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A global debate has emerged within Islam about how to coexist with democracy. Even in Asia, where such ideas have always been marginal, radical groups are taking the view that scriptural authority requires either Islamic rule (Dar-ul-Islam) or a state of war with the essentially illegitimate authority of non-Muslims or secularists. This book places the debate in a specifically Asian context. It draws attention to Asia (east of Afghanistan), as not only the home of the majority of the world's Muslims but also Islam's historic laboratory in dealing with religious pluralism. In Asia, pluralism is not simply a contemporary development of secular democracies, but a long-tested pattern based on both principle and pragmatism. For many centuries, Muslims in Asia have argued about the legitimacy of non-Islamic government over Muslims, and the legitimacy of non-Muslim peoples, polities and rights under Islamic governance. This book analyses such debates and the ways they have been reconciled, in South and Southeast Asia, up to the present.
The evidence presented here suggests that Muslims have adapted flexibly and creatively to the pluralism with which they have lived, and are likely to continue to do so.
Anthony Reid was founding Director of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, having previously been Professor of Southeast Asian History at UCLA (1999-2002) and ANU (1987-99). His books include The Indonesian National Revolution (1974), Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450-1680, 2 vols (1988-93), An Indonesian Frontier: Acehnese and other histories of Sumatra ( 2004) and, as editor, The Making of an Islamic Political Discourse in Southeast Asia (Centre of Southeast Asian Studies: Monash University, 1993), and Verandah of Violence: The Historical Background of the Aceh Problem (Singapore University Press, 2006). Michael Gilsenan is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Anthropology at New York University, US. His books include Recognizing Islam (1982/2000) and Lords of the Lebanese Marches (1996) His current research is concerned with aspects of the diaspora of Arab families from the Hadhramaut (south Yemen) into South East Asia over the past one hundred years.
1. Introduction: Muslims and Power in a Plural Asia Anthony Reid 2. Muslims under Non-Muslim Rule: Evolution of a Discourse Abdullah Saeed 3. Islam and Cultural Modernity: In Pursuit of Democratic Pluralism in Asia Bassam Tibi 4. The Crisis of Religious Authority: Education, Information and Technology Bryan Turner 5. Attempts to Use the Ottoman Caliphate as the Legitimator of British Rule in India Azmi Ozcan 6. An Argumentative Indian: Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Islam, and Nationalism in India Barbara Metcalf 7. Grateful to the Dutch Government: Sayyid 'Uthman and the Sarekat Islam in 1913 Nico Kaptein 8. Power and Islamic Legitimacy in Pakistan Imran Ali 9. Constructions of Religious Authority in Indonesian Islamism: 'The Way and the Community' Re-Imagined Michael Feener 10. The Political Contingency of Reform-Mindedness in Indonesia's Nahdlatul Ulama: Interest Politics and the Khittah Greg Fealy 11. Political Islam in Malaysia: Legitimacy, Hegemony, and Resistance Joseph Liow
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