Menchik on Religious Intolerance in Islamic Institutions

Jeremy M. Menchik (Stanford University; University of Wisconsin-Madison) has posted Missionaries, Modernists and the Origins of Intolerance in Islamic Institutions. The abstract follows. –JKH

 Why are some Islamic institutions more tolerant than others? This basic question has far-reaching implications. Islamic movements have considerable sway in the policies of newly democratic Egypt, Tunisia and most other Muslim-majority states. Islamic movements are likewise important for the formation of social trust; recent scholarship suggests that democratization in Muslim counties is more likely to occur when Islamic institutions are able to build networks of cooperation across religious differences, while scapegoating and sectarian polemics between religious groups increases the likelihood of violence. I answer this basic question by focusing on Islamic institutions in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country and one of the most diverse. Using archival material and newly collected survey data, I argue against the notion that theology or ideology shape interethnic relations and show that local politics during the late colonial period explains the policies of contemporary Islamic institutions.

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