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based Andreas Harsono is one of the most knowledgeable, experienced,
high-profile and courageous of reporters and commentators on contemporary
Indonesian society. Race, Islam and Power: Ethnic and Religious
Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia is the result of Harsono’s fifteen
year project to document how, in post-Suharto Indonesia, race and religion have
come to be increasingly prevalent within the nation’s politics. From its
westernmost island of Sabang to its easternmost city of Merauke in West Papua,
from Miangas Island in the north, near the Philippines border, to Ndana Island,
close to the coast of Australia, Harsono reveals the particular cultural
identities and localised political dynamics of this internally complex and
This informed personal travelogue is essential reading for
Indonesia watchers and anyone seeking a better understanding of contemporary
Indonesia. A passionate seeker of human rights protections, civil liberties,
democracy, media freedom, multiculturalism and environmental protection,
Harsono reminds us that Indonesians `still have not found the light at the end
of the tunnel’.
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