Telling the Story of Islam in Asia: Reflections on Teleologies and Timelessness

Abstract

Any of us who teaches about Muslims in Asia is likely to feel the need to insist on the importance of the subject and its neglect by people who reduce Islam and its adherents to the Middle East or conflate Muslim and Arab. The chart of population figures listed in the appendix shows why, in terms of the sheer numbers involved, one might want to assert Asia’s importance as the four largest Muslim populations in the world: Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are in Asia. The largest concentration of Muslims anywhere is in the area we demarcate “South Asia,” the old British India with close to half a billion population of Muslims. Approximately one in three of the world’s Muslims lives in the first set of countries listed in the appendix.

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Metcalf, B.D., 2009. Telling the Story of Islam in Asia: Reflections on Teleologies and Timelessness. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 16(2), pp.9–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.220

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Barbara D. Metcalf (University of Michigan)

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