Chinese Muslims

Oct 17th, 2008, in IM Posts, by

Cheng HooA minority within a minority, organization and numbers of Chinese Muslims in Java and North Sumatra.

Masjid Lautze 1

In Pecinan, Pasar Baru, Jakarta is located the Masjid Lautze (or Lao Tze), the centre of the Chinese Muslim community in the city, built in 1991, and, perhaps not inappropriately, being located within a ruko commercial complex.

The mosque is run by the Yayasan Haji Karim Oei, which bears the name of businessman/politician Abdul Karim aka Oei Tjen Hien/Tjeng Hien (Haji Abdurkarim), a man from Padang who converted to Islam in 1929 and was thereafter active in Muhammadiyah and Masyumi. The mosque is run by his son, Ali Karim Oei, who claims that in Jakarta City ethnic Chinese make up about 20% of the 8 million population, and of these he estimates that 5% are Muslim.

Abdul Karim Oei Tjeng Hien
Abdul Karim Oei Tjeng Hien.

One reason there is uncertainty over the number of Chinese Muslims, says Ali, is because such people are difficult to keep track of, as they tend to intermarry with other, non-Chinese, Muslims, and thereafter, depending on one's view, lose their distinctive ethnic identity, or gain a new one/become assimilated.

Nationally, according to the Yayasan Persatuan Islam Tionghoa Indonesia (PITI), which was founded in 1961, there are at the least 80,000 Muslim Chinese, while the vast majority of Chinese are Christian or Confucian/Konghucu.

Since 1991 about 1600 people in Jakarta have undergone conversion at the Lautze mosque, one of the most recent of these being Paulus Prasetya, 32 years old, now known as Mohammad Rizqi. He says when he felt called to Islam he sought out the Lautze mosque in Pecinan, and now after converting attends everyday to pray and receive instruction, and says he feels comfortable there because there are many new converts, who similarly lack much knowledge of the faith.

Masjid Lautze 2

The Yayasan Haji Karim Oei also runs "Masjid Lautze 2", in Bandung, West Java, on Jalan Tamblong, built in 1997 and located on the ground floor of a rented ruko/shop front building, measuring only 7 x 6 metres and capable of holding 60 people. During office hours it is used by many non-Chinese who work nearby, while the core, regular attendance is about 20.

Muhammad Sultoni of Masjid Lautze 2 says it is best to be located in a business district because most potential converts are business types, and in any case funds are not available to build a "proper" mosque. [1]

In 2004 a special body was formed at the mosque, called Muallaf Networking, and since that time about 70 new converts have been won, it is said. [2]

Cheng Hoo, Surabaya

The Muslim Chinese community in Surabaya, East Java is centred on the Cheng Hoo mosque, built in 2002. The caretaker of the mosque, Abdul Halim Muhammad, or Li Guang Lin, claims there are something over 6000 [sic] Chinese in Surabaya, and of these 700 are Muslim. The growth of the community there is the most rapid in Indonesia, he says, increasing by 30 new converts every year.

He adds that the Cheng Ho mosque is expressly intended to receive new converts, and keeps away from doctrinal disputes in Islam by having no specific affiliation with any organisation or stream of thought, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, or Shia, or Wahabi.

The penetration of Islam into the Chinese community is felt to have advanced the furthest in East Java as a whole, with PITI's provincial office having 26 branches with 8,000 members, with many members having deep links with Nahdlatul Ulama, some of them occupying senior positions within it.

Medan

Chinese Muslims in the North Sumatra capital are grouped under the Himpunan Pembauran Muslim Tionghoa Indonesia (HPMTI), founded in 1983 by a Mrs Maimunah/Maemunah, and separate from PITI.

According to HPMTI there are about 1,000 Muslim families out of 460,000 Chinese in the city. Head of the organisation, Nuraini aka Wong Sueng, says it is difficult to attract converts because Islam is cursed with a stigma of being violent and threatening, and because families will fiercely resist if one member desires to enter Islam.

She adds, possibly ruefully, that many of her members are still attached to traditional non-Islamic customs, such as visiting ancestors' tombs/remains at the Festival of the Tombs time (Cheng Beng), but adds that they do not participate in prayers or light candles or joss sticks. [3]


75 Comments on “Chinese Muslims”

Pages: [1] 2 3 »

  1. avatar DXP says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    So what? To me, those chinese ‘looking’ minority in minority as muslim are no longer chinese, they are Indonesian, it is good to them to make their own choice without under any threat, it is their right full stop.

