Islamic Legitimacy in a Plural Asia

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-01-14
  • Publisher: Routledge

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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 andSoutheast 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.

Author Biography

Anthony Reid was founding Director of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2002), having previously been Professor of Southeast Asian History at UCLA (1999-2002) and ANU (1987-99).

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. vii
Notes on contributorsp. viii
Prefacep. xi
Introduction: Muslims and power in a plural Asiap. 1
Muslims under non-Muslim rule: evolution of a discoursep. 14
Islam and cultural modernity: in pursuit of democratic pluralism in Asiap. 28
The Crisis of religious authority: education, information and technologyp. 53
Attempts to use the Ottoman Caliphate as the legitimator of British rule in Indiap. 71
An argumentative Indian: Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, Islam and nationalism in Indiap. 81
Grateful to the Dutch Government: Sayyid 'Uthman and the Sarekat Islam in 1913p. 98
Power and Islamic legitimacy in Pakistanp. 117
Constructions of religious authority in Indonesian Islamism: 'the way and the community' reimaginedp. 139
The political contingency of reform-mindedness in Indonesia's Nahdlatul Ulama: interest politics and the Khittahp. 154
Political Islam in Malaysia: legitimacy, hegemony, and resistancep. 167
Glossaryp. 188
Indexp. 191
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