Tolerant Community: the Culture of Democracy and Political Participation

Title : Tolerant Community: the Culture of Democracy and Political Participation (A Case Study of Political Behaviour of Muslims in Jekulo, Kudus in the Post New Order Era)
Author : Achmad Ta’yudin (CRCS, 2005)
Keywords : religious community, the culture of democracy, political behavior and religious tolerance
Abstract
The purpose of the research is to explain the political behaviour of Islamic community (umat) in Jekulo Kudus the Central of Java in the 1999 and 2004 general election, which has shown a reality of the failure of Islamic parties in the religious communities. The raised question is “Why Islamic community in Jekulo who have a high level of virtuous were reluctant to choice the Islamic parties”. This interesting question becomes focus of this study.There are three main problems that would be analyzed in this study. First, to what extend does correlation between political aspiration, and voting behaviour of Islamic communities in Jekulo towards political parties in the 1999 and 2004 general election. Second, to what extend does correlation between level of understanding for religious teaching and voting behaviour of Islamic communities in Jekulo towards political parties in the 1999 and 2004 general election. Finally, are religious local elite (kiai) a determinant factor for voting behaviour of Islamic communities in Jekulo towards political parties in the 1999 and 2004 general election?

The sampling method which was used in the research, besides the qualitative method (1) to make choice the religious people of Jekulo with using the probability of random distribution; (2) to choice domain sampling taken from religious people in the first point with using the non-probability of purposive distribution.

The result of this research indicates that the failure of Islamic parties in Jekulo was determined by the increase of their tolerances to the diversity of faith, so that they do not want to dominate anymore other people based on their faith and political ideology. There are some factors of this social change. First, the dominant rules of New Order regime that marginalized the politic of Islamic syariat has changed the political orientation of Islamic communities based on religious liberalization. Second, the two biggest of Islamic Organization, NU and Muhammadiyah, have changed their social orientation based on politics of tolerant. Third, the level of education and the economic gaps among communities have weakened elite domination in Islamic communities. They cannot be influenced by political elite anymore. These all indicate that Islamic community with high level of virtuous become tolerance and democratic. They can separate whether it is a political or religious thing. Both political and religious things are sometimes difficult to be separated because of elite behaviours and their interests.

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