In This Review

Asian Islam in the Twenty-first Century
Asian Islam in the Twenty-first Century
Edited by John L. Esposito, John O. Voll, and Osman Bakar
Oxford University Press, 2007, 320 pp

The dozen authors of this symposium volume agree that Asian Islam will play a more significant role in the next century than it did in the last one and that it is inappropriate to assume that Islam in the Middle East tells the full story about the religion and its politics everywhere. This significance is in part due to the decline in importance of Marxism, communism, and anticolonialism. The first part of the book examines the Muslim-majority countries of Asia (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan), and the second examines the Muslim-minority countries (China, India, the Philippines, and Thailand). The country chapters focus on what is distinctive about Islam in the different settings. Ultimately, although public attention on Islam in Asia will tend to stress the role of violence and the political posturing of Islamic militants, in fact, the more critical dimension of Asian Islam will be found in education, where the struggle for the soul of Islam will take place.