Two Worlds of Islam: Interaction between Southeast Asia and the Middle East

Two Worlds of Islam: Interaction between Southeast Asia and the Middle East

Two Worlds of Islam: Interaction between Southeast Asia and the Middle East

Two Worlds of Islam: Interaction between Southeast Asia and the Middle East

Synopsis

In the first extensive effort to assess the changing nature of relations between these two important Islamic regions, the author investigates the degree to which common religion has influenced economic ties, the extent of Southeast Asian political involvement in the Middle East and of Middle East interest in Southeast Asia, and the character and amount of foreign religious thought reaching Muslims in Southeast Asia.

Excerpt

The Muslim world has traditionally held the belief that the Middle East is the center of the culture, history, and theology of Islam and that the periphery is composed of populations less fortunate in those attributes. Other Muslim peoples have usually been perceived as less knowledgeable about Islam and more tainted with non-Islamic ideas. Since the great majority of Muslims are non-Arab and modern communications have allowed more extensive interaction within the ummah (the community of Muslims), this perception needs rethinking. For example, Indonesia, the country with the world's largest Muslim population, has long been viewed as somehow less Muslim than its Arab counterparts, has been little studied by Middle Eastern scholars, and is considered outside the political and economic interests of the "center" of Muslim civilization.

This study is an analysis of the changing patterns of interaction between the Muslim worlds of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The material is primarily focused on the post-World War II era, although the initial chapter also includes a summary of the earlier history of the subject. It is primarily concerned with those nations of the Middle East that have been most important in this interaction during the postwar decades: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the Persian Gulf states, and Pakistan; other Middle Eastern nations have been peripherally involved in particular issues.

Southeast Asia includes two types of Muslim societies. There are those in states where the majority of the population is Muslim, primarily the large states of Malaysia and Indonesia but also the small, oil-rich sultanate of Brunei. Indonesia, with over 180 million people, is approximately 90 percent Muslim, while 52 percent of Malaysia's 17 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.