HIV-AIDS and Islam? in Indonesia ; A Scenario of Power, Exclusion and Resistance

CRCS & ICRS invite you all to attend Wednesday Forum. The speaker will be Syamsu Madyan, M.A., a Ph.D. student at ICRS-Yogya. The topic will be “HIV-AIDS and Islam? in Indonesia ; A Scenario of Power, Exclusion and Resistance”. The forum will be held on:

Date: Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Time: 1pm-3pm
Venue: UGM Graduate School, Third Floor, Room 306 Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung

The discussion is free of charge. Below is the abstract of the paper which will be presented:

?HIV-AIDS and Islam? in Indonesia; A Scenario of Power, Exclusion and Resistance

The stigmatization toward people living with HIV-AIDS (PLWHA) in Indonesia is not based only on a misunderstanding about the nature of the disease; the stigma is also rooted epistemologically in the way Indonesian society construes HIV-AIDS according to their religion and belief. Islam and the ?Islamic ethos? that increasingly predominates in Indonesia ?s popular culture has continuously confirmed about a ?common interpretation? of AIDS that considers ?the disease? as merely a religious moral issue. Given the findings of my prior investigation on Islamic legal decrees (fatwa) concerning HIV-AIDS, issued by Islamic authorities in Indonesia which are NU, Muhammadiyah and MUI (The Council of Indonesian Ulama). I found that while?in general?these fatwa tended to exclude PLWHA from the territory of ?Islamic piety?, they also constituted a form of power, oppression and marginalization by placing PLWHA in a specific category of ?others?. This paper is?therefore?intended to explain how these Islamic authorities in Indonesia construct their power. It is also to explain how these Islamic authorities have attempted to control PLWHA by imposing ?rules? related to their way of behaving, their understanding of HIV-status and their self-conduct in relation with others. Second, this paper is to report about the preliminary findings of reactions of PLWHA toward the fatwa by questioning whether they can accept these fatwa. If they accept the provisions of these decrees, how do they reconcile and adjust their status of being PLWHA to the judgments of such Islamic authorities? If they do not accept, how do they react and resist? All in all, this paper will present a scenario of power, exclusion and resistance associated with the phenomena of HIV-AIDS and its religious-based stigma in Indonesia .

Key words: HIV-AIDS, Islamic responses, Piety, Stigma, Power, Exclusion, Incommensurability, Resistance



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