    My bottom line question, if you are chinese muslim with ‘chinese looking’ face & skin, will you be exempted by public racial harrassment?
    Will your son / doughter be equally accepted to enroll in gov’t universities enrollment / process selection?
    Will your KTP / identity card number be the same?

  2. avatar Andy says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Good point DXP, I imagine no. Bules who convert are hardly given higher legal status either and although the average Joe muslim will slap em on the back and welcome them to the brotherhod, they will still at the end of the day be Chinese.

    The interesting thing is there are quite a few Chinese Muslims in mainland China and they predate those in Indonesia. The ones in Indonesia are not part of this group though. They would have converted for marriage just like the bule who do so. I can’t understand or stomach this myself. They should be true to their convictions and not go down this dark road.

  3. avatar djoko says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    The interesting thing is there are quite a few Chinese Muslims in mainland China and they predate those in Indonesia. The ones in Indonesia are not part of this group though. They would have converted for marriage just like the bule who do so. I can’t understand or stomach this myself. They should be true to their convictions and not go down this dark road.

    Is it at all possible at least some have converted because they, *ahem* wanted to?

    Do you have any axe left to grind andy, or just down to the handle now?

  4. avatar Andy says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Is it at all possible at least some have converted because they, *ahem* wanted to?

    I doubt it. Why would anyone want to choose a life of 1. no alcohol 2. no pork 3. fasting 4. waking up at 4am to pray 5. praying at times that may not suit them
    Oh well, then you could be the Indonesian version and choose which parts you like, discard the rest and still condemn the rest of the non muslim world for not being mmm like them. I guess then you get the best of both worlds. Sounds good but then ah yes…chinese and bules still can’t be pribumi (of the javanese muslim kind) right?

  5. avatar Andy says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Oh yeah, still got a bit of blade yet matey…..nice doggy!!

  6. avatar barry prima says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    To me, those chinese ‘looking’ minority in minority as muslim are no longer chinese?

    The absurdity is that worshiping a blond haried blue eyed white god,still qualifies you in the eyes of the chinese as tionghoa?

    I doubt it. Why would anyone want to choose a life of 1. no alcohol 2. no pork 3. fasting 4. waking up at 4am to pray 5. praying at times that may not suit them.

    Because they are not you and don’t see the world as you do, I hope that’s not too much of mental leap of the imagination for you to make.

    Oh well, then you could be the Indonesian version and choose which parts you like, discard the rest and still condemn the rest of the non muslim world for not being mmm like them.

    And why not, as long as you can use the diversity within islamic theology and mysticism to substantiate it. Didn’t muhammed say there are as many ways to god as there are human beings?

    Chinese and bules still can’t be pribumi (of the javanese muslim kind) right?

    Pribumi is an ethnic term, not a religious one, and one that for that matter, is invalid due to the historical ethnic complexity of the Malay peninsula. A pribumi can be christian, buddhist, kejawen or whatever, their feeling for the chinese will pretty much still be the same.

    Any more islamic bogeyman for you to blame the world’s ills on?

  7. avatar sputjam says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Best to believe in God and do good and righteous deeds. no need to pray/worship, build houses of worship, appoint imams/preachers and do rituals which are a waste of time. God has no wants from us. He is after all, The sustainer. He gives, we take.
    The religion of islam is an ancient arab religion that promotes stone worship. Prophet Mohamed tried, but failed to eliminate this religion in arabia. Only muslims cannot see their pagan ways, although it is shown on TV during the haj.
    There is no instruction on prayers in the koran. No instruction to build mosques. The best person in the eye of God are those who have faith in God and do good deeds and are righteous. Anyone people of the muslim faith who disagree with me, show some proof that I am lying.
    God’s instruction is simple. Don’t blindly follow the leader. Use your own God given brain and common sense. Muslims are addicted to Imams and their sermons/religious edicts.

  8. avatar timdog says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Hmmmm….

