Ethnic Chinese make up an estimated 1-2 per cent of Indonesia’s population. Of this group, a tiny minority are Muslim. As such, ethnic Chinese Muslims occupy a unique and significant position where the religious majority intersects with this ethnic minority, which has long assumed a role of economic middleman and been used as political scapegoat. In many ways, Chinese Muslims in Indonesia disturb both their religious and ethnic identity groups. At its best, their position in society serves to highlight the inclusivity and diversity possible within Indonesian nationalism, and at its worst, to expose the undeniable limitations therein.
In this week’s podcast Jemma Purdey explores these issues with Dr Hew Wai Weng, a fellow in the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, National University of Malaysia (UKM). Listen here.