More than 85% of Indonesians are Muslim, but not as a single community. In fact, you will see many differences in terms of culture and religious practices depending on where you visit. Since old times, Muslims and locals have always maintained good relationships to live in harmony. The situation also applies directly to Muslims in Bali, where Hindus are the majority. Moslems, as the minority, has experienced many things, especially after the bombing in 2002. As time goes by, the situation is much better because everyone understands that the terrorists are the mastermind of that tragedy. Moslems in Bali start to consolidate and restore into the correct order.
The majority in Bali is not Islam
Most people will propose questions regarding why Bali does not have many Muslims. The answer started a long way back in the 13th until the early 19th century. Spice traders did not stop on this island unless they wanted to do direct trading for agricultural products. On the other hand, Bali did not have much value, and the locals were unwelcome to the foreigners. After the fall of the Majapahit kingdom, Bali became the home of most refugees from the old kingdom that still practiced Hinduism. Therefore, Hindu turned into a majority until today even though many people from Java always visited and stayed for a long time.
List of Challenges and Solutions
Being a minority on one island while, on the other hand, being a majority nationwide brings a couple of challenges to Muslims living in Bali.
There are not many restrictions regarding foods; even Balinese also eats the meat from a cow. On the other hand, Muslims have a strict order for choosing only halal foods. If they are part of locals, this situation is not much challenge because the community also provides foods and supplies that fulfill all necessities to be halal. Another solution is they only eat vegetables, fruits, and eggs while avoiding chicken and meat during traveling. This practice is only eligible when they cannot find a decent restaurant with halal as a label. Regarding foods, Muslims living (or even born) in Bali can manage it quickly because they have adapted to this situation properly.
In Bali, finding the mosque is a slight issue, but the level of severity is relatively low.
Most Muslim communities build their own mosques located nearby where people can visit easily. On the other hand, while traveling around Bali, they become relatively flexible because prayer can be performed in clean and appropriate places. In general, local authorities will give permission to build it as long as all legal documents are completed.
After the Kuta bombing in 2002, people saw Muslims with a new perspective. They did not expect such a situation to happen in this area. Radicals and terrorists made a mess in this country, especially in Bali. Even though the perpetrators are not from Bali, the harmful effect cannot be avoided, increasing trust issues.
The interesting fact is the locals do not blame such problems on Muslims that have been part of Bali as a community and settlement. They put distrust on visitors from nearby islands and provinces. It takes several years to bring back the old view, and some locals contribute to this result. They use a campaign dedicated to promoting that Islam is a peace-loving religion. In fact, the best thing to handle this situation is the actual action that the communities show and express directly toward others.