- Complexities of belonging in democratic/democratizing societies: Islamic identity, ethnicity and citizenship in the Netherlands and Aceh
- Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
- Volume | Issue number
- 3 | 29
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
In this paper we will explore the purported tension that lies between one's so-called Islamic identity and the demands of civic identity—seen as proof of "integration"—in liberal democratic societies, and show that the relationship is philosophically and existentially more complex than advocates of the "clash of civilizations" thesis or "democratic Islam" admit. To this end, we will explore the historical experience of two Muslim communities, one very ethnically heterogeneous Muslim minority in the democratic Netherlands, and the other, a more homogeneous ethnic Muslim minority in the province of Aceh in a democratizing Indonesia. We believe such a comparative examination of empirical cases where religious and ethnic differences simultaneously and differentially impact relations between minority Muslim communities and the democratic or democratizing societies they inhabit will offer a more nuanced, and therefore more useful, understanding of the complexities of belonging for Muslims in democratic/democratizing multicultural societies and offer insight into social and educational policies more likely to mitigate rather than exacerbate whatever tensions that may exist.
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