Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia

Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia

Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia

Malay Muslims: The History and Challenge of Resurgent Islam in Southeast Asia

Synopsis

"Although Muslims of the Malay race are the largest ethnic community of Muslims in the world, they are little known in the Western hemisphere. Writing as an American Christian missionary who lived among Malay Muslims in the Philippines for over forty years, Robert Day McAmis provides the first comprehensive look at Malay Muslims, describing their history, practices, influence, and distinctive customs. McAmis also gives attention to the history of their relationship with Christians - a history that is key to understanding the current state of religious and social life in places like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Since Muslims and Christians together comprise ninety-four percent of the Malay population, peaceful interaction and cooperation between mosque and church are crucial to realizing the economic and political goals of the entire region. Considering the so-called "Islamic resurgence" of the last few decades, McAmis pleads for dialogue and mutual understanding. Islam is not monolithic, he says, and Muslims are not the enemies of Christians. Malay Muslims in particular, with their diverse traditions and rich history of international relations, are open to outside influence and exchange. McAmis concludes the "future of Malay Southeast Asia is bright indeed if Muslims and Christians of goodwill work together to solve the problems of this area.""--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

I have written this book to share information about the little-known Malay Muslims of Southeast Asia, the largest ethnic community of Muslims in the entire Muslim world. My perspective is that of an American Lutheran missionary who has been a friend of Malay Christians and Malay Muslims since arriving in the Philippines in 1955. For twenty-five years, from 1962 until 1987, I lived with the Maranao Muslims of Mindanao in the beautiful Lake Lanao area.

In addition to extensive reading and research about Islam and the Church in Malay Southeast Asia, I have been able to visit in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia. I pursued post-doctoral studies at the University of Chicago in Islamics and Southeast Asian Studies, and in 1967 wrote a doctoral dissertation on β€œThe Characteristics of Islam in Southeast Asia.” Although this was a groundbreaking effort at that time, many new articles and books concurring with my thesis have since been written by both Muslim and Christian Southeast Asian scholars.

In the 1970s and 1980s I was extensively involved in organizing, facilitating, and participating in Muslim-Christian dialogue, and in 1974 I coedited a book on Muslim Filipinos with Dr. Peter G. Gowing. In the 1970s and 1980s I wrote several articles in scholarly journals on the history and present situation of Muslims in Southeast Asia. In the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to thoroughly research Islam and Southeast Asia in the Yale University Library. I was also fortunate in having access to the libraries at . . .

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