    There are indeed “quite a few” Chinese Muslims in mainland China. In fact there are millions and millions of them (and it is sometimes claimed – though I don’t see how you can quantify accurately – that Islam is the largest “active” religion in China, ie, the religion with the largest number of adherents who worship regularly). Obviously there are the ethnically non-Chinese people of Xinjiang (who suffer an almost identical situation to the Tibetans by the way, but don’t have the publishing and television phenomenom of the Dalai Lama to raise their profile). But there are also many, many ethnically Chinese Hui Muslims. There are lots in the Tibetan borderlands of Gansu and Qinghai, and Muslims have been a major presence in Yunnan for a very long time).

    Actually, there have certainly also been Chinese Muslims in – and visiting – Indonesia for a lot longer than there have been Chinese Christians. er… Cheng Hoo anyone?
    There’s also a very high likelihood (not liked by a lot of “pribumis”) that Chinese Muslims played a major – or even dominant – role in the initial introduction of Islam to Java. There is a theory – a highly controversial and generally ignored theory – that Sunan Ampel, one of the most important of the Wali Songo, was, rather than half-Cham-half-Arab, a Chinese Muslim…
    Chinese would without question been a significant presence among the earliest Muslim communities of the pasisir ports of North Java.

    The key point is, that to a large extent, these early Chinese Muslims probably disappeared into the “melting pot” of cities of the coast, marrying into local populations – though distinctly Chinese Muslims have certainly always existed in smaller numbers…

    Andy, a very large chunk of the Chinese Christians in Indonesia could be said to have converted largely for pragmatic reasons – probably far more so than the occasional modern Chinese Indonesian convert to Islam (who are anyway, as laid out above, entering a long-established, though little-known, tradition in Indonesia)… Were they too following a “dark path” that you “cannot stomach”?

  9. avatar barry prima says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Tim dog your apology for islam,ignores the crucial fact that muslims in china are almost all ethnic minorities and not han chinese, which is a very significant difference.

    When people say chinese, it means for the most part han chinese.The hui are argubaly part han chinese stock, but have assumed an identity that is seperate and distinct from the han. In fact their apparent difference from, the han is often their unifying point.

    I understand too well the complexity of reconciling chinesism with ISlamism….its an almost insurmountable task…
    It can be done…and is more likely in the future..in the west. A lot of chinese have lost touch with their culture, and are estranged from chinese traditions and practise. A lot are becoming christians, to fill the vaccum.
    Islam may have a place amongst chinese, but it will only take root when chinese people are placed in position where they are free to choose their identity outside of cultural and family pressure.

    Traditional chinese identity is fairing less well than Islam in western societies, which is a sign of where things might go in the future.

  10. avatar timdog says:
    October 17th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    barry prima – wasn’t aware that I was “apologising” for anything – I didn’t intend it to be that way.
    Hui generally speak “Chinese” dialects (as opposed to Turkic ones); they are recognised as an ethnic group, but aren’t.

    … have assumed an identity that is seperate and distinct from the han. In fact their apparent difference from, the han is often their unifying point

    er… yes, that “distinct identity” will be Islam, and… er… their “apparent difference”? That would be Islam too, wouldn’t it? Which, obviously, would be their “unifying point”…
    Basically, Hui are any Muslims in China who speak an essentially “Chinese” dialect and are, at least in some respect, ethnically “Chinese”. Others are Turkic people.

    I’m afraid I can’t make much sense out of the rest of your post.

  11. avatar barry prima says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 1:16 am

    In fact their apparent difference from, the han is often their unifying point.

    The point I am making is that huis stress their non chineseness to such an extent it again brings us back to the question of islamic compatibility with chinese culture?

    There’s also a very high likelihood (not liked by a lot of “pribumis”) that Chinese Muslims played a major – or even dominant – role in the initial introduction of Islam to Java

    Can’t say I’ve heard that..most of the teachers I’ve met (although admittedly some were of chinese stock themselves, were keen to emphasise the chinese ethnicity of the wali more than anything) I haven’t really come across much javanese resistance to this idea…is that an assumption on your part…? The chinese are more reluctant to accept this than the pribumis. A muslim chinese..no lah cannot be!

    The rest of my post IS basically about the possibilities for islam amongst chinese people in the future, just progressing on the theme of can chinese be muslim?

