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Kampuchea Kambojade a Prteh Kampuchea Srok Khmer - The Country of Cambodia -The Land of Khmers

Mns and the Khmers 1. Funan 2. Chenla 3. Water Chenla Theravada Buddhism Devaraja India




Jayavarman VII Expanded kingdom God-kings Indravarman Monuments Theravada Buddhism Bakong Thai and Vietnamese control Irrigation dam King Suryavarman II French Indochinese period Unity Yaovarman Angkor Wat 'Angkor' building

Jayavarman II



French Colonial Period

1863 King Norodom signed an agreement with the French to establish a protectorate over his kingdom. The state gradually came under French colonial domination.

World War II
The Japanese allowed the French government (based at Vichy) that collaborated with the republican opponents and attempted to negotiate acceptable terms for independence from the French. Cambodia's situation at the end of the war was chaotic. The Free French, under General Charles de Gaulle, were determined to recover Indochina, though they offered Cambodia and the other Indochinese protectorates a carefully circumscribed measure of selfgovernment. Convinced that they had a "civilizing mission", they envisioned Indochina's participation in a French Union of former colonies that shared the common experience of French culture.

General Charles de Gaulle

Sihanouk's "royal crusade for independence" resulted in grudging French acquiescence to his demands for a transfer of sovereignty. A partial agreement was struck in October. Sihanouk then declared that independence had been achieved and returned in triumph to Phnom Penh.



The Resident-General held considerable power, but the person in the position frequently wanted more. The ruling Resident-General complained to Paris that the current king of Cambodia, King Norodom was no longer fit to rule and asked for permission to assume the king's powers to collect taxes, issue decrees, and even appoint royal officials and choose crown princes. From that time, Norodom and the future kings of Cambodia were figureheads and merely were patrons of the Buddhist religion in Cambodia, though they were still viewed as god-kings by the peasant population. All other power was in the hands of the Resident-General and the colonial bureaucracy. Nonetheless, this bureaucracy was formed mostly of French officials, and the only Asians freely permitted were ethnic Vietnamese, who were viewed as the dominant Asians in the Indochinese Union.

King Norodom died. Rather than pass the throne on to Norodom's sons, the French passed the succession to Norodom's brother Sisowath, whose branch of the royal family was more submissive and less nationalistic to French rule than Norodom's, who was viewed as the more nationalistic branch of the family. Likewise, Norodom was viewed as responsible for the constant Cambodian revolts against French rule. Another reason was that Norodom's favorite son, who he wanted to succeed him as king, Prince Yukanthor, had, on one of his trips to Europe, stirred up public opinion about French colonial brutalities in occupied Cambodia.

King Sisowath

Meanwhile, the rule of King Sisowath, and his son, King Sisowath Monivong, were peaceful, even though the monarchs were nothing but puppets and pliant instruments of the French. During Sisowath's reign, the French succeeded in getting Thailand's reformist king, King Chulalongkorn, to sign a new treaty which returned the northwestern provinces of Battambang and Siemreab back to Cambodian rule. In this sense, the Sisowath branch of the family is seen in restoring Cambodian land, even though it all passed under oppressive French colonial rule.

King Sisowath Monivong

King Chulalonkorn

French Colonial Architecture

Old Colonial building, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Luang Prabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep

the Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City

Kampot, Cambodia


of the Cham Muslims are Sunnis of the Shafii school. Po Dharma divides the Muslim Cham :
into a traditionalist branch an orthodox branch.

In 1962 there were about 100 mosques in the country. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Muslims in Cambodia formed a unified community under the authority of four religious dignitaries:

Mupti tuk kalih raja kalik tvan pake.

Cambodia became independent, the Islamic community was placed under the control of a five-member council Council-represented the community in official functions and in contacts with other Islamic communities Each Muslim community:

Hakem- who leads the community and the mosque Imam- who leads the prayers Bilal- who calls the faithful to the daily prayers.



considered the spiritual center of the Cham several high Muslim officials reside there.

Each year some of the Cham go to study the Quran at Kelantan in Malaysia some go on to study in, or make a pilgrimage to Mecca

traditional Cham retain many ancient Muslim or pre-Muslim traditions and rites. They believe in many supernatural powers. Although they show little interest in the pilgrimage to Mecca and in the five daily prayers, the traditional Cham do celebrate many Muslim festivals and rituals.


orthodox Cham

have adopted a more conformist religion largely because of their close contacts with, and intermarriages with, the Malay community.

orthodox Cham have adopted

Malay customs family organization speak the Malay language

send pilgrims to Mecca They attend international Islamic conferences. Conflicts between the traditional and the orthodox Cham increased between 1954 and 1975.

the two groups polarized the population of one village each group eventually had its own mosque separate religious organization.


to Cham sources:

132 mosques were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era many others were desecrated Muslims were not allowed to worship

has been given the same freedom as Buddhism


Cham lived in Cambodia in the mid1980s and that the number of mosques was about the same then as it was before 1975. In early 1988, there were six mosques in the Phnom Penh area and a "good number" in the provinces, but Muslim dignitaries were thinly stretched; only 20 of the previous 113 most prominent Cham clergy in Cambodia survived the Khmer Rouge period.

2. /cambodia_society_islam.html 3. 4. 5. D.K Ching, Francis, M.Jarzombek, Mark, Prakash, Vikramaditya, (2007). A Global History of Architecture, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. United States of America.