Rabu, 26 Juni 2013

A Muslim Archipelago: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia

Max L. Gross; A Muslim Archipelago: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia
National Defense Intelligence College
Washington, DC
March 2007

Dr. Max Gross, a trained historian, has written a baseline history of Islam in Southeast Asia. Starting with basic questions such as how did Islam come to this region, he connects the interaction of local authorities, colonial powers, and governments with the challenge Islam has presented to governance for more than a thousand years. Especially strong are the introductory and concluding chapters. The former provides a short scan of the history of the expansion of Islam into Southeast Asia and of the relationship of colonial legacies of the British, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and Americans to Islam today in the region. The last chapter traces the development of the idea of an Islamic state from the time of Mohammad in Medina to its present-day role in the politics of Southeast Asia.
Still, this is a book with a contemporary focus. Dr. Gross’s purpose is to use history to explain today’s Islamic insurgencies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines and to offer perspectives for the future. These four countries fall along a spectrum. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, is about 90 percent Muslim, and the conflicts which Dr. Gross examines are largely between a secularization of Islam, especially Sukarno’s Pancasila mixing Islam and nationalism, and the much more traditional Islamic orthopraxy among the Acehnese and others. Malaysia has a different context; its population is 53 percent Muslim, and the central question concerns accommodation between the majority Muslims and the minority Christians and ethnic Chinese. In Thailand and the Philippines, where the Muslims are minorities themselves (approximately four and five percent respectively), the question is political accommodation in the opposite direction. Underlying most of these confl icts are separatist histories based not only on religious differences but also on geographic, ethnic, racial, and social disparities.
This book’s unique contribution is that it brings together in one reference a mass of information on the insurgencies in Southeast Asia. The country accounts are detailed and thorough as to events, organizations, dates, and participants. The chronological context provides Dr. Gross the opportunity to give his insights about historical causality. His accounting highlights the interaction of the insurgencies within Southeast Asia and their international connections outside the region. Especially good are the detailed presentations in the chapters on Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia

Ron Sela, "The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)"
Publisher: Cambridge University Press | ISBN 10: 0521517060 | 2011 | PDF | 184 pages | 6 MB

Timur (or Tamerlane) is famous as the fourteenth-century conqueror of much of Central Eurasia and the founder of the Timurid dynasty. His reputation lived on in his native lands and reappeared some three centuries after his death in the form of fictional biographies, authored anonymously in Persian and Turkic. These biographies have become part of popular culture. Despite a direct continuity in their production from the eighteenth century to the present, they remain virtually unknown to people outside the region. This remarkable and rigorous scholarly appraisal of the legendary biographies of Tamerlane is the first of its kind in any language. The book sheds light not only on the character of Tamerlane and how he was remembered and championed by many generations after his demise, but also on the era in which the biographies were written and how they were conceived and received by the local populace during an age of crisis in their own history.