The Hybridity of Malay Islam (1500-1800) Part 2: An Entanglement of ‘Adat’ and Politics

This is a two-part essay on the complex history of Islam in the Malay World by Lhavanya Dharmalingam, a student of International Relations at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. The first part of the essay outlines how the process of Islamisation took place in the region due to the openness of Malay cultural life … Continue reading The Hybridity of Malay Islam (1500-1800) Part 2: An Entanglement of ‘Adat’ and Politics

Between Tradition and Revolution: Nationalism in Malaya and Indonesia

"National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self-determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action”, said Woodrow Wilson in 1918 (GWPDA, 1997). In the case of Malaya and Indonesia, this would become a normative impetus to how its native intellectuals propagated the principle of national self-determination to its own people. Due to this, the language of nationalism can be seen as a positive force because it helped articulate the anticolonial struggle of Malayans and Indonesians. However, a comparative analysis shows how differently these two nationalisms are based on its leadership and representation in mass politics. Netusha Naidu explores the withstanding tensions between the traditionalism of the ascending ruling class and revolutionary streak of left-leaning groups in formulating national identities reveal the inherent complexities of anticolonial nationalism (Click title to read more).

What Really Caused the Philippine Revolution?

The Philippine Revolution which begun in 1896 saw the rise of the demands and grievances of the people of the Philippines against the Spanish colonial rulers of that time. In studying the causes of the revolution, early historians have tended to attribute the events of that period mainly to the despotism of the Spanish. Afra Alatas, a student of History at the National University of Singapore, compares two articles that address the causes of the Philippine Revolution. They are complementary in nature in the sense that one article discusses issues which the other fails to address. The first will be ‘The Cause of the Philippine Revolution’ by Vincente Pilapil, while the second will be ‘The Enlightenment and the Philippine Revolution’ by Jose Arcilla. While Pilapil addresses a broad range of causes that led to the revolution, Arcilla addresses the Enlightenment in particular, and how it had an impact on the nationalist leaders and Rizal in particular. In analysing these articles, she seeks to argue that while Pilapil successfully challenges early historiography on the causes of the revolution, he appears to overlook the true significance of the Spanish. Furthermore, he lacks analysis on the significance of the Enlightenment; a factor which Arcilla discusses and argues for its influence in the nationalist movement and hence the revolution.

Transcending the Nation: Pan-Islamism in the 19th Century

In modern times, a person is seen to have a sense of belonging and identity to their nation. However, the rise of globalisation is said to shape belonging and identity that transcends our geographical boundaries so much so, we are rendered the question of - can one profess such a belonging while remaining loyal to their country? According to Netusha Naidu, Pan Islamism in the nineteenth century is a real example of such identity. The historical events surrounding Pan-Islamism display how Islam promoted a sense of belonging in a wider region while being the driving force of nationalism and socio-political empowerment. Up to this date, the legacy of Pan Islamism is echoed in the form of contemporary global politics. Netusha presents and analyses the case for Pan-Islamism by investigating its possible origins, the history of its mobilization for these struggles through the intellectual legacies of Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī and his successor, Muhammad Abduh, the left-leaning nationalist politics in Malaya-Indonesia and how the Adaletve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) domestic and foreign policy serves as memory of Pan-Islamic values in contemporary Turkish politics.