muslim leaders interviewed in September 2014 argued that the followers of Prophet Muhammad constituted 17%. This paper finds that violent conflicts involving Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine State were caused by complex issues including the historical background of  the coming and development of  Islam in Myanmar and the authoritarian military regime, which did not open paths for dialogue. It is surprising to witness how the concept of  “peace” that is at the heart of  the Buddhist teaching seems to be disappeared in the whole issue of  the conflicts. This paper, however, will not focus on the conflicts themselves but on the role of  ulama during the Myanmar conflict.
[Isu terkait Islam dan Myanmar telah menyita perhatian dunia, khususnya setelah adanya para pengungsi Rohingya yang keluar dari negeri ini beberapa bulan yang lalu. Sensus tahun 2010 yang dilakukan pemerintah menunjukkan bahwa penhanut Islam berjumlah 3,9% dari total 53 juta penduduk yang mayoritas penganut Budha Theravada; namun menurut beberapa tokoh Islam yang diwawancarai pada  September 2014, penganut Islam mencapai 17%. Tulisan ini melihat bahwa konflik kekerasan antara Muslim dan Budha di Provinsi Rakhine dilatarbelakangi persoalan yang cukup komplek, termasuk latar sejarah masuk dan berkembangnya Islam di Myanmar serta rezim militer yang otoriter yang tidak pernah membuka ruang dialog. Satu hal yang cukup mengejutkan adalah konsep “damai” yang menjadi jantung ajaran Budha tampaknya hilang di telan pusaran konflik.Hanya saja, tulisan ini tidak berfokus pada isu konflik itu sendiri, namun lebih menelisik peran ulama dalam konflik Myanmar.]


Myanmar; Rohingya; Islam-Budhism conflict

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