Fakes or Fancies? Some ‘problematic’ islamic manuscripts from South East Asia

« Fakes or Fancies? Some ‘problematic’ islamic manuscripts from South East Asia » by Annabel Teh Gallop in Manuscript Cultures 10 (2017)

This article focuses solely on ‘Islamic’ manuscripts from
South East Asia, namely those manuscripts written in Arabic
script, containing texts in Arabic and Malay, and occasionally
in Javanese. The indelible association between Islam and
the Arabic script – the vehicle for the word of God in the
Qur’an – lends itself to a widespread and convenient market
perception of all manuscripts written in forms of the Arabic
script as inherently ‘Islamic’, irrespective of their contents.
Thus a manuscript of the Hikayat Perang Pandawa Jaya –
the story of the final fight of the Pandawa brothers from the
Mahabharata – written on paper, in Malay in the extended
form of Arabic script known as Jawi, might easily appear

in an auction sale in London of Islamic manuscripts, while a manuscript of the Serat Yusup, the Muslim story of the

Prophet Joseph, written on palm leaf in Javanese language
and the Javanese script which is of Indic script, would attract
little interest in the international Islamic art market. And it
is indeed the rapid expansion of the international market in
Islamic art over the past three decades that has precipitated
the writing of this article.
This surge of interest in London was mirrored by a
simi lar flurry of activity on the other side of the world,
due to the collecting activities of two large institutions in
Malaysia. In the early 1980s, the Department for Islamic
Affairs (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Islam, BAHEIS) – now known
as the Department for the Propagation of Islam (Jabatan
Kemajuan Islam Malaysia, JAKIM) – in the Prime Minister’s
Department of Malaysia embarked on an ambitious project
to collect Islamic cultural artefacts including manuscripts.
More than 3,600 manuscripts in Arabic, Malay and other
languages were acquired in a relatively short period, in­
cluding over 300 Qur’ans, mainly from South East Asia.
Since 1998 the JAKIM collection has been on loan to the
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), Kuala Lumpur.
The second important event was the foundation in 1984 of
the Malay Manuscripts Centre (Pusat Manuskrip Melayu)
at the National Library of Malaysia (Perpustakaan Negara
Malaysia, PNM), whose collection now numbers over 4,700
manuscripts primarily in Malay, but including about 40
Qur’ans. Other smaller institutions in South East Asia, as
well as a number of private collectors, also actively began
to acquire Islamic manuscripts in the 1980s and 1990s. In
Indonesia, a major revival of interest can be traced to the
Festival Istiqlal held in Jakarta in 1991, which included
the first major exhibition of Qur’an manuscripts from the

archipelago.

A télécharger sur : https://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/MC/articles/mc10_gallop.pdf

Democracy Bites the Dust in Cambodia but Glimmers of Hope Remain

« Democracy Bites the Dust in Cambodia but Glimmers of Hope Remain » by Sophal Ear, 01/08/2018, TheNewsLens

As the red dust settles on Cambodia’s soil following the hubbub of last weekend’s election, questions hang in the air over what just really happened.

The short answer is that Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia as the world’s longest serving prime minister since 1985, is basking in the prospect of another five years in power.

The official results suggest that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won all 125 seats in parliament, with 77.5 percent of the vote on the back of turnout of 80.5 percent.

This result, which had been on the cards since the forced dissolution and subsequent exile of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) last November, represents nothing less than the death of the democracy in Cambodia.

Lire la suite sur : https://international.thenewslens.com/article/100977

 

Talking Indonesia: the 2018 regional elections

Talking Indonesia: the 2018 regional elections, 05/07/2018, Indonesia at Melbourne

On 27 June, Indonesia held elections for mayors and governors in 154 districts and 17 provinces. It was the third and final round of such regional elections – referred to as pilkada – in this five year electoral cycle.

The 2018 pilkada were particularly significant, for several reasons. They included gubernatorial elections in five provinces that between them account for more than half of Indonesia’s population: West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra and South Sulawesi.

It was also the first opportunity to observe how the divisive dynamics of the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections might affect future elections. And with the national legislative and presidential elections now less than a year away, in April 2019, these local elections have been watched closely for any clues as to how next year’s political contests might play out.

In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses this round of local elections, their results and their broader implications with a panel of leading political observers: Dr Charlotte Setijadi (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and Talking Indonesia co-host), Dr Philips Vermonte (executive director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS) and Dr Eve Warburton (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute).

A écouter sur : http://indonesiaatmelbourne.unimelb.edu.au/talking-indonesia-the-2018-regional-elections/

2018 regional elections: why is there a disconnect between local and national politics?

« 2018 regional elections: why is there a disconnect between local and national politics? » by Abdil Mughis Mudhoffir and Rafiqa Qurrata A’yun, 18/07/2018, Indonesia at Melbourne

In late June, Indonesia held elections for district heads, mayors and governors in 171 regions. Many observers predicted the elections would exacerbate the polarisation of society — between Islamists on one hand and nationalists on the other — mirroring the dynamics of the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election.

Religious identity politics did play a role in some local election outcomes, as we discuss below. However, observers also predicted the local elections would reflect political alliances at the national level. In fact, most coalitions supporting candidates at the local level represented different political alliances and different divisions to those seen at the national level.

If anything, the regional elections demonstrated that there is no decisive ideological line differentiating most parties from the others. Political alliances are highly flexible and there appear to be no definitive political enemies.

For example, at the national level, Gerindra and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) are opposition parties, but in local contests they readily align themselves with the same parties they oppose at the national level. Interestingly, decisions to build local political alliances are often made by the members of the party’s central board, not the local branches.

Lire la suite sur : http://indonesiaatmelbourne.unimelb.edu.au/2018-regional-elections-why-is-there-a-disconnect-between-local-and-national-politics/

Trading blows: NU versus PKS

« Trading blows: NU versus PKS » by Greg Fealy, 10/07/2018, Indonesia at Melbourne

How did a visit to Israel by a senior Islamic figure lead to members of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), accusing the nation’s second largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), of behaving like communists who are out to destroy Indonesia? This is a tale about the fevered state of Islamic discourse in Indonesia, one nurtured in the hothouse of social media. It has been fuelled by long-standing and deepening doctrinal animosities as well as competing political interests. Its resonance will be felt in next year’s legislative and presidential elections.

The saga began in early June, when Yahya Cholil Staquf, the secretary of NU’s Religious Council (PB Syuriah) and a member of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Advisory Council (Wantimpres) visited Israel. He travelled at the invitation of the advocacy group the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and gave a series of public lectures as well as met political and religious leaders and academics.

Yahya claimed he went to Israel out of concern for the Palestinians and a desire to foster peace in the Middle East. He also invoked the name of Abdurrahman Wahid (“Gus Dur”), Indonesia’s fourth president and former NU chair, who visited Israel on numerous occasions and served on the advisory board of the Peres Centre for Peace. Yahya ignored advice from many of his NU colleagues not to go and travelled without the approval of the NU Central Board.

News of the visit broke in the Islamic media on 9 June, sparking immediate controversy. When, a few days later, the Israeli press carried pictures of Yahya shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Islamist groups reacted angrily, calling on NU and President Widodo to censure or dismiss him for undercutting Indonesia’s long-standing pro-Palestinian policy and for playing into the hands of an Israeli government that had only recently shot dead more than 50 Palestinians on the Gaza border. Criticism of Yahya sharpened when it was reported that he failed to meet any Palestinian leaders and had been “severely censured” by Hamas in a press statement on 11 June.

Lire la suite sur : http://indonesiaatmelbourne.unimelb.edu.au/trading-blows-nu-versus-pks/