Tittle: Islam, Cultural Diversity, and Tolerance in Indonesia

Written by: Davina Azalia Khan

Undergraduate Student of International Relations Science Department

Faculty of Social and Political Sciences – Universitas Gadjah Mada

Jl. Sosio Yustisia, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281 – INDONESIA


For several years ago, people believe that we must have same racism and ethnics to make a harmonized life. There were some serious racial problem inter and intra state. But now this paradigm has extremely changed especially after peace studies developed in late 1980s into specific issues (human rights and resolving cultural, ethnics, and racial conflicts) until globalization era introduced by the late 1990s.

Then lots of international regimes have been built to strengthen the relationships among nations to reach best common goals. For example Association South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), etc. Many scientists argue that every international politics of cooperation has possibilities of achievement determined by the role of members. In addition, internal and external issue has affected each of their foreign policies. Having a plural-society type make Indonesia faces some internal diversity aspect, such as cultural diversity. Even Indonesia has about 300 ethnics within some sub-ethnics, and 6 main religions within many sects. Islam as the largest religion also gives some influences. According to the political history of Indonesia, since Islam entered it has obviously changed the people intelligences, transformed into modern society, and mobilized a number of groups to join political activities. Indonesia is also chose as best model of modern Moslem country. High tolerance and understanding seen as the main keys. People believe that the national principle, Bhineka Tunggal Ika (united in diverse), gives main impact to the social systems. It means Indonesian people believe that diversity is enriching their life. Therefore, Indonesia is called a Gemah Ripah Loh Jinawi (kind, humane, hospitality people) country until now.

Starting from the arguments above, the paper will discuss about diversity seen as valuable asset to make local and international good neighborhood activities. The author will elaborate and describe how Islam and cultural diversity encourage a high tolerant society in Indonesia using historical approach. Then find whether intra-group or inter-group check method is using to keep a tolerant society. Finally, analyze its implication for Indonesia’s foreign policy or actions in international issues, especially culture and diversity.

Keywords : Islam, cultural diversity, tolerance, culture, Indonesia

** this paper was presented on World Civic Youth Forum 2009, 5-8 May 2009, in Kyung Hee University, Rep. of Korea. an institutional program organized by Kyung Hee University in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


for complete paper, please download the file on the link below:
PAPER for WCYF.davina

you may need a password to open the file, please kindly leave your comment on the comment box to get the password. I hope it would be useful to everyone.
thank you 🙂


~ by davinaazalia on May 21, 2012.


  1. Hi davina , can i have the password i need ur paper for references 🙂 thanks

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