The roots of contemporary Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia lie in the sixteenth century, when Christian Europeans first tried to dominate Indian Ocean trade. Through a detailed analysis of sacred scriptures, epic narratives and oral histories from the region, this book shows how Southeast Asian Muslims combined cosmopolitan Islamic models of knowledge and authority with local Austronesian models of divine kingship to first resist and then to appropriate Dutch colonial models of rational bureaucracy. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, these models continue to shape regional responses to contemporary trends such as the rise of global Islamism.

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