Bali, the Island of Gods Resisting Islamization

Noer Huda By Noer Huda
4 Min Read
Bali, Pulau Dewa yang Bertahan dari Islamisasi
Bali, Pulau Dewa yang Bertahan dari Islamisasi

jlk – Bali, a small yet enchanting island nestled in the midst of the Indian Ocean, holds a fascinating tale behind its mesmerizing natural beauty.

Despite Indonesia’s majority Muslim population, Bali remains steadfast in preserving its identity as one of the last Hindu bastions in the archipelago.

Unraveling Historical Traces

Bali is not just a tourist destination; it is also a story of a long journey through history. It is recounted that Hinduism has shaped the culture, arts, and traditions of Balinese society for centuries.

Even before Islam reached the archipelago, Bali had embraced Hinduism. The island served as a sanctuary for intellectuals, priests, artists, and musicians fleeing from the influence of Islam after the collapse of the Hindu Majapahit kingdom in the 15th century.

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Resistance and Defense

Bali has not only endured through the depths of history but also through a resilient spirit of resistance.

Despite attempts by several Islamic kingdoms to conquer the island, such as Demak, Mataram, Banten, and Makassar, Bali has always managed to defend itself.

With a robust defense system, both militarily and spiritually, along with a high spirit of unity, Bali has successfully repelled various invasions.

The most vivid example of such resistance occurred during the Puputan Badung event in 1906. At that time, the king and people of Bali chose to engage in puputan (a fight to the death) rather than surrender to the Dutch colonialists.

Protection from Colonialism

Ironically, the Dutch colonial government, which initially succeeded in dominating Bali, also helped shield Bali from the influence of other religions, especially Islam and Christianity.

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They vehemently opposed Christian missionary efforts and Islamic initiatives on the island. The Dutch government viewed Bali as an exotic paradise whose culture should not be altered.

Bali: Symbol of Tolerance and Diversity

Bali is a reflection of the success of tolerance and religious diversity in Indonesia.

Despite differing beliefs, Balinese society maintains harmonious relations with Muslim and Christian communities, both within and outside Bali. They are open and welcoming to tourists while introducing the richness of Hindu culture and traditions that endure to this day.

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Preservation of Identity

Bali is a precious asset of the Indonesian nation that needs to be preserved. Its strong identity as a Hindu center amidst a sea of Muslims is a testament to the fact that diversity is wealth, not a burden.

Bali, the captivating island of gods, symbolizes spiritual strength, cultural resilience, and unity in diversity in Indonesia.

Delving into its rich history and natural beauty, we not only admire but also learn from the spiritual power that renders Bali eternal in its charm and uniqueness.

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