Islam in Champa and the Making of Factitious History

STEPHEN G. HAW

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Series 3, page 1 of 31

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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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