    Personally I think yes, but perhaps that meeting point is so far in the religious stratosphere, very few people will ever get to it. A good book is Toshihiko izutsu:islam and taoism (a comparative study of ibn arabi and lao tzu) and chinese gleams of sufi light (sachiko murata)

    In Indonesia its difficult, chinese are forced even more inward, in the same way a lot of muslims are in western countries. There is a kind of parallel with muslims in england. A chinese girl from a strong chinese family marrying a pribumi would get the same resentment as muslim girl would marrying a White man in england.
    I haven’t seen the kind of islamic orthodxy I have seen in england, anywhere else in the western world!

  12. avatar Cukurungan says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Best to believe in God and do good and righteous deeds. no need to pray/worship, build houses of worship, appoint imams/preachers and do rituals which are a waste of time. God has no wants from us. He is after all, The sustainer. He gives, we take.
    The religion of islam is an ancient arab religion that promotes stone worship. Prophet Mohamed tried, but failed to eliminate this religion in arabia. Only muslims cannot see their pagan ways, although it is shown on TV during the haj.
    There is no instruction on prayers in the koran. No instruction to build mosques. The best person in the eye of God are those who have faith in God and do good deeds and are righteous. Anyone people of the muslim faith who disagree with me, show some proof that I am lying.
    God’s instruction is simple. Don’t blindly follow the leader. Use your own God given brain and common sense. Muslims are addicted to Imams and their sermons/religious edicts.

    He he he I have seen more than 100 times posting like this ..oh oh capek deh…you should learn to Misteer Andy how to make inteligent posting

    Bules who convert are hardly given higher legal status either and although the average Joe muslim will slap em on the back and welcome them to the brotherhod, they will still at the end of the day be Chinese.

    My friend… Trust me once you convert we will never abandon you anymore because you are not only my special internet friend but you become my brother in cause. Believe me if Al-qaeda have been giving the special rank for a Jew like him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Yahiye_Gadahn
    I do not promise but I will ask JI leader to assign you as Australia Caliphate.

  13. avatar Andy says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Andy, a very large chunk of the Chinese Christians in Indonesia could be said to have converted largely for pragmatic reasons – probably far more so than the occasional modern Chinese Indonesian convert to Islam (who are anyway, as laid out above, entering a long-established, though little-known, tradition in Indonesia)… Were they too following a “dark path” that you “cannot stomach”?

    mmm yep, but they did so because Chinese were persecuted during the days of the New Order regime. They probably converted to either Christianity or Islam to ‘fit in’ more with the pribumi. See christianity is widely accepted by a lot of muslims for being one of the ‘holy books’ with muslim prophets. For most chinese i’ve met they find christianity more palatable than Islam. Buddhism and Confuscianism on the other hand were like putting a target on your back saying ‘kick me i’m cina man’.
    No, i’d have rather the chinese kept their old religions, old names, language and celebrated Chinese New Year freely as they would if they migrated elsewhere. For this I thank former President Gus Dur, one of Indonesia’s finest presidents.

  14. avatar barry prima says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    He he he I have seen more than 100 times posting like this.

    Yes sputjam, your hollow attempts at shock and awe, or feigning an idiots wisdom ala al hallaj and siti jenar are not very original. If you really want to spark a fire with muslims, don’t insult muslims themselves, why don’t you insult Allah and the prophet himself …….go on I dare you.

  15. avatar sputjam says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Too bad some of you thought that I was insulting islam. I was merely telling you that the religion is almost entirely man invented. that is why nobody can come up with instructions from the koran on ritual worship. And where did the imams come from? were they appointed by the Creator? If not, why the emphasis on listening and appointing imams as head of religion?
    I pity those chinese muslims. they would have been fine if they had indulge in the teachings of confucious, which makes more sense.In fact confucianism and the message in the koran is almost similar except on the absence of God. But that could have been obliterated during the reign of shih huang ti, who was considered the son of God (or heaven).

  16. avatar Barry prima says:
    October 18th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Of course you are not insulting Islam, you’re not smart enough to do so. You are even so dumb as to try and spell out what your true intentions were in case it didn’t occur to us muslims?
    Your polemic is a poor version of Pak Aluang’s, that man is quite good actually.

    The indonesian word for god tuhan is chinese tao and han….earth and sky.. the opposite is hantu..tuhan:reality hantu:illusion.

    Have you ever read the doctrine of the mean?
    Confucius concept of will of heaven, is god in non theisitc terms…god or tien is such a self evident concept in the mind of confucius that confucians did not feel the need to emphasise it in contrast to anything else…

    Chinese muslims do not need you pity…

  17. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 2:23 am

    There are almsot nil CHinese Muslims. Surabaya is a city of 7+ million. The largest city of Central Java.

