Accession Number:

ADA476625

Title:

A Muslim Archipelago: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE COLL WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

297.0

Abstract:

Southeast Asia continues to beckon policymakers and scholars alike to revisit its history in spite of the tomes of appraisals already written, deconstructive or otherwise. Because of a significant presence of Muslims in the region, and particularly in the wake of 911, it invariably attracts the attention of foreign powers drawn by the specter of terrorism and focused on rooting out radical Islamist groups said to be working with al-Qaeda. Dr. Max Gross has written an impressive account of the role of Islam in the politics of Southeast Asia, anchored by a strong historical perspective and a comprehensive treatment of current affairs. The result is very much a post-911 book. The origins of Jemaah Islamiyah and its connections with al-Qaeda are carefully detailed. Yet, unlike much of the post-911 analysis of the Muslim world, Dr. Grosss research has been successful in placing the phenomenon of terrorism within a larger perspective. While recognizing that al-Qaedas influence on regional terror networks remains unclear, it behooves us to be reminded that, regardless of the nature and extent of the linkages, to dismiss terrorism as a serious threat to security would be na ve to the point of recklessness. The Muslim Archipelago is a profoundly Islamic region, and Jemaah Islamiyah is only a small portion of this reality. The attention Dr. Gross pays to ABIM in Malaysia, of which I was a part, and the civil Islam movement in Indonesia, of which the late Nurcholish Madjid was a principal spokesman, is greatly appreciated. Those unfamiliar with the background and role of the traditional Islamic PAS party in Malaysia, as well as the Darul Islam movement in Indonesia, will find the authors account highly beneficial. The MNLF, the MILF, and Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, as well as the various Islamic movements in southern Thailand, are also carefully explained.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE