Beyond “Chinese Diaspora” and “Islamic Ummah”: Various Transnational Connections and Local Negotiations of Chinese Muslim Identities in Indonesia
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 29, Number 3, November 2014
- pp. 627-656
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Going beyond the paradigm of a “Chinese Diaspora” and an “Islamic Ummah”, this article examines various transnational connections, translocal imaginings and local negotiations of Chinese Muslim identities in contemporary Indonesia. By constructing Chinese-style mosques, Chinese Muslim leaders have forged a distinctive translocal identity through transnational linkage with Muslims in China and reconfigured it within Indonesian contexts. This transnational imagining is not a form of desire for return to China, but rather an effort to redefine Chinese Muslims’ social position in Indonesia. Moreover, a closer exploration of ordinary Chinese Muslims in Indonesia reveals that their transnational connections are not limited to Muslims in China, and their local participation is not limited to Chinese Muslim organizations.