Southeast Asia And The Middle East And North Africa

1426 Words Dec 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Southeast Asia, like most of the world, was imperialized by European countries such as Britain and France. Most former colonies are predominantly Christian. In contrast, more than 40% of the population in Southeast Asia practices Islam, making it the most widely practiced religion in the region (Pew Research Center 's Religion & Public Life Project, 2012). In fact, Southeast Asia contains the highest number of Muslims in the world, surpassing the Middle East and North Africa. The region is heavily influenced by Islam and European imperialism and it’s shown in the region’s architecture and cuisine.
Southeast Asia has a monsoon climate, with no marked dry season, waterways that interconnected the region, and tropical rainforests. The region is also midway between India and China. At one point, the Straits of Malacca were the only major waterway through the region until they began using the Straits of Sunda and the Sulu archipelago.
Islam was brought to Southeast Asia by Muslim traders and preachers. It’s estimated they first made contact in the 7th century, likely in Java, according to an account by He ling in the New History of the Tang where a “prince of the Arab lands” was present (Xiu, O., Qi, S., 1060). Ibn Khordadbeh recorded trade posts including Loukin, in present day Vietnam, Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Yangzhou, the end of the maritime route (Wade, G., 2010). There was also a large diasporic community in Guangzhou, which had a self-governing Muslim community in the…
Open Document