Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Mov...

Oxford Journals


Journal of Islamic Studies

Volume 21, Issue 3

Pp. 471-474.

Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement and the longue durée Edited by ERIC TAGLIACOZZO
Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement and the longue durée Edited by Eric Tagliacozzo (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), 392 pp. Price PB £27.95. EAN 978–0804761338.

In his brief introduction to this collection of essays, Eric Tagliacozzo makes the crucial point that Middle Eastern Islam served as an ‘alternative modernity’ to that of colonialism for Southeast Asian Muslims. However, some contributors stray away from the Middle East, others are only marginally concerned with Islam, and at least one other says little about either. As for the longue durée of the title, it scarcely figures at all. Overall, the limelight is firmly placed on Southeast Asia, and the reader learns little about the region’s reciprocal influence on the Middle East. Moreover, although Eric Tagliacozzo affirms in his introduction that there is a dearth of publications on the Middle Eastern impact on Southeast Asia, in reality much has already been published on this theme. Indeed, many contributors to this volume are returning to past haunts, in some cases sticking very closely to already published work. Among chapters that directly address Islamic influences coming from the Middle East, Mohammad Redzuan Othman’s, on the Arab role in Islamizing the Malay peninsula, is highly speculative for the early centuries, and scarcely novel. Moreover, the opposition that he posits between South India and Arabia as sources of Islam is somewhat misleading, inasmuch as Arabs established themselves in southern India from an early date. Timothy Barnard’s case study, of one man’s ḥajj in 1828, emphasizes how Bugis immigrants in Riau manipulated the pilgrimage to shore up their socio-political position, threatened by Dutch military advances. However, Barnard only refers to the Naqshbandi Sufi order in Riau, even though his pilgrim bought land for …
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