Islam in Champa and the Making of Factitious History


Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Series 3, page 1 of 31

Image result for STEPHEN G. HAWAbstract

Since their first publication in 1922, two Islamic inscriptions formed an essential basis of the early history of Islam in Champa. Recently, however, they have been shown to have originated, not from Southeast Asia, but from Tunisia. It is clear that either there was an error regarding their provenance, or it was deliberately falsified. The implications of this are discussed, and the remaining evidence of early Islamic presence in Champa is reassessed. It is suggested that there is now no good evidence of any Islamic presence there until after the sixteenth century. In relation to this issue, the maritime links between China and the Islamic world are examined, as also are other examples of possible falsification of history.

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Articulations of Southeast Asian Religious Modernisms: Islam in Early 20th Century Cambodia & Cochinchina

William B. Noseworthy

[ Abstract ]

This article is about the emergence of Islamic modernism among Cham Muslim communities in Cambodia and Cochinchina during the early 20th century. Based on a combined critical reading of existing scholarship, historicized first-hand anthropological accounts, as well as archival sources from the National Archives of Cambodia and the Vietnam National Archives II, it argues accounts of modernists in these sources were either (1) cast through a French colonial reading of a Buddhist state lens and (2) cast through a Malay lens, based upon the Kaum Muda/Kaum Tua divide. First, it proceeds with a historical explanation of the emergence of Islam and the discourse used to describe Muslim communities in Vietnamese, French, and Cham language sources. Then, it turns the narrative toward an examination of the emergence of the “Kaum Muda” or “New Group” of reformist-minded modernist Muslims in early 20th century Cambodia. Delineating the networks of these intellectuals as they stretched across the border through Cochinchina, also highlights a pre-existing transnational element to the community, one that well predates current discussions of twenty-first-century transnationalism. Through a combination of the study of multiple language sources and historical methods, the article highlights the importance of polylingualism in the study of the history of Muslims in Southeast Asia.

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On the Relationship between Cheng Ho and Islam in Southeast Asia


 From 1405 to 1433, during his seven expeditions overseas, did Cheng Ho participate in spreading Islam? While there is no relevant record in historical archives in China, many records and tales in Southeast Asian countries demonstrate well that Cheng Ho did help the spread of Islam there. However, do these records and tales really match the historical facts? The questions above merit further discussion, because answering them can help us understand the expeditions more completely and because Cheng Ho’s role in the development of Islam in Southeast Asia constitutes an inseparable part of the cultural exchange between China and Southeast Asia. In the following sections, the author will mainly focus on the discourses of foreign scholars on Cheng Ho’s role in diffusing Islam through Southeast Asia, and will also express his view on the issue.


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Cambodian Cham Identities in a Global Age

IconeK7_DSC0077-550x300William B. Noseworthy

The Cambodian Genocide: most scholars have heard of it. It is a critical case in ongoing studies of Genocide Studies, International Law as well as Memory and Social Trauma that many teachers will have to address. From forensic anthropologists to criminal investigators, journalists to historiansand even experts in literature—the case of a series of mass killings that emerged out of Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 under the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime, most frequently referred to as the “Khmer Rouge”(Kh.: Khmer Kraham), will be an important study for college students and scholars for generations to come. The genocidal policies enacted against the Cham Muslim minority during this period are increasingly well known. In this context, the decade of work by Kok-Thay Eng as Director of Research at the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-CAM) is enough to produce several dissertations. In fact, one of the individuals who contributed much of the work to Kok-Thay Eng’s dissertationFrom the Khmer Rouge to Hambali: Cham Identities in a Global Age, Farina So, is now working on her own dissertation based in Lowell, MA. Several other individual researchers, working with DC-CAM critically contributed to this work. The sheer number of interviews conducted by the DC-CAM research center, as well as the number that are cited in this dissertation alone, is impressive. Finally, the lucid presentation of the dissertation’s argument is testament to the author’s success in tackling, by his own admission, his own greatest challenge: writing in a second language. Continue reading

Chăm Asulam: Tự khép kín trong một đô thị phát triển?

