Muslim and Poverty

Muslim and Poverty

Why Chinese Indonesians are generally richer than non-Chinese? Andreas Harsono, a journalist, himself a Chinese, has the answer as reported by Jawa Pos newspaper yesterday (May 11), “Because Chinese are minority.

And minority everywhere tends to work harder than the majority.” He further elaborates that Javanese are hard-working community outside Java island where they’re in minority. The same is true to other ethnics like Bataknese in Jakarta, Madurese in Kalimantan, Padangese in Java, etc.

Granted. I agree to some extent. But as we know, a person is not only affiliated to particular ethnic. He or she also belong to a particular religion be it Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or even atheism. The question is how far is it that a religion of reference could influence his or her mindset towards life other than being minority-majority thing?

Have a look at India, on poor and rich issue, most observers see thing generally on religous based because they cannot analyse or hard to analyse it through ethnicity perspective. So, when Indian media or columnist say thing like “minority community” they mean Muslim. If we follow this logic, the paradox comes up: Indian Muslim is the only minority who are poor. Very poor compared to the majority which are Hindus. And Hindus majority generally outperforms the Muslim minority in every fields (see Rafiq Zakaria’s Indian Muslim Where Have They Gone Wrong?)

If you agree with this minority-on-religious-based logic, the question is what’s wrong with Indian Muslim? And with the same token, the question can be raised to Indonesian Muslim as well: what’s have gone worng with them? Why they cannot outperform the minority? Why Indonesian Muslim are generally not wealthy and outperformed by minority community—Indian term—in almost every fields?

Is this something to do with religion we follow, with ethnicity we belong, with certain mindset within the so-called pribumi that we attach to?

You tell me.

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