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

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Research of Note

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

Author:

Barbara D. Metcalf

University of Michigan
About Barbara D.
Barbara Metcalf is the Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her areas of expertise include the history of Muslims in the Indian sub-continent with an emphasis on the rich traditions of Islam movements of reform and revitalization. She is the author of several scholarly books and articles including Islamic Revival in British India (Princeton, 1982), Perfecting Women: Maulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s Bihishti Zewar. (California 1990), and Islamic Contestations: Essays on Muslims in India and Pakistan (Oxford, 2004). Metcalf served on the ASIANetwork Council of Advisors for six years, 2002-2008. Her contribution was originally presented as the keynote address at the New York Conference on Asian Studies in 2008.
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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.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.220
How to Cite: 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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Published on 01 Apr 2009.
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