Original Research

Religion and identity polarisation: A slight note from the frontier region

Muhammad N. Ichsan Azis, Muhammad Amir, Muh. Subair, Syamsurijal Syamsurijal, Abdul Asis, Muhammad I. Syuhudi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 1 | a8519 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8519 | © 2023 Muhammad N. Ichsan Azis, Muhammad Amir, Muh. Subair, Syamsurijal Syamsurijal, Abdul Asis, Muhammad I. Syuhudi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 February 2023 | Published: 26 May 2023

About the author(s)

Muhammad N. Ichsan Azis, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Muhammad Amir, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Muh. Subair, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Syamsurijal Syamsurijal, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Abdul Asis, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Muhammad I. Syuhudi, National Research and Innovation Agency Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Abstract

This article examined the recent emergence of the national and international issue of religious polarisation and identity, which affects some groups’ populism and fanaticism. Regarding social phenomena, religion and identity are intertwined like the two sides of a coin. This discourse has an impact how to interpret diversity on religious issues that are caused by political influences. Given the polarisation of identity politics and religion, the national and state campaign slogan ‘unity in diversity’ is merely wishful thinking. The polarisation of identity and religion is heavily implicated in the Indonesia–Philippines border case; consequently, in some instances, the ‘seeds’ of these cases are discovered, eventually resulting in group fanaticism. This article employed the historical way of writing while also taking a social science angle that interacts with the research being done. For some communities, religion and identity may take on symbolic meaning, affecting how well they adapt and are accepted. However, the qualities of a community group or region are also shaped by historical events. According to the study’s findings, religion and ethnic identity have played important roles in long-standing historical processes and impacted them. This study is anticipated to ‘suppress’ the problem of political division involving religion and identity because the identification of ‘border’ communities depends not only on entity and identity issues but also on the community’s culture.

Contribution: The contribution in this study is that it has an impact on religious issues and cultural identity relations perspectives.


Keywords

religion; identity; polarisation; social phenomena; borders.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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