Phạm Quỳnh Phương

v3Thông qua nghiên cứu về người Chăm Hồi giáo (Chăm Asulam) tại thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, tác giả xem xét một số định kiến đối với các tộc người thiểu số ở Việt Nam. Đưa ra những lý giải khác về đời sống và thực hành văn hoá tôn giáo của người Chăm, tác giả lập luận rằng, từ góc độ nghiên cứu, cái nhìn cởi mở và thừa nhận sự đa dạng văn hoá là cần thiết cho việc diễn giải văn hoá tộc người(1).

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Hidden Islamic Literature in a Cambodian Village: The Cham in the Khmer Rouge Period

Authors:OKAWA, Reiko


This paper is the first discussion on the Islamic literature written in Arabic and Jawi (Malay written in Arabic scripts), buried in Svay Khleang Village, former Kampong Cham Province and present-day Tbong Khmum Province, Cambodia by a Cham Muslim so that he could hide it from the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge massacred the Cham Muslims, who accounted for a small percentage of the population in Cambodia, more severely than the majority Khmer Cambodians during the Pol Pot regime from 1975 to 1979. This became evident through studying the documents of the Cham, who studied Islam under the influence of Malay Muslims before the Khmer Rouge period. This literature consists of approximately ten books, most of them being kitab kuning, which have been widely used by Muslim students of pondok-pesantren, the typical Islamic boarding school in Southeast Asia, or the Malay World such as in Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand. This fact means that, before the Pol Pot regime, there were Chams who were part of a network with the Malay World and developed their understanding of Islam. At that time, this was the only available measure for them to study Islam, whereas in the present time they access directly the Middle East to acquire knowledge on Islam.


From the Khmer Rouge to Hambali: Cham Identities in a Global Age

by Kok-Thay ENG

Dissertation Director: Professor Alexander Hinton

6-Cham-LeadersThis dissertation explores different forms of Cham identity in relation to this minority’s history, society and culture. It has three goals: first, to provide the most comprehensive overview of Cham history and social structure; second, to illustrate how Cham identities have changed through time; and third, to consider whether in the aftermath of Democratic Kampuchea and the Cold War Cham became radicalized. Its theoretical position is that the group’s religious, ethnic and other social identities can be classified as core (those that are enduring) and peripheral (those that are more changeable depending on new social and global contexts). Core identities include being Muslim (religious) and descendants from Champa whose indigenous language is Cham. Peripheral identities are sectarian, economic and political.

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Bản dịch tiếng Việt: Châu Đốc Muslims (Vietnam) faced with Salafism

Bản dịch của ông Ngụy Văn Nhuận (Pháp) và ông Ysa Cosiem (Mỹ) 


img-1Tại vùng đồng bằng sông Cửu Long, bao quanh thị xả Châu đốc, Tỉnh An Giang (Việt nam), cộng đồng người Muslim kháng cự lại với những mưu toan thanh khiết hoá Islam bị áp đặt bởi tác động của thuyết Salajiyah. Từ 30 năm qua, những nhà cải cách từ các trường đại học Islam Trung Đông muốn hủy bỏ di sản văn hóa Islam không đúng với các nguồn thành văn của tôn giáo. Các làng xã chia rẽ nhau, các mối bất hoà đã nổ ra trong các gia đình, ghi dấu ấn sâu xa trong cộng đồng. Ngày nay, việc các lễ thức như tưởng niệm ngày sanh củaThiên sứ và cúng kiến các thánh nhân Muslim, bị Islam Salafiyah lên án, đang lan rộng. Chánh sách của Việt Nam kíểm soát và đóng khung việc hành đạo đã góp phần vào việc giới hạn ảnh hưởng của thuyết Salafiyah. Sự quay đầu trở lại với một mưu toan cải cách bất thành của người Muslim Việt Nam. Continue reading

Châu Đốc Muslims (Vietnam) faced with Salafism

Agnès De Féo

img-1In the Mekong Delta, around the city of Châu Doc, in the An Giang province in Việt Nam, the Muslim community resists a Salaf inspired Islamic purification. Reformers from Islamic universities in the Middle East have been trying for 30 years to abolish Islamic cultural heritage that is not in accordance with the written sources of the religion. Conflicts have emerged at the heart of villages and families, thus deeply dividing the community. Today, however, rituals such as the anniversary of the Prophet and the cult of the saints, condemned by Salaf Islam, are thriving. Vietnamese religious policy has helped limit the influence of Salafism. This article looks back on an aborted attempt to reform Vietnamese Muslims.

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