Although more than half of the world's Muslims live in Asia, most of the widely read books on contemporary Islam focus on developments in the Middle East, giving short shrift to experiences in some of the largest Muslim countries in the world. In recent years events like the terrorist bombings in Bali, intensifying separatist activities in Thailand, and developments in the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union all point to the fact that Asian Islam is a subject of growing importance. Specialists as well as general readers interested in international relations need broadly conceived analyses of developments in the major Muslim societies of Asia. The beginning of the twenty-first century is witnessing profound transformations in the way that Islamic ideals and Islamic movements shape state and society. The studies collected in this book look at the changes happening both in Muslim majority countries and in societies where Muslims are a minority. Experiences of democratization - successful and unsuccessful - are examined. The rise of radical militant movements is analyzed, and placed in historical perspective and in the broader context of mainstream Islamic ideals.
Among the contributors are such prominent scholars as Fred von der Mehden, Vali Nasr, Hakan Yavuz, and John Voll. This book will serve as the successor to Esposito's influential 1987 collection, Islam in Asia.