Ahmadiyah And Shia Resistance

A’an Suryana (Australian National University)


The Indonesia post-New Order era saw anti-heresy campaign against Ahmadiyah and Shia on the rise. Instead of protecting Ahmadiyah and Shia congregations, the government officials often were complicit to the violent protests perpetrated by the vigilante groups, who demanded the disbandment of the two minority congregations. I found that the local State officials – under the pressure of the vigilante grouping – developed variety of hegemonic instruments and even resorted later to domination to allow for the subaltern groups to conform to beliefs of majority. The social and political stability were the main goal of the local State officials. This paper presents Ahmadiyah and Shia resistance against penetration of power committed against them by the state officials and the vigilante groups. The resistance was performed through the material and moral co-optations. The resistance was effective in Ahmadiyah, in a sense that it undermined the state’s penetration to Ahmadiyah. However, Shia’s resistance faltered due to the absence of material co-optation and less institutional support from the society. Despite the different outcomes, nonetheless the two case studies show that the subordinate minorities were not just merely passive objects of the state oppression, but in contrast to the Gramsci’s theory on hegemony, the minorities were able to demystify the prevailing ideology being penetrated against them by the ruling class. The paper is based on almost three months fieldwork in Manislor, Kuningan regency, West Java province and another four months in East Java province, including Sampang regency of Madura Island in 2013.