Chinese Muslims in Indonesia (2007-09)


Also published on Saudi Aramco World (USA)

Chinese Muslims have been living in Java and Palembang before the arrival of Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho) in the early 15th century. Since then, they have made contributions in the realms of military, politics and culture. Increasingly, scholars believe that Chinese Muslims had played a role, amongst Muslim foreigners of other ethnicities, in bringing Islam to Java. For many Indonesians today, that seems like a far-fetched idea. And it is not surprising. Their perception has been partly informed by the racial policies of Suharto, which were in turn shaped by the discriminatory policies of the Dutch colonial government. This project aims to unravel the histories of the Chinese Muslims and to understand their current situation in Indonesia.