Religious and Cultural Moderation of Ambonese Society Post-1999 Conflict

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Ulfiani Rahman, Mujizatullah, Muh. Subair, Idham, Abu Muslim, Syahrir Kila, Muhammad Sadli Mustafa, Khaerun Nisa, Amiruddin, Baso Marannu, Wardiah Hamid, Sitti Arafah, Syarifuddin, Hamsiati, Nensia


Psychologically, A conflict can cause various traumas towards two contradicting communities, including the Ambon conflict in 1999, even though the Ambonese people are known as tolerant and open-minded society. This research aimed to determine: the condition of Ambonese society before the 1999 conflict; the dynamics and periodization of Ambon-1999 conflict; the essence of teaching moderation toward religions in Ambon; and the practice of religious and cultural moderation of Ambonese society post-1999 conflict. The research was a qualitative research (field research). The instruments used were interview session, observation, and document analysis. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive qualitative method. The research indicated that initially the Ambonese society lived in harmony and peace, because they were bound by the culture of pela and gandong. The Ambon-1999 conflict lasted for about five years, sometimes the conflict reappeared because of the dominant ethnic sentiments especially the sentiments of religious believers who were very sectarian in understanding their religious teachings. Hence, religious believers were required to be moderate in understanding their religion. Religious moderation became an important matter for all believers. In this case, religious moderation did not mean to confound the truth while eliminating the identity of each religious believers. However, religious moderation tended to an openness of attitude in accepting the existence of other religious believers besides certain religion that need to acknowledge and respected as well. Thus, this belief will lead to openness, tolerance and flexibility in behavior. As one nationality, people should be fair to others whether an individual was born in Ambon or who just came to Ambon, regardless of their religious, racial, ethnic and linguistic background. Religious and cultural moderation of the Ambonese society is reflected in their behavior, not only in slogans. There was a new collective awareness of Ambonese society after the 1999 conflict in order to respect each other's beliefs according to each different religions and cultural backgrounds.

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