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Muslim-Non-Muslim Marriage

Political and Cultural Contestations in Southeast Asia

Gavin W. Jones, Chee Heng Leng and Maznah Mohamad

Publication Year: 2009

This is an excellent and rare exploration of a sensitive religious issue from many perspectives legal, cultural and political. The case studies from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand portray the important and exciting, yet very difficult, negotiation of Islamic teachings in the changing realities of Southeast Asia, home to the majority of Muslims in the world. Interreligious marriage is an important indicator of good relations between communities in religiously diverse countries. This book will also be of great interest to students and scholars of religious pluralism in a Southeast Asian context, which has not been studied adequately. --Zainal Abidin Bagir, Executive Director, Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

Among the many changes sweeping Southeast Asia, trends in marriage are prominent. These include delayed marriage and increased non-marriage, and new developments in marriage across boundaries of various kinds — including the boundaries of nation states, of ethnic groups and of different religions. In September...

The Contributors

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pp. ix-xiii


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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Muslim-non-Muslim Marriage, Rights and the State in Southeast Asia

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pp. 1-30

Marriage has never just been between two people. The academic literature on how and why this is so is voluminous. In various societies, at various times, marriages have been made to cement bonds between families, as part of business relationships, and in the case of the ruling classes, to...

Section 1. Political and Legal Contestations

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pp. 31

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2. Trapped Between Legal Unification and Pluralism: The Indonesian Supreme Court's Decision on Interfaith Marriage

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pp. 33-58

The goal of legal uniformity in Indonesia threatened to sweep away the plurality of laws that people living in this multicultural and multireligious society were familiar with. This at least appeared to be the case on paper, when the new Marriage Law (Law No. 1 of 1974) appeared to ignore...

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3. Private Lives, Public Contention: Muslim-non Muslim Family Disputes in Malaysia

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pp. 59-101

Conventionally, ethnic riots or recurrent violence are often used as distinct markers of ethnic conflicts in society. However, the prevalence of ethnic tensions can also be evidenced by other processes, such as the inability of legal institutions to resolve everyday conflicts involving family...

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4. Legal Aspects of Muslim-non-Muslim Marriage in Indonesia

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pp. 102-138

No legal issue has generated more controversy over a longer period in Indonesia than interreligious marriage. The Dutch first addressed the issue with a decree promulgated shortly after the first settlement in Batavia that prohibited all marriages between Christians and non-Christians. As the...

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5. The Politico-Religious Contestation: Hardening of the Islamic Law on Muslim-non-Muslim Marriage in Indonesia

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pp. 139-158

The study of Muslim-non-Muslim marriage in Indonesian Islamic law is intriguing because it will not only show how Islamic law has been practised in the largest Muslim country in the world, but also how Indonesian Muslims interpret their religion for the sake of communal need. In this...

Section II. Lived Realities

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pp. 159

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6. "Not Muslim, Not Minangkabau": Interreligious Marriage and its Cultural Impact in Minangkabau Society

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pp. 161-189

This chapter contributes to the discussion on how “interreligious marriages” (this term will refer to marriage between persons from different religions) challenge cultural boundaries, in this case, Minangkabau matrilineal-Islamic culture in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The Minangkabau are not...

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7. Khao Khaek: Interfaith Marriage between Muslims and Buddhists in Southern Thailand

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pp. 190-218

Interfaith marriage among Muslims in Thailand has been discussed by many local religious leaders and senior village members as a worrying issue in the community. With the “Islamic Revival” that has taken place in Thai society over the last three decades, the debate over interfaith marriage...

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8. Interethnic Marriages and Conversion to Islam in Kota Bharu

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pp. 219-251

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country of which the population is constitutionally divided in two large groups, namely the bumiputera, comprising Malays, Orang Asli, and indigenous groups in Sarawak and Sabah, with special rights; and non-bumiputera encompassing other ethnic...

Section III. Perspectives

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pp. 253

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9. Promoting Gender Equity through Interreligious Marriage: Empowering Indonesian Women

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pp. 255-282

The Compilation of Islamic Law in Indonesia was promulgated on 10 June 1991 through Presidential Instruction No. 1/1991. Comprising regulations on marriage, inheritance, and religious donation, it is the official legal guidance for judges in religious courts all over Indonesia. The Law...

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10. Muslim-non-Muslim Marriage in Singapore

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pp. 283-317

Marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims have attracted little research attention in Singapore. The few studies that exist focus essentially on legal issues within the conflict of law perspective. This chapter seeks to provide another dimension to the study of the phenomenon...


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pp. 319-322

E-ISBN-13: 9789812308221
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812308740

Page Count: 322
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1