    6000 Chinese Mulsims who still do the Ben Cong or Cengeng whatever gibberish it’s called?
    A huge population of 0.09% of all Surabaya.

    Where was the Brritish General Mallaby killed?
    On the Red Bridge- the only entrance to and from the CHinatown,
    opposite his headquarters.

    Where were the BRitish headquartered during the Revolution?
    Just opposite the safest part of town for the Colonials- Chinatown

    Who were the best informants and spies of the British and Dutch? The Surabayan Red Cross- entirely Chinese membership.

    The guady, tacky “garing” klengteng silliness are all was meant to be destroyed- pusruant to locals’ democratic wishes- but once again the highly hatefully disrepsctful CHinese refuse to obey government laws.
    The made-up nonsense shrine about Zheng He is now one of the highest priorty targets for Muslim lunatics to destroy- as well as all Chiense temples in Central Java.

    Chinese who do convert to Ilsam do so for these reasons:
    money
    economic gain
    status
    Gengsi
    greed
    money
    occasionally marriage into a warelthy or powerful pribumi family almost a rule- the woman).

    Conversion offers money and business opportunities previously unavailable to them.
    It also is a handy means of anus licking hard line Muslim military and bureacrats to gain money and gengsi

    Diamond Hotel in Solo run by the criminal fugitive owner of Sritex, a Chinese- hosts nightly huge banquests for the local police and military.
    The Chinese line up, jostling to form ques to kiss the hands in “saleman” of the brig-jens, Bupatens, etc

    I personally know the leader of the Surakarta Chinese-Muslim association- a former military man.
    He is sadly sxuffering a slow deathh from stroke- but his thrid wife and former mistress is a CHinese, who converted to Islam. He spoke openly and frequently about his disappointment and lack of enthusiams from either the CHiense community and the Javanese for attracting Chinese converts.
    He is completely ostracised from his family for marrying a Chinese- even his sons refuse to see him as he dies. entral Javanese, have a very long memoy of Chiense exploitation, predation, usury and collaboration.

  18. avatar David says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    There are almsot nil CHinese Muslims. Surabaya is a city of 7+ million. The largest city of Central Java.

    6000 Chinese Mulsims who still do the Ben Cong or Cengeng whatever gibberish it’s called?
    A huge population of 0.09% of all Surabaya.

    Purba, the quality of your posts is deteriorating… but glad somebody actually showed signs of reading the article, but….Surabaya is in East Java not Central, and I did put the 6,000 number for Chinese in Surabaya with sic because I assumed it a typo in the original Gatra article, plus it refers to total numbers of Chinese not numbers of Chinese muslims. A quick Google search “penduduk tionghoa surabaya” – some results, -

    in 1920 Chinese numbers were 18,020 according to Dutch census…
    in 2005 according to Dinas Kependudukan dan Catatan Sipil Chinese were 17,52% or 374.000 people from 2,7 million total, plus 9,92% or 211.000 who didn’t have proper paperwork….

    So anyway upshot is that the 6,000 number is wildly wrong and that the Muslim proportion (700) of these people is just minuscule, I wonder as you so often point out, the fact that most of these Chinese are of southern China origin has anything to do with it.

  19. avatar Cukurungan says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 8:58 am

    And where did the imams come from? were they appointed by the Creator? If not, why the emphasis on listening and appointing imams as head of religion?

    Where did you come from? Do you have license from God to convey his message? If not, why we have to listen something that come out from a person who never achieve anything in his life?

  20. avatar timdog says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Patung – a figure of 10% is sometimes suggested as the Chinese population of Surabaya these days. It’s pure educated guesswork though, based on religious affiliation and a stab-in-the-dark at how many of the Christians are “pribumi” (and obviously doesn’t count any Chinese Muslims). But if it’s even in the ball park I would guess Chinese Muslims probably total several tens of thousands.

    Purba Negoro – oh dear, oh deary me…
    Yes, the famous CENTRAL Java city of Surabaya… which has a population of under 3 million (though 7 million is an approximation for the population of “greater Surabaya”, including Gresik and Sidoarjo).

