Ahmadi Women and Strategies for Resisting and Preventing Violent Conflicts

Monday, February 1st, 2016, 11:39 WIB

ninaProblems related to Ahmadiyya community in Indonesia are rising up after the fall of New Order Regime. Post reformation era many violent conflicts faced by Ahmadiyya community. Expulsion, the coercion to close Ahmadiyya’s worship place, discrimination, the assault to Ahmadiyya praying activity and so on and so forth, are an example on how many violent conflicts befall to this community. One of ICRS students, Nina M. Noor, tries to examine this case from women’s perspective. In her Dissertation Open Defense (28/01), she briefly explained on how Ahmadi women facing the violent conflict and how their strategies for resisting and preventing violence.

Nina’s dissertation entitles Ahmadi Women’s Strategies in Resisting and Preventing Violent Conflicts: Exercising Various Agencies in Contemporary Indonesia. In this research, she describes the experience of Ahmadi women in dealing with many conflicts in their life and related to their faith. “This research focuses on the acts of the Ahmadi Women Organization called Lajnah Immaillah from 2000 to early 2015 by examining their defense mechanism and exercising agency in resisting and preventing conflict”, Nina said. On this research, all informants are Ahmadi women from various backgrounds and conducted in some areas: Kuningan (West Java), Yogyakarta, Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara) and also in Bogor (Lajnah Immaillah’s office).

From her research, Nina found that Ahmadi women resistance and forms of defense mechanism has changed. An active participation of Ahmadi women’s in organization and society is the key factor of why they changed their strategies for resisting and preventing violent conflicts. From their experience by encountered with wider society and communities, Ahmadi women found that a good way to prevent violent conflict and promote peace is non-violent defense mechanism. They believe that this is a decent strategy that they should do to promote better relations and mutual understanding among conflicting parties in society.   

“Based on the research findings, James Scott’s idea on everyday resistance was useful to examine but insufficiently explains Ahmadi women’s case. Indeed, Ahmadi women practiced two forms of resistance, public and hidden resistance, and dependent on their relative power. However, in hidden resistance, Ahmadi women do not do it on daily basis but only when there is oppression or threat to their community. When they are not oppressed nor threatened, the Ahmadi women can easily mingle and interact with non-Ahmadis. Moreover, in resisting conflict and discrimination, Ahmadi women do not intend to hegemonize but try to gain equal position vis-a-vis “other Muslims”, Nina explained.