Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Marginalization of the Indonesia Millah Abraham Movement
Abdul Rahman

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-23 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


The 1998 reforms that released Indonesia from the New Order militaristic authoritarian political system promised renewal of “common projects” (Ben Anderson). But after two decades of democratization – where the dimension of togetherness has been tried to be upheld – it has not brought this nation closer to the ideal of Indonesianism. The paradox of reform and democratization has not yet been resolved.

Reformation presents a space for contestation of new socio-political forces, which – like the ideological character of any political power – cannot be separated from the tendency to rule or dominate. This tendency has implications for power relations between existing social and political forces. Minor groups are the most vulnerable to exclusion and marginalization, which is neither the intent of democracy itself, nor the spirit of Indonesian nationhood.

This paper is based on the results of a study of one group that was marginalized in the post-New Order process of Indonesian socio-political democratization. A new non-religious spiritual movement based on materialistic collective action, Millah Abraham (MA). The resistance of the MA movement to mainstream cultural devices was responded to through a series of processes of rejection and marginalization by the State and dominant religious groups. Accused of treason and heresy, the manifestation of the MA movement was destroyed without any meaningful opposition.

This paper argues that the rejection and marginalization experienced by the MA group degraded the manifestation of the movement, while at the same time provided strength in what may be called collective emotion (Stodulka), emotion as marginal people.