    Where were the BRitish headquartered during the Revolution?
    Just opposite the safest part of town for the Colonials- Chinatown

    This is absolute rot.
    The British were headquartered in the Colonial district of the city – for obvious reasons. This area lies on the west bank of the river. The Chinese quarter happens to be on the opposite side, not because of a desire for proximity, but because in the early days of the city’s development as a Dutch port the Chinese were confined to an area seperate and at arm’s length from the Dutch, with a stretch of water between them (Surabaya was pretty small at that stage; the districts may seem close together today, but it’s all relative).
    Chinatown evidentlly wasn’t “the safest part of town” for the British.

    Here’s an interesting thing; when the British finally managed to advance through Surabaya, they smashed everything up, essentially vindictively. They smashed up Chinatown too. The one area that survived intact was the Ampel district, the Arab Quarter (north of Chinatown). This area survived because the Arabs (lickspittles?) negotiated with the British to have their quarter left undamaged…

    Barry Prima:

    Can’t say I’ve heard that..most of the teachers I’ve met (although admittedly some were of chinese stock themselves, were keen to emphasise the chinese ethnicity of the wali more than anything) I haven’t really come across much javanese resistance to this idea…is that an assumption on your part…?

    Well, take a look at Purba Negoro for a start.
    Were keen to emphasise the chinese ethnicity of the wali????!??
    In the 1960s manuscript evidence was produced by historians that suggested that Chinese Muslims played a key part in the Islamisation of Java, and that some of the Walis, including Sunan Ampel, were Chinese.
    This wen’t down very badly with “pribumis” and an decree from the ministry of religion stated that all claims of Chinese involvement in the Islamisation of Java were false…
    Just go out onto the street and ask your average Javanese if it’s true that the first Muslims in Java were Chinese…

    I’m afraid I find it near impossible to follow the thread of the rest of you arguments – I can’t quite make out whether you are attacking or defending the Chinese…

  21. avatar Barry Prima says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I can’t quite make out whether you are attacking or defending the Chinese…

    I don’t need to take such a black and white stance…that would only expose me as ignorant and half developed wouldn’t it!
    I am struggling with my loyalties on both sides in this respect, as well as the added problem of being born and living for the most of my life in the west. I’m trying to place the issue of chinese and Islam squarely in the field of self identity, where it really should be, rather than talking about regulations, statistics and who owns what building.

    Speaking from personal experience and asking the man on the street (well not literally) I never came across much resistance to that idea..having read some literature from Indoneisan authors too, it wasn’t something they were particular insistent on denying either..I wasn’t questioning your statement, merely asking for what your references are in order to compare them to my own.

    For example if you go to masjid Kamping in Glodok, the tomb in the mosque is proudly acknowledged as being that of a chinese muslim, by these staunch orthodox muslims.

    This wen’t down very badly with “pribumis” and an decree from the ministry of religion stated that all claims of Chinese involvement in the Islamisation of Java were false…

    This didn’t go down well with the Suharto regime more accurately, when their anti chinese progom was as its strongest. The average Javanese (inherently allergic and mistrusting of the chinese as he is, in the same way that the bule is of islam) doesn’t really care if it was the chinese or the martians who bought islam to Indonesia. That is something that happened along time ago, and does not in any way effect their every day relationship to the chinese. Indonesians don’t like Saudi Arabs very much either, but doesn’t stop them being staunch muslims.

    Well, take a look at Purba Negoro for a start.

    Although I do find myself awe struck at times by Purbo’s quick wit and turn of phrase, his continued insistence on blaming the chinese man for all Indonesian ills is ultimately very self defeating. Treating them as always the other is not only impractical it is contrary to the basic human feeling of empathy.

    I know Javanese argue that the chinese are not human and empathetic themselves, but that’s not necessarily true, you just have to dig a lot deeper, in the same way Bules have to dig a lot deeper, before they get past the superficial understanding of the javanese.

    I disagree with you on a lot of things evidently dog, and wonder why my response to you in the fitna section, remains unpublished, but I can see you are at least making an effort to understand things from a basis of compassion, it’s unfortunate most people can’t.

  22. avatar David says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    and wonder why my response to you in the fitna section, remains unpublished

    When you write very long posts I can’t be bothered fixing up all your gibberish so I just delete it. Like I said on the Atheist page, learn typing and rudimentary punctuation and spelling skills, then your comments won’t even be pre-moderated, will go straight through, and I don’t care what you say, within reason.

