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Accepted Paper:

Israeli Dead Sea Cosmetics and Charity for Palestinian Children: Feminized Inter-Religious Competition among Indonesian Jerusalem Pilgrims  
Mirjam Lücking (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses how Muslim and Christian Indonesians emphasize their religious affiliation during pilgrimages to Jerusalem. It describes Indonesian women's central role in negotiating religious identities, class affiliation and gender ideals through souvenir purchases and charitable activities

Paper long abstract:

Besides Mecca, another highly popular destination in Indonesia's growing halal tourism industry is Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Strikingly, Muslim package tours to Jerusalem resemble Christian 'Holy Land Tours', which are popular among Indonesia's Christian minority of 24 million people. While Christian and Muslim Indonesians' itineraries to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Egypt overlap, their travel narratives and worldviews compete and back home their lives are increasingly separated. This paper analyzes the feminization of economic and interreligious competition among Indonesian Jerusalem pilgrims.

Indonesian pilgrimage-tourists, travel agents and guiding clerics engage in the growing market of religious tourism as members of a specific religious group. Distinctive clothing styles, the use of a certain jargon, travel narratives and moral ideals concerning gender relations mark differences between Christian and Muslim Indonesians. However, when it comes to souvenir purchases Christian as well as Muslim Indonesian women appear to have a similar taste. Yet, even though they sometimes buy the exact same products, most prominently Israeli Dead Sea cosmetics, their spending during pilgrimage trips enhances interreligious competition. Souvenir purchases as well as other financial transactions - like alms giving - are embedded in moralizing narratives. These moralizing narratives relate to globalized discourses of Islamophobia on the one hand and global Muslim solidarity on the other hand. Ethnographic snapshots reveal women's vital role in these discourses related to souvenir purchase and charity. Women are not only the main spenders, they also exploit the social capital of their spending through online and offline representations of travel experiences.

Panel P100
Migration, tourism, business: reconfiguring Muslim pilgrimage through the lens of women's new mobilities
  Session 1 Thursday 16 August, 2018, -