- Religion & Politics in Southeast Asia, with Nava Nuraniyah
Nava Nuraniyah, an analyst at the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) in Jakarta, Indonesia, speaks with Senior Fellow Devin Stewart about the recent general election in Indonesia, social media and religious extremism in Southeast Asia, and the future direction of the region's politics.
- Indonesia's General Election, with Marcus Mietzner
Marcus Mietzner of Australian National University speaks with Senior Fellow Devin Stewart about the results of the general election last month in Indonesia, one that has been called "the most complicated single-day ballots in global history." Mietzner explains the various forces shaping Indonesian politics today and in the future, including demographics, Islam, identity, and societal polarization.
- Global Ethics Weekly: Citizenship, Social Media, & the Indian Election, with Kavitha Rajagopalan
Senior Fellow Kavitha Rajagopalan discusses the ongoing Indian election through the complicated lens of citizenship and explains the vast power of political organizing and social media in the "world's largest democracy." What's at stake if Prime Minister Narendra Modi (the frontrunner) wins reelection? How have he and the BJP been able to push Hindu nationalism? What does voter disenfranchisement look like in India?
- Myanmar and the Plight of the Rohingya, with Elliott Prasse-Freeman
The Rohingya are seen as fundamentally 'other,' says Prasse-Freeman. "Hence, even if they have formal citizenship, they wouldn't really be accepted as citizens, as full members of the polity." Could Aung San Suu Kyi have done more to prevent the persecution? How important was the hate speech on Facebook? How can the situation be resolved? Don't miss this informative and troubling conversation.
- Mass Detentions in Xinjiang, China, with Francisco Bencosme
According to a recent Amnesty International Report, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region are the targets of surveillance, arbitrary detention, and forced indoctrination by the Chinese government. Up to 1 million Uyghurs have been detained, says Amnesty's Francisco Bencosme. There are parallels with the Rohingya crisis, yet there has been far less international outcry.
- Meth Fiefdoms, Rebel Hideouts, & Bomb-Scarred Party Towns of Southeast Asia, with Patrick Winn
From the world's largest meth trade in Myanmar to "Pyongyang's dancing queens," "neon jihad," and much more, Bangkok-based author Patrick Winn takes us on a tour of the underbelly of Southeast Asia. The region's criminal underworld is valued at $100 billion and in the next decade it's going to hit $375 billion, bigger than many of these country's GDPs, he says. These stories need to be told.
- Malaysian & Indonesian Elections, with Meredith Weiss & Jeremy Menchik
This fascinating conversation begins with a discussion of the critical importance of Southeast Asia, including the rise of China and its ambitions in the region. Then Professor Weiss focuses on Malaysia and the return of the formidable 93-year old Mahathir as prime minister. Next, Professor Menchik discusses the complex situation in Indonesia--a country with 17,000 islands and 300-plus ethnic groups--and the upcoming elections there.
- The French Far Right in Russia's Orbit
"Far-right groups in France are not restricted to the party of the Le Pen family. They are diverse, operate through networks, and are now well within Russia's force field. But this is not only the result of Vladimir Putin's charisma or Marine Le Pen's need for funds. The Russian question has drawn French nationalist activists into combat, both at the rhetorical level...and at the level of armed combat."
- "Why Terrorists Quit" in Indonesia, with Julie Chernov Hwang
Over six years, Julie Chernov Hwang conducted over 100 interviews with current and former leaders and followers of radical Islamist groups in Indonesia to find out why some terrorists finally quit. What did she learn? The key is life skills training, family and community support, and personal development, she says. "If you are going to focus on deradicalization, focus it narrowly on use of violence. Don't try to overhaul someone's worldview."
- Normalizing Intolerance in Indonesia, with Sandra Hamid
"Indonesian civil societies and academics are very good at collecting cases of discrimination," says Sandra Hamid, author of "Normalizing Intolerance." "But what we don't have is the ethnography of the everyday life of discrimination, things that are not necessarily discrimination with a capital D; this is like your daily experience." Today we see myriad examples of the gradual normalization of belittling and isolating non-Muslims.
- Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam, with Tom Pepinksy
Are there differences in political, social, and economic attitudes among Indonesians--and Indonesian Muslims in particular--based on their levels of religious piety? Intriguingly, Tom Pepinsky and his fellow researchers found that the answer is no; piety is not the deciding factor. Pepinsky also examines Indonesia's approach toward minority rights, which he defines as tolerance for group rights but not for individual rights.
- Is Indonesia Becoming Like Pakistan? with Andreas Harsono
The maximum penalty for blasphemy in Pakistan is death, and public protest is not allowed. Indonesia is nowhere near as bad as this--yet. "Indonesia is now going down the Pakistan route," says Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch. "There are more and more political manipulations using the blasphemy law, and there are more and more discriminatory regulations against minorities in Indonesia."
- Articles Resulting from Carnegie Council Religion and Tolerance Research Delegation to Indonesia, October 2017
In October 2017, Carnegie Council's Asia Dialogues program led a group of 12 Pacific Delegates from seven countries and a diverse set of professional backgrounds to Indonesia. Amid growing Islamophobia and populism in Europe and the United States, a more complete picture of Islam is crucial, and as the world's largest Muslim nation, Indonesia has the potential to shape the way the world's fastest growing and most contentious religion is perceived worldwide.
- Iran: A Modern History, with Abbas Amanat
There are few countries in the world that are more misrepresented in the West than Iran. By exploring the imperial rivalries that played out there, the dynastic changes and revolutions, the population explosion, the role of religion, and Iran's relations with other nations in the Middle East, Abbas Amanat provides a context that helps us to demystify present-day Iran, one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East.
- Moral Leadership Missing in Burma, with Ambassador Derek Mitchell
Former ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell examines the complex situation there, including the roots of the ongoing Rohingya crisis and China's influence there. Aung San Suu Kyi is not providing the necessary leadership, he says--despite her constraints she should be speaking out about the Rohingya and about free speech, for example. Nevertheless, she has been given too much flak, and this has become counterproductive.
- Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly with Safwan M. Masri
Did you know that Tunisia started championing women's rights in the eighth century, and is still far ahead of most Arab and Muslim-majority countries? Indeed Tunisia's trajectory on many fronts has been radically more progressive than that of other Arab nations. So while it it may serve as an inspiration, its unique history probably makes its success impossible to duplicate, says Safwan Masri.
- Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time, with David Miliband
Today there are 65 million people who have fled their homes because of conflict or persecution, says the International Rescue Committee's David Miliband. These are refugees not economic migrants, and half of them are children. It's a long-term crisis that will last our lifetimes. Why should we care? And what can we do about it, both at a policy level and as individuals?
- Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy, with Haroon Ullah
Despite defeats like Mosul and Raqqa, ISIS and other extremist groups are thriving, says Ullah. For them, the most important battlefield is not the physical one but the information one, and there they are winning. They are nimble, moving from open-source platforms to encrypted ones and are not afraid to fail, getting instant feedback on what propaganda works best. We need a much more concerted effort--a "Manhattan project"--to combat this.
- The Rohingya Crisis: "Myanmar's Enemy Within" with Francis Wade
Francis Wade, author of "The Enemy Within," a new book on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, explains the historical background to the persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority and gives a first-hand account of the terrible situation now. Has democracy been good for Burma? Will some Rohingya refugees become Islamic extremists?
- Carnegie Council's 2017 Religion & Pluralism Research Delegation to Yogyakarta, Indonesia
From October 15-21, 2017, Devin Stewart, senior director of Carnegie Council's Asia Dialogues program, led a group of 12 Pacific Delegates from seven countries and a diverse set of professional backgrounds to Yogyakarta to examine the role of religion and pluralism in Indonesian politics and society. The delegates participated in classroom discussions, expert lectures, cultural activities, and site visits.