  23. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 19th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    barry prima said:

    but I can see you are at least making an effort to understand things from a basis of compassion, it’s unfortunate most people can’t.

    That would include you, given the following quotes of your comments of recent in various threads:

    You are indeed traitors and ideological whores.

    Of course you are not insulting Islam, you’re not smart enough to do so. You are even so dumb as to try and spell out what your true intentions were in case it didn’t occur to us muslims?

    Too much surf and you will soon be indistinguishable from a Javanese peasant who works the rice fields.

    You can agree or disagree with opinions here but as far as I know rima fauzi and sputjam never personally insulted people here and the lomboksurfer is just what he is, a surfer dude and his comments brought a light smile on my face. Furthermore these people are crystal clear on their positions and outlook. You, on the other hand in the Fitna thread:

    I am not revert/convert to anything, I only pose as a muslim in certain circumstances out of an instinctive need to champion the cause of the underdog.

    Unfortunately you use questionable tactics to try and fool us all around here and to teach us lessons. Why not showing the guts to show your true background and colors
    here and then perhaps people will take your comments seriously? :-)

  24. avatar timdog says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Barry P, this time I can’t make out if you’re attacking Javanese or defending them…

    Speaking from personal experience and asking the man on the street (well not literally)

    Ah, I see Mr Barry Prima, how then could one ask “the man on the street” if not “literally”? By not asking at all perhaps? By guessing in one’s ethereal wisdom?

    Speaking for myself, I spend a good deal of time discussing issues of history and identity with “the man on the street”, on this very topic and many others. I have spent many, many, many hours over a long period prodding around the issues of popular perception of the identity of Sunan Ampel in the district that bears his name, talking about the matter with – wait for it – “the man on the street” (and the man in the becak, and the warung, and the shop and the graveyard). There’s a high degree of fluidity in ideas about the exact identity of all of the Wali, but ask if he was Chinese, and 9 times out of ten you get a very emphatic response: beyond the realms of possibility, they say.

    I’ve spent time discussing Sunan Giri in the vicinity of his tomb; and lesser-known holy-men in Lombok and Madura, all with “men on the street”.
    Maybe you should get out and meet some of them Barry…

    The average Javanese… doesn’t really care if it was the chinese or the martians who bought islam to Indonesia. That is something that happened along time ago… Bules have to dig a lot deeper, before they get past the superficial understanding of the javanese

    Indeed they do Barry P, and those who do will generally notice that the identity of “founding fathers” and ancestors, very often crystalised in the mythologised person of the originator of Islam in a particular area or community, are fundamentally important to a lot of traditional Javanese identity.

    but I can see you are at least making an effort to understand things from a basis of compassion

    While I am not “inherently allergic and mistrusting” of Muslims, Javanese, Chinese or bules, but I am inherently allergic to being patronised by people who appear to know less than they think they do…

  25. avatar Barry Prima says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Barry P, this time I can’t make out if you’re attacking Javanese or defending them…

    Do I have to be either this or that, to fit into the little box, that you have bought off the shelf from the supermarket of anthropology?

    I do no go around asking the javanese bacak driver his word on the street’ as I am javanese enough to know he will not tell you what he really thinks. My observations are based on javanese peoples opinions when they are being javanese amongst their own kind, not being javanese to a foreigner, and acting like a foreign intellectual.

    While I am not “inherently allergic and mistrusting” of Muslims, Javanese.

    Don’t take my pinch of salt statement as absolute…do you find it impossible to be anything other than the same thing all the time? Despite all your attempts at trying to get to know the javanese soul you don’t seem to understand its defining quality is its shadowiness:

    Here’s another bit of pop culture wisdom for you:
    `I learnt something new today, black and white is always grey’ (husker Du)

  26. avatar Barry Prima says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 2:27 am

    I am inherently allergic to being patronised by people who appear to know less than they think they do

    I’m not the one who feels the need to start hugh threads of anthro apologetics, to let others know about how vast my knowledge is. I imagine the surf must be very flat where you are, that is why the only waves you seem to be catching are in cyber space, judging by the amount of time you spend posting here.

    I can just imagine what your next chapter in anthropology might be: When they say jump, you say how high : A History of Stone Jumping in Nias.

    I am also not the who in a remarkable display of critical analysis, calls someone I don’t agree with or understand as “confused very confused” in an attempt to side with the in crowd.

    Maybe I am inherently too trusting of the intelligence of the clever, witted masters of irony the english, in expecting they will understand that a white horse is not always a white horse, especially on the occasion when I have to say very clearly it is indeed a white horse.

    I am not revert/convert to anything, I only pose as a muslim in certain circumstances out of an instinctive need to champion the cause of the underdog.

    The fact that I qualified that statement with quote from an ulema and islamic mystic, did not unfortunately help you to read between the lines.

    Too much surf and you will soon be indistinguishable from a Javanese peasant who works the rice fields.

    Can an working class englishman also not joke about chavs in your pc world? That is an ironic refernce to Javanese obsession with black and white skin, and the emphaiss placed by cewek on pale faces as a measure of attractivness. Made as it was in the context of lombok bras obsessing about his own attractivness.

    Or is the Javanese not allowed to laugh at themselves or be laughed at by others??

  27. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    [no copy-paste thanks - admin]

    http://www.eastjava.com/tourism/surabaya/red-bridge.html
    http://www.eastjava.com/tourism/surabaya/red-bridge2.html

  28. avatar janma says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Clicked on your link PN….

    embatan Merah (Red Bridge) Area was a trade area that grows as the consequence of Paku Buwono II Agreement from Mataram with VOC by 11 Novembers 1743. In that agreement some of north coast areas, include Surabaya, delivered his domination to VOC. After that, Surabaya resided fully in Dutch power.

    Turns out it was a priyayi lickspittle that time that sold y’all down the river hey….

  29. avatar janma says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    oh yes…. and there was another link from the page you linked us to…

    http://www.eastjava.com/tourism/surabaya/chenghoo-mosque.html
    Totally weird really, since as you so adroitly attested earlier…

    There are almsot nil CHinese Muslims. Surabaya is a city of 7+ million. The largest city of (Central) Java.

    kinda makes you wonder what they use the mosque for hey poppet? Maybe they breed burung walet in there….

  30. avatar timdog says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    PN – I have no idea whatsoever what your links are supposed to prove, other than the fact that the Jatim tourist board need to get someone (me, perhaps) to re-write their English language promotional material.

    Simple facts are as follow: the oldest identifiable point in Surabaya is the Ampel mosque; the place first appears as a settlement as a Majapahit entrepot in the 14th Century, then as a rebelious statelet within Mataram but generally (like the Madurese fiefdoms) not respecting Mataram sovereignty very much.
    It was ceded to the Dutch in the late 17th Century and continued to develop as a port.
    The main Chinese settlement in the area was originally at Gresik, although as Surabaya grew in the 18th Century Chinese traders began to arrive. The Dutch settlemt had already begun to develop on the west bank of the Kalimas (around the area where JMP is today); a little way to the Northeast on the other side were Kampungs recorded as “Malay” (ie non-Javanese Muslims) around Ampel; to the south were various small and growing Javanese settlements. The port – ie. the main centre of commerce – was strung along the river.
    The Dutch severly restricted the Chinese, and permitted them to settle only in a limited area – distinctly separate from Dutch, Malays and Javanese – on the east bank of the river (along Jl Karet just to the south of Jembatan Merah today – there are still some very old clan houses and a temple here). They were not permitted to live or to own business or property outside of this area until the second decade of the 20th Century.

    Obviously when the British arrived in Surabaya they were based in the colonial district. They destroyed much of Chinatown when they retook the city.
    Wis…

    Barry P – are you now claiming to be Javanese? Or is it a working class Englishman who is “sufficiently Javanese” to know that “all Javanese are liars”? Because it sounds like old-school superior bule-arrogance a lot of the time – with a twist, of course: “I say old chap, another chotta peg, what! What you have to understand about these people is that they’ll never tell a white man the truth, what! Shadowy little buggers I’ll say, not that they don’t yield to to a bit of white discipline eventually. I know the asiatic character well! I say! Boy! Where’s my peg? Allah uh akbar!”

    Confused and confusing. Perhaps it would be illuminating to everyone here if you spell out in simple terms just what exactly you are – or are you trying to be all “shadowy” and Javanese?

Pages: [1] 2 3 »



Your view on “Chinese Muslims” :


